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Who We Are

Good Shepherd’s History, Present, and Future

During a rare Austin snowstorm, the first organizational meeting of The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd convened on January 13, 1944.  After successfully petitioning The Episcopal Diocese of Texas for status as a “Mission” congregation, 59 people then gathered for the new community’s first, formal service of worship, in a vacant section of the shopping center still across the street from our Windsor Campus.

In the years following, Good Shepherd established itself on the corner of Windsor and Exposition with the construction of its first buildings, and the congregation soon received status as a “Parish” of the Diocese, indicating its capacity for self-sustaining ministry and operation.  The parish then opened its preschool, which continues to serve as a doorway for young families’ introduction to the people and purpose of The Episcopal Church in West Austin.

Like its home city, in the years and seasons since, Good Shepherd has continued to grow into what is, now, one of the twenty largest Episcopal churches in the United States.  While this large scale of member households makes possible ministries and initiatives of extraordinary breadth, depth, and consequence, the congregation maintains an authentic sense of community, where a newcomer may expect a warm and genuine welcome, and where long-tenured parishioners can expect to be known and remembered.

From this foundation, Good Shepherd sustains a high bar for dignity and beauty in worship, excellence in preaching, care of its flock, and outreach to its community.  These commitments have found tangible expression in the parish’s recent campaign to Build The Beloved Community, which has redeveloped its founding campus’ facilities and expanded the congregation’s ministry to a second campus, Good Shepherd on the Hill.  After nearly continuous construction for nearly three years and across these two locations, Good Shepherd has positioned itself for a future as vital as its fond history: a loving community of faith, under the banner of The Episcopal Church, and in the name of Jesus Christ. Now we look forward to celebrating our 75th Anniversary in 2019.



GS Timeline

The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd (GS) organized
First worship services prayed

Parish Hall completed
First Good Shepherd Episcopal School (GSES) classes held

Church Building completed

GSES building completed

Baxter Hall completed

Adjacent Moffett Street properties purchased and incorporated Windsor-Campus footprint

Master Plan developed for Windsor Campus

Moffett Street purchased from city and on-campus parking provided

Underground infrastructure repaired and improved for Plan’s completion

Current Administration Building and Plan’s first-phase completed

First-phase debt retired

Building, Capital Campaign, GSES, Outreach, and Worship Task Forces convened
Campaign to Build the Beloved Community Begins

Second campus at 1700 Woodland Avenue acquired from Diocese

Redevelopment of Woodland Campus completed
GSES moved to Woodland Campus for the 2014-2015 academic year

Education Center and Parish Life Center completed
GSES returns to Windsor Campus
Renewal and expansion of Church Building begins

First Sunday of worship prayed at second campus, Good Shepherd on the Hill (The Hill)
Strategic plan completed for outreach-focused, early-childhood center at Woodland Campus

Hillside Early Childhood Center enrolls first students