The Good Shepherd Ministries started with a simple biblical concept on January 18, 2000, in the home of Carletta Leather. Seventeen people, along with our Founding Pastor, Steven McCullough and his wife Jeannie, had a vision to not only start another church but to create a ministry focused on helping others to know, to love and to serve Jesus Christ. It was clear to those who started meeting together that God had called and commissioned each person to do His work through this new church. As Jesus said,” I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” John 10:14
The excitement and commitment was somehow tangible. Worship, communion, Bible Study and fellowship were shared. The simplicity of knowing, loving and serving Jesus appealed to many and soon this group of believers outgrew a basement. Across town, the chapel at Rest Haven Cemetery had recently been completed and the owner, Charlie img_2211Brown, offered the use of the chapel free of charge. At first glance this was certainly an unusual place to meet for worship services and Bible studies. However, everyone recognized the tremendous blessing that was being given to our fellowship. A hunger for solid biblical teaching, not a building, was the driving force behind getting together. 
From the beginning, the support of world missions was a central focus of The Good Shepherd Ministries (TGSM). In our first year, a goal of $3,000 was set for a special missions offering. The small congregation raised over $10,000! TGSM’s role was clear and the people understood it: Jesus wants everyone to know Him and have a relationship with Him, and by knowing Jesus, He changes lives. Missions work not only sends the message of hope around the world, but it puts in the hands of believers the work Jesus commissioned every believer to do. Jesus told the early church to go and make disciples. We believe this is the responsibility of every believer. By helping make disciples, we ourselves are drawn closer to Jesus.
So much was accomplished at the outset. In addition to Bible Study and Sunday services, we had our first baby dedication, a wedding, Easter Sunrise Services, Sunday School and nursery for children was started, a youth Bible study was started, baptisms in Roger and Carol Brown’s pool, Super Church, a church picnic, Pastor Appreciation Sunday, monthly support for missions in Papua New Guinea, bus trips, Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve Services, tape recordings of sermons and so much more! All this in the first year of a young fellowship of believers driven by a hunger and thirst for the name of Jesus to be glorifieimg_4569d.
With the Lord adding people to the congregation daily, the need for a permanent facility soon became pressing. A building committee was formed by Pastor McCullough and met with Pool Construction from York, PA. From the beginning, the Lord made it clear to the Building Committee that a sanctuary holding 1100 seats was the final goal, and that the land was to be paid in full before construction began. A number of locations were considered and a 12.8 acre lot on the corner of Longmeadow Road and Leitersburg Pike was chosen. On a snowy Sunday afternoon, a groundbreaking service was held. It was later discovered that, during construction, members were led to privately pray over the construction site at various times. Everyone had a part in helping reach the goal and it was evidenced by a picture of a thermometer that everyone watched as it grew each week. Even the children played a part in contributing to the building by providing the money for the cross within the brickwork above the exterior of the current sanctuary.
The first phase of our facility was completed in March 2004, which is where we currently meet and worship. For years, Mr. Charlie Brown, the owner and proprietor of Rest Haven Chapel and Cemetery, generously provided the use of the chapel and the funeral home’s lower level at no cost. This enabled our congregation to build a facility in such a short time. Our church members took great care to treat Rest Haven’s facilities with respect, to help keep the facility clean and assist with property improvements. We also faithfully supported Mr. Brown with Reset Haven’s annual Christmas Luminary Lighting, and we continue to do so to this day every November and December. 
Since moving to ou015r current location, growing over the years and embracing new and exciting ministry opportunities, we have expanded yet again thanks to the first phase of our ultimate building project: the SDG Kids Life Center, a specialized wing with a dedicated Welcome Center and security checkpoint, eight additional enclosed classrooms, restroom facilities, adaptable open space, and other amenities. The Lower Level of the main church building is still in use every Sunday and Tuesday as well, with classroom space reserved for adult Sunday School classes and electives, and a dedicated area for the youth group.
Our youth ministry has also expanded. What began as a humble group of five in the lower level of Rest Haven Chapel has grown into a ministry that reaches well over 100 students annually, embraces the missions focus of the church through yearly teen missions trips, has its own worship team and specialized breakout groups, regularly participates in community and congregation outreach projects, assists in hosting a children’s day camp each year, leads adult prayer meetings on occasion, and
img_2232continues to invite and involve all generations of the church into its ministry. The youth are not an island set apart. They’re a thriving, growing, integrated part of our congregation!   
The support of missions locally and overseas remains one of our most crucial priorities in sharing the Gospel. Mission’s trips to Mexico, Chile, Jamaica, El Salvador and the Philippines are made yearly. TGSM is active with the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Ministry. As a church, we send thousands of shoeboxes around the world with gifts of love to children along with the gift of Jesus. TGSM has also raised well over $1 million to support mission’s projects around the world to build churches, schools, and orphanages.
More recently, in May of 2020, Pastor McCullough began the process of retiring, and in January of 2021, retired fully. He and Jeannie remain a strong and prayerful part of the congregation, watching the seeds they first planted continue to grow and be nurtured by God. Our new lead pastor, Kenny Brown, has been a part of TGSM since its earliest days in the Leathers’ basement; having served for many years as a volunteer and ministry director before coming on staff as the Youth Pastor in 2015, then as the Assistant Pastor in 2018. He and his wife, Rachel, continue to hold true to the mission established by Pastor McCullough so long ago: to help people and their families know, love and serve Jesus Christ more and more each day.  As Pastor Kenny looks forward beyond the unique challenges of 2020 and early 2021, he has calibrated his heart and mind to the Spirit’s direction and calling, working to lead the church in its desire to spread the gospel at home and abroad in ways both familiar and unfamiliar. 
As our story continues, we would like to invite you and your family to be a part of it. We strive to involve ourselves in true ministry; to the individual, their family and friends, the congregation at large, and through outreach at home and abroad. From the very beginning, we’ve held fast to simple, Biblical guiding principles and a desire to embrace and join in Christ’s love in our church, our communities and around the world. Our hope and prayer is that you join us in our story and discover, as we have, where God is leading us!