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History - Page 1

Concordia Lutheran Mission held its first service at the school in Sept. 1950   Concordia Lutheran Mission held its first service at the school in September of 1950

A nearly completed Concordia Lutheran School building, a developing area of new homes, a vision to sense a fertile mission field, eager volunteers, and a Vacation Bible School all meshed together in the summer of 1950 to form the beginnings of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Because the response and attendance to the Vacation Bible School program was encouraging, a plan to start a new mission congregation was put into motion. 

Under the direction of Pastors Arthur W. Schelp of Zion Lutheran Church and Winfred A. Schroeder of Grace Lutheran Church, both congregations voted to approve this new mission. A small nucleus of 35 members from Grace and Zion were released to work in this area. 

The first worship service was held on the first Sunday in September of 1950. It was followed by Sunday School. Pastor A. W. Schelp conducted the service. They met in the basement of the school. 

Praying for God’s guidance and direction, little did that small group, then calling itself the Concordia Lutheran Mission, realize how abundantly God would bless this mission. 

First Official Photo of the Congregation of Concordia Lutheran Church
First Official Photograph of the Congregation of Concordia Lutheran Church

 Pastor Harold G JohnsonA call was sent and accepted by Pastor Harold G. Johnson, who grew up at Zion, Tacoma. He was called from Coffeyville, Kansas, and was installed as the first resident Pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in 1951. He and his wife, Maxine, with their two small sons, supplied the youthful enthusiasm for God’s Kingdom to grow. Slowly, the congregation grew. Sunday School, Christmas pageants, fellowship and family nights, picnics, and a strawberry festival, helped this growth. The Lord blessed the Johnsons with the birth of a daughter during their stay at Good Shepherd.

In 1953, the congregation of Redeemer Lutheran Church, located at Harrison and East “G” Streets was without a pastor. At that time, the decision was made to merge with Concordia. This merging increased the membership and brought new and dedicated workers to the area. The merger also brought additional children for the Sunday School. The joint membership voted to change the name of the congregation to The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. 

Looking ahead, the congregation purchased the present site of the corner of East 56th and “B” Streets, with the dream of a future permanent church home. Ground was broken on June 7, 1953, for a facility that would also include a parsonage. Soon, the cornerstone was put in place. On June 6, 1954, the building was ready for dedication.  

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On November 13, 1955, Pastor Johnson accepted a Call to Bellevue to help with a mission established in that area.

Pastor Harold J. Gieseke

A Call was then sent to Pastor Harold J. Gieseke, who accepted and was installed as the second pastor of The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. He, with his wife, Irma, and three daughters lived in the chapel church-parsonage. Under his guidance, growth continued both spiritually and physically. 

The Concordia School building was again used for additional Sunday School rooms. At this time, a group of members was released to begin work in the Summit area. As the church continued to grow, so did Pastor Gieseke’s family, as the Lord blessed them with another daughter and a son. In 1962, Pastor Gieseke accepted a Call to Eugene, Oregon. 

 Pastor Delbert C. SchroederThe third pastor of The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd was Delbert C. Schroeder, who was installed on Sunday, September 9, 1962. He and his wife, Thelma, with their four daughters and son, came to us from Kennewick, Washington. It was during Pastor Schroeder’s ministry that the congregation began to feel the need for more space. A three-phase building program was outlined to meet the congregation’s future needs. The first phase was the construction of a new parsonage. This was completed and occupied by the Schroeder family in November of 1965. The old parsonage space was then used for Sunday School classes. 

The next phase of the expansion program had to be delayed when Pastor Schroeder accepted a Call to serve as the Executive Secretary of the LCMS Northwest District in Portland, OR. He departed Tacoma on June 18, 1967. The vacancy was partly lessened by the coming of the first of the vicars employed by the congregation. Vicar Terrance Borchard and his wife, Kathy, occupied the former parsonage rooms and helped the congregation during the vacancy period.

Pastor Roland A. KochA Call was extended to Pastor Roland A. Koch of Spokane, WA, who accepted the Call and was installed as the congregation’s fourth pastor on November 26, 1967. Pastor Koch was joined by his wife, Hilda, and their three children. Pastor Koch was immediately confronted with the congregation’s desire to proceed with its expansion program with the construction of a new house of worship.


On February 11, 1969, the congregation voted to proceed with the building of the new church as soon as possible.
 A little over a year later, during the week of March 8-15, 1970, the new church was dedicated. At this time, the name of the congregation was officially changed to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

  Groundbreaking Ceremony, June 8, 1969  Dedication, March 8, 1979
  Groundbreaking Ceremony June 8, 1969                          Dedication March 8, 1970

Pastor Koch retired from the full-time ministry and served as Visitation Pastor for a number of years to follow.


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Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Little Lambs Preschool

140 East 56th St.

Tacoma, WA 98404
Phone 253-473-4848

One Sunday Service
Starts @ 9:30 am

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 Rev. Noel d. Koss, Interim Pastor
Rev. Noel D. Koss
Interim Pastor


Bonnie Jean Huset, Preschool Director & Teacher  Bonnie Jean Huset, Preschool Director


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