Last updated: July 11. 2014 5:32PM - 630 Views
By April Jaynes

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FLATROCK — Rev. Matthew Dotson and the members of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church invite the public to come out on July 12-13 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Good Shepherd.

On Saturday, there will be a community day from 11 a.m.-5p.m. with games for the kids, a pig roast and live music throughout the day.

On Sunday, the worship service begins at 9:30 a.m. with guest speaker Bishop Sandra L. Steiner Ball. There will be fellowship time, food and music after the service.

Good Shepherd UMC, the former Good Shepherd Evangelical United Brethren Church, was founded as a pilot project in church unification after the W.Va. Conference and other officials determined that the Point Pleasant Circuit of Mt. Olive, Mt. Zion, Greer, and Eckard EUB churches would be the logical charge for the project.

On October 5, 1961, a committee of conference officials and three representatives of each church and the pastor of the charge, Rev. DonaldPringle, met to formulate the plan and basis of the union. On December 7,1961, a meeting of the four churches was held at Eckard Church to discuss the proposed union. The plan and basis of union was submitted to a vote by the congregation on March 18, 1962, at which time it was approved by a heavy majority and the name Good Shepherd was chosen.

The current site of 19.3 acres, located along St. Rt. 2 in Flatrock, was purchased from Kenneth and Anna Anthony for the amount of $7,250 in June 1962 to be the future Good Shepherd EUB church and parsonage. Plans were drawn up by Everett Lutton for the church and parsonage. They were then submitted to a vote by the congregation and approved by nearly 3 to 1.

The Lutton brothers were the contractors for the new building. During construction, Sunday school was held in each local church while evening services were combined at Eckard Church.

In July 1962, Rev. Donald Lockhart was appointed by the Conference to be the first pastor in the new church.

On March 10, 1963, the groundbreaking service was held and excavation began on June 24, 1963. The church and parsonage were constructed simultaneously.The cornerstone was laid on September 8, 1963.

The pastor and his family moved into the new parsonage on December 7, 1963.

The first service was held in the new building on February 2, 1964. The dedication service, led by the Bishop 1. Gordon Howard and Conference Superintendent Harry Eckles was held on July 12, 1964.

In April 1968, the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist merged together as United Methodist. With God’s help, the donations of individuals and the organizations of the church, the indebtedness was paid in full on February 4, 1976. On July 11, 1976, the mortgage burning service was held.

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