Every church in the United States was a church-plant at some point in its history, and every church in human history has had a beginning. We are no exception. In our recent history, we come from a long line of church start-ups: from King of Kings in Charlotte, NC (in 2000) to Church of the Good Shepherd in Cornelius, NC (in 2002) to City of Grace in High Point, NC (in 2007) to Christ Church in Winston-Salem (in 2008) to our work today (beginning in 2012) and beyond to Church of the Resurrection in Lewisville, NC. Beyond even this, our network of churches has its roots in the Anglican Church in Rwanda, and the gospel-centered mission movement known as the East African Revival. Church-planting is simply part of our DNA.
Good Shepherd initially came about because God opened doors for ministry from Christ Church to Davie County. These open doors came through the provision of resources from our mother church, Christ Church in Winston-Salem:
First, God gave WinMock at Kinderton to Wayne and Paula Thomas, who were founding members of Christ Church. Through God’s favor and grace, Winmock (a wedding and events center located near the crossing of I-40 over the Yadkin River) was purchased and renovated, and is a place of beauty that the whole community enjoys. It has been on Wayne and Paula’s heart from the beginning to open up this space for church plants; the only question for them has been “when and who”?
Simultaneously, God began to gather leaders for an Anglican church plant in 2012. God brought the Rev. Tom Bost over from Christ Church in Winston-Salem where he had been serving under the Rev. Ben Sharpe’s leadership for several years. Tom then asked Rev. Graham Johnston, an Anglican Deacon, and his wife, Kim, to prayerfully consider joining in this endeavor. Soon after this, God brought a handful of lay leaders to work together in the ministry of Good Shepherd!
After two months of prayer in the summer of 2012 and seeking counsel from other church planters, our Bishop and his assistants, this group’s sense of calling was confirmed and our ministry to East Davie County began in July 2012 with monthly prayer meetings at Winmock and a weekly home group Bible Study. Then in October of 2013, we began meeting weekly on Sunday nights for worship, continuing our outreaches to the community and small group ministry. And finally in June of 2014, God sent us as a music pastor: Dr. Mark Baynes and his wife Dawn. With Mark's arrival we began weekly Sunday morning services and officially launched Church of the Good Shepherd.
Since 2014, God has grown our church in breadth and depth. He sent us Billy McCormick, who currently serves as the Curate for Pastoral Ministry at our church, along with his wife Katie and their two daughters. He sent us Dn. Joshua Spencer, his wife Candace, and their four kids, to serve as the resident chaplain in our parish from the Anglican Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces. And year after year we find God sending us more friends who are like "sheep without a Shepherd.” As we look to the future, we anticipate Jesus our Good Shepherd to continue to use us to spread his Kingdom.