Our History

In the fall of 1955, a group of residents living on the west side of Decorah began to consider the formation of a new Lutheran church in that area. They purchased a parcel of land and drew up Articles of Incorporation. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was founded on November 24, 1958, on the site of a former sheep pasture. After the charter members adopted a constitution, they voted up the affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church and elected Officers of the Congregation. Since 1958, the congregation has grown and flourished, thanks to the dedicated service of its pastors, significant contributions of its members, and the guiding presence of the Good Shepherd.

Notable outreach activities of our congregation have included providing services to Southeast Asian refugees and mentally challenged citizens, becoming a Reconciling in Christ congregation, and in 2017 became an AMMPARO Welcoming Congregation.   AMMPARO stands for Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation, and Opportunities. It is an ELCA program serving young people from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, countries in Central America’s “Northern Triangle”, with some of the highest murder and violence rates in the world. 

Locally Good Shepherd supports the Decorah Community Food Pantry and the Decorah Community Free Clinic. The congregation has also carried out numerous activities in support of Lutheran World Relief, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services and missions abroad. Good Shepherd has intentionally made its facilities available to numerous diverse community groups.

Good Shepherd Pastors

Charter Members – Updated November 2018

Selected Milestones – Updated November 2018