1208 Rose Creek Dr, Woodstock, GA office@gslutheran.org +1 770-924-7286

Mission-Beliefs-History of GSLC

Our Mission

We are called, gathered and blessed to be a community and instrument of grace for all sheep of the Good Shepherd.

Our Beliefs

Good Shepherd Lutheran’s beliefs and teachings are rooted in the Bible. Here are some of our central beliefs:

  • Jesus Christ is God’s Son, our Savior, Lord, Teacher and Friend.
  • The Bible is the record of God’s Good News, telling how God reaches out in love to help God’s people and the whole creation.
  • It is by God’s action revealed most clearly in Jesus, that our sins are forgiven, and we are made God’s children.
  • Each person possesses their own particular gifts given through the Holy Spirit and no one is exempt from God’s love.
  • Through baptism, we become members of the Church, which is the Body of Christ. Baptism is open to anyone wanting to receive it, including infants.
  • We confirm that through action of the Holy Spirit (as teenagers in the Rite of Confirmation) we take greater responsibility for living out our faith.
  • Through Confirmation and Affirmation of Baptism, we become voting members of the congregation.

We focus on these faith practices: Prayer, study, worship, inviting, encouraging, serving and giving.

Our History

In July 1987, Pastor David Osborne came to Woodstock, Georgia as a pastor/developer for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  Pastor Dave knocked on many doors and networked with many people in the community, inviting them to the exciting opportunity of beginning a new congregation in the developing Towne Lake Community.  Many local citizens caught Pastor Dave’s enthusiasm and passion for the gospel, and by 1988 Sunday morning worship services and Sunday School classes were being held in rented space at a local office park complex located on Highway 92.

On December 11, 1988, Charter Sunday, “The Living Charter of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Woodstock, Georgia” was signed.  The charter proclaimed:

We believe—that we are called and chosen by God and through faith accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  Led by the Holy Spirit, we gather together to become the people of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and commit ourselves to:  worship, praise, honor, and glorify God, grow in our personal understanding of Jesus Christ, share in the Good News of Jesus Christ with others, and responsively care for those who are in need.  We promise—to faithfully support and participate in the life of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church through our time, talents, treasures, and prayers, so that we, the members of the Body of Christ, may demonstrate God’s love in the world.  

One hundred and thirty-one adults and children signed the charter.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was officially recognized as a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on April 9, 1989.  By that time the congregation, in addition to weekly worship and Sunday School, had added to its ministries Confirmation classes, First Communion Classes, youth activities for 3rd – 6th graders, Vacation Bible School, an Altar Guild, and choirs for adults and children.  That same year a Building Committee was formed to plan for a church building at the corner of Eagle Drive and Rose Creek Drive.

A design for the physical structure, which included a sanctuary, fellowship area, classrooms and administrative offices, was approved in 1991 and a capital fund campaign was initiated.  The building was completed in 1992 and dedicated in 1993.  Good Shepherd Lutheran Church hence became a permanent presence in Towne Lake.  The buildings allowed the congregation to serve the community by offering meeting space to community groups. As ministries, programs, and responsibilities continued to expand, a building expansion to increase fellowship, education and music space began in 1998. The building expansion was completed and dedicated in 1999.

In 2005, the congregation completed an intense Long Range Planning Process, including the development of a congregational mission statement:  We are called, gathered and blessed to be a community and instrument of grace for all sheep of the Good Shepherd.

As GSLC grew, the need for another pastor became evident and Pastor Kari Parsons was called as an associate pastor.   

After leading GSLC from its beginning, Pastor Dave resigned in 2002.  The congregation entered an interim phase that lasted until 2004, when Rev. Dr. Paul Baumgartner was called. Pr. Paul brought with him a thoughtful approach to worship, Bible study, and congregational life.

Pastor Kari relocated with her family in 2006, and Pastor Justin Lind-Ayres was called. Pr. Justin was known for his passionate sermons, in depth Bible studies, and his “Water of Life” project which featured a flowing stream at the altar.   

 In 2006, GSLC member Michelle Angalet became our Associate in Ministry, where she focused primarily on our youth and educational ministries until 2012 when she accepted a role at the Southeastern Synod office.

In 2009, Pr. Justin and his family relocated back to Minnesota, and Pastor Justin Ask (affectionately known as “PJ2”) was called.  He oversaw the development of GSLC’s youth mission trips to various cities such as Nashville, Milwaukee, Washington D.C., and Savannah

In 2016, PJ2 moved back to Minnesota. In May of 2021, our pastor of 17 years retired. We embarked on a yearlong journey to reevaluate our vision and goals, under the guidance of Interim Pastor Ruth Hamilton.  In July of 2022, we extended a call to our current Pastor Rosy Rivera.  Pastor Rosy was installed as Pastor of GSLC on September 25, 2022.