Welcome, and thanks for checking us out. As the new rector of Church of the Good Shepherd, I'd be thrilled to see you next Sunday morning! We're at a new place in our journey, and we'd love for you to join us as we make Jesus known to Maitland and the surrounding communities.
Our mission here is to make disciples of all people who are knowledgeable, bold, joyful, and filled with God's Holy Spirit.
If it's your first time visiting an Episcopal Church, fear not! While the worship takes a little getting used to, you can relax, go at your own pace, and enjoy the Lord's Presence. We promise to give you a warm welcome and offer you opportunities for deeper involvement in our community.
Good Shepherd is diverse, and always looking to become more so! Whether you're simply curious about Jesus, looking for a place to go deeper in your faith, or a "seasoned" Jesus-follower, you are welcome here. God's grace meets us wherever we are, and we want to do the same for you.
Thanks for taking the time to let me say Hello. We look forward to getting to know you!
Church of the Good Shepherd is blessed with a rich history and deep spiritual roots. Beginning in 1879, Maitland residents gathered for worship in the parlor of Bishop and Mrs. Whipple’s winter residence, across the road from the present church.
Church of the Good Shepherd, established in 1881 and consecrated on March 17, 1883, was built largely through the efforts of Bishop and Mrs. Whipple, who donated the $1800 cost of construction on land donated by Charles Hall, of Marquette, Michigan.
The Right Reverend Henry Benjamin Whipple, laid a firm foundation based on Scripture, personal integrity, and active servanthood. His emphasis on spiritual and emotional healing and the need for Christian unity remain at the heart of the Good Shepherd community today.
The plaque in memory of Bishop Whipple located in the Chapel narthex reads: “While honored by the Anglican Communion as one of her greatest bishops and missionaries, by our country as one of her noblest philanthropists, Bishop Whipple is here honored as the loving pastoral shepherd whose sympathies have been as a stream of living water. Through is ministrations this church, his gift to Maitland, has become to many a wayfarer the Gate of Heaven.”
For more information on the history of the Chapel please visit our Resources page.
The Episcopal Church is a national church that finds its roots in the dawn of Christianity in the British Isles. By some accounts, Christianity was brought to England as early as 37 AD when the country was still part of the Roman Empire. Romano-British bishops are recorded as attending some of the very early councils of the Church in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. By the 7th century the scattered Christian communities came under the authority of the Pope in Rome through the evangelistic work of St Augustine of Canterbury who had been sent to England by Pope Gregory.
By the 16th century the English church became autonomous and became known as the Church of England. The Bible (previously only available in Latin) and an order for worship, called the Book of Common Prayer, became available in English. During this time worship services, according to the Book of Common Prayer were held in San Francisco Bay by the chaplain to Sir Francis Drake (The Prayer Book Cross at the summit of Golden Gate Park commemorates the event). A few years later Book of Common Prayer services were held in the Jamestown Colony of Virginia.
After the American Revolution, the Church of England churches scattered throughout the former colonies formed an American denomination that became known as The Episcopal Church. The Book of Common Prayer authorized for use in the American church was almost identical to the one that had been used since the 17th century in the Church of England.
The Episcopal Church continues to maintain ties to the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury as a member of the Anglican Communion which comprises provinces and churches in 165 countries around the world. Because of our history, those coming from Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Methodist traditions will find in our worship services some similarities to those with which they are familiar.