WHO WE ARE TODAY...
Good Shepherd strives to be a modern church maintaining relevancy in an ever-changing world. We continue to keep our large building up and running so the congregation and the community have space to gather. In addition, we are in the midst of a massive project to fix our iconic clock tower. To find out more about that project please visit the Save Our Boyertown Clock Foundation page.
Good Shepherd continues to be part of the United Church of Christ. Geographically we are located in the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference (PSEC). We host many meetings and events for our conference and our associate pastor and youth are active in the PSEC youth programs. To learn more about the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference click here.
The United Church of Christ is a still-speaking church. Our congregations across the globe are drawn together by the Holy Spirit, we are a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church, joining faith and action. If you want to know more about Good Shepherd's denominational affiliation, United Church of Christ, click here.
AND NOW, A BIT OF HISTORY....
In 1811 Rev. Lebrecht Frederick Herman was asked by the Synod of the German Reformed Church to accept the pastorate of a new congregation in Boyers, the name of the settlement of Boyertown at the time. This church joined Falkner Swamp and Pottstown as one of the early Reformed Churches in our region. The first service at the Boyers Reformed Church included 57 members andby 1820 membership grew to 97.
In 1811 the church became a “joint church”, sharing its facilities with the adjacent Lutheran congregation. By 1934 the congregation became known as the Reformed Church of Boyertown. In 1851 a steeple was added to the structure which housed a bell originally cast in England in 1764. This bell is now located in the Berks County Historical Society Museum in Reading, PA.
By 1871 church membership grew so much that our church could no longer share the building with the Lutheran church . On April 30, 1874 the new cornerstone was laid for a larger building. The cost of this two-story building was approximately $35,000 and the new sanctuary on the second floor held around 600 people. The first service in that building was held on November 1, 1874 and was conducted in German. At the time of construction, the church had a membership of approximately 400.
The church also changed its name in 1874 to “The Reformed Church of the Good Shepherd of Boyertown, Pennsylvania”. This name, however, would not show in the church constitution until 1912. In the early 1900s, the church participated as one of four in Boyertown churches in the very popular Sunday School Picnic. These events ran annually until 1943.
In 1918 the towering steeple of the church was closed and replaced two years later by an operating clock which continues to be a famous landmark for the community. The first time the clock ran was 2:30 pm on July 10th, 1920. This project cost $6,000, which was raised by the community.
The congregation decided to enlarge the church in 1923 with the addition of a two-story structure added to the east side of the original church. The project was completed in March of 1924. On the opening day of the addition, three services were held at the church with over 1,500 people attending! The project cost over $78,000 and resulted in one of the largest auditoriums in Berks County at the time.
With the union of the Reformed Church in the Unites States and the Evangelical Synod of North America on June 26, 1934, forming the Evangelical and Reformed Church, the congregation used the name “The Church of the Good Shepherd, Evangelical and Reformed, Boyertown, Pa”. This name was officially adopted in the 1951 constitution.
A new Estey pipe organ was installed in the church in March of 1940 $2,000. This organ remained active until it was replaced in 1980 with a new Allen 3 manual computerized digital organ.
The Civil Defense Corps was given the permission to use the basement of the church if necessary during World War II. Three hundred and three members of the church congregation served in the armed forces during this war. Also during the war, generous contributions were mad to War Emergency Relief and World Service. In memory and honor of those serving in World War II, $12,947.87 in church improvements and renovations were made.
Additional improvements and expansions occurred at the church as the congregation grew. In 1952 the church Sunday School rooms were renovated.
The United Church of Christ was formed when two Protestant churches, the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches united in 1957. The church name became The Church of the Good Shepherd, United Church of Christ (which we over shorten to Good Shepherd UCC).
In 1965 a project led by the congregation provided renovations to the sanctuary including new paint, new carpet, and new pews manufactured by the Boyertown Planing Mill. Over one hundred men and women from the church and neighboring churches volunteered during this project. Twenty-three businesses also contributed free services and materials to the project which cost over $21,000. The construction of a Christian Education Wing commenced in 1970. This project also provided an elevator and new carpet.