Our History

Good Shepherd has a long and rich past. Read through our historical timeline and revisit events and milestones from our past.

“Remember the days of old, Consider the years of all generations.  Ask your father, and he will inform you, Your elders, and they will tell you.”

Deuteronomy 32:7


In 1957, the Hamilton Conference of the Canada Synod of the United Lutheran Church in America established three new missions out of Redeemer Lutheran Church. The first services of Good Shepherd mission church were held at George Anderson Public School.

March 30, 1958

March 30, 1958, 60 adults and 23 children signed the Charter. The formal organization took place on May 25, 1958. Later that year, the congregation voted to purchase the parsonage at 12 Woodridge Court and the church site on Lawrence Ave. West. The blessing of the church site and ground breaking service washeld in October 1959, with the laying of the cornerstone in February 1960.

May 1958 to August 1966

Rev. Wallace Minke served as pastor from May 1958 to August 1966.

May 1967 to January 1977

Rev. Peeter Vanker served as pastor from May 1967 to January 1977.

May 1969

In May 1969, the congregation sold the back portion of its property and became self-supporting.

Spring 1976 to August 1977

Seminarian Henry Schaper served the congregation through a special internship program from Spring 1976 to August 1977.

September 1977 to November 1980

Rev. Wilfred Myra served as pastor from September 1977 to November 1980.

March 1981 to September 1991

Rev. Kenn Ward served as pastor from March 1981 to September 1991, and was an integral part in the development of our current building and property, in partnership with Ontario Federation of Cerebral Palsy.


By the mid-1980’s,the congregation had begun to investigate ways to minister more effectively to the community by developing their property. In the fall of 1988, Good Shepherd began taking part in the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Dialogue with St.David’s Anglican Church. In May 1990, the congregations of Good Shepherd and St. David’s signed a covenant agreeing to: participate in joint worship services, display bulletins/newsletters of each other’s congregation, plan joint educational programs, and share facilities.

December 1991 to January 1993

Rev. J.R. Bestvater served as interim part-time pastor from December 1991 to January 1993.

May 1992

In May 1992 the congregation celebrated the last service in their old building and the following week demolition took place and construction of the new building began. The congregation shared worship facilities with St. David’s Anglican Church where they have been worshipping until completion of the new building September 19th, 1993.

October 1993 to November 1995

Rev. Rasma Caune served as pastor from October 1993 to November 1995, however because of Financial constraints, the congregation decided to return to part-time minister employment.

January 1996 to November 2008

Rev. Martti Hyhko served as pastor from January 1996 to November 1st, 2008. During his ministry, the congregation celebrated our 40th Anniversary and in May 2008 the congregation celebrated our 50th anniversary, for which he and his wife Seija were an integral part in organizing and celebrating.

December 2008

Rev. Dr. Peeter Vanker was appointed interim pastor December 1st, 2008, and continues to minister to the congregation on a part-time basis. In addition, Pastor Goddy Hodanu, from Cameroon, is serving as assistant to Pastor Vanker, conducting worship services, bible studies, and congregational visitations, as required.

November 2011

November 20th, 2011 the congregation voted unanimously to sever its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and has applied for formal association with the Canadian Association of Lutheran Congregations (CALC). We are in the process of calling a part-time Pastor.

September 2012

September 1st, 2012 Rev. Goddy Hodanu called as Pastor for a 2 year term on a part-time basis.

December 2014

On December 7, 2014, members of the congregation voted overwhelmingly to ratify Council’s approval and recommendation to call Rev. Goddy Hodanu as our permanent part time pastor. We were exceedingly glad that he had accepted this call

March 2016

On March 27, 2016, Pastor Goddy tendered his resignation to pursue further full time theological studies. This announcement came as a surprise but it was understandable that he must move on to “greener pastures” to fulfil his desire for a better, perhaps, permanent calling. We wish him every success, God’s blessings and thank him

Fall of 2016

Fall of 2016, The President of the Canadian Association of Lutheran Congregations (CALC), Rev Edward P. Skutshek introduced Mr. Gary Braeuer,a candidate for ordination and ministry in The North American Lutheran Church ( NALC) to the leadership of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of The Good Shepherd’s congregation. Hence, talks commenced between Candidate Braeuer and our congregation.He began providing supply preaching in the fall of 2016. The people of our congregation responded most favorably to Candidate Braeuer’s desire for dual rostering with CALC ministry. Our congregation extended a two year term, part time call to Candidate Braeuer which he accepted on December 11, 2016. The Letter of Call specified Candidate Braeuer’s desire for dual rostering between CALC and NALC. Good Shepherd congregation council took the necessary steps in the fulfillment of Candidate Braeuer’s desire for dual rostering, specifically, by applying for membership in NALC since there are no NALC congregations in Ontario. Moreover, clergy are increasingly seeking roster in more than one church body and the governing documents of both CALC and NALC allow member congregations to maintain membership in other church bodies.