The congregation took root as a mission in 1884 with a diocesan missionary appointed by the bishop. After his tenure, four more priests served the mission that became Good Shepherd. Initially, members met at the skating rink, the Parish Courthouse, the Knights of Pythias Hall, and the Masonic Hall before occupying their own frame building on Hodges Street. Plans were soon underway to build a more substantial building, and in 1894, the Ladies Guild purchased the land on Kirkman Street where the church now stands. In 1896 the mission became a parish and The Rev. Joseph H. Spearing became the first of sixteen rectors. Of that number, two became bishops, the late Rt. Rev. Iverson B. Noland, eighth Bishop of Louisiana, and the Rt. Rev. John B. Lipscomb, retired Bishop of Southwest Florida.
Good Shepherd is located in the historic Charpentier District of downtown Lake Charles. A gothic-style building of light gray sandstone was built and dedicated in 1897, but the disastrous West Indian hurricane of 1918 destroyed much of that building. Services continued temporarily at Temple Sinai while the church was rebuilt. A side wing was added to the south side of the church in 1920, and a parish hall, now Hardtner Hall, was attached to that in 1926. The tower (part of the original plans) was finally built on the northwest corner of the church in 1953, and a 1,000 pound bronze bell made by Petit-pritzen Bellmakers of Holland was installed the following year. To the east, office space, Sunday school rooms, and a gymnasium were built. More recent additions are the Chapel of the Resurrection, the columbarium and a covered portico. In 1984 the church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Good Shepherd began the Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School in 1953 and over time acquired additional property in adjacent blocks for the school. Beginning with a kindergarten, the school now serves children from two years old through the eight grades with future hopes of a Junior/Senior High School on recently purchased property south of Lake Charles.
10:30 Holy Communion - Rite 2 -715 Kirkman Street - Church of the Good Shepherd