In the 1970’s and ’80’s the suburban communities around Winston-Salem were growing fast. Seeing an opportunity for growth itself, the Southern Province responded to the west with a new church called Unity in the Lewisville area. And then the Province turned to the east and the Kernersville area.
At first the Sedge Garden area between Winston-Salem and Kernersville was considered, but after several meetings there in 1986 little interest was shown. After consulting with long-established Kernersville Moravian Church, the Province was drawn to the suburban lands to the north of Kernersville on Kerner Road. There the Province saw good prospects for a new Moravian church, and in 1987 it called Lane Sapp, who was still in seminary, to be organizing pastor.
After graduating that May, Br. Sapp set to work in the community. A 4.4-acre site was purchased. The name Good Shepherd was approved, and the first service was held on October 4 at Kernersville Elementary School on West Mountain Street. Services were weekly at the school until a church could be built.
Special gifts poured in to the infant congregation — coffee cups from Olivet’s Women’s Fellowship and Kernersville’s Advent Enrichment Class, a Moravian seal from Mr. and Mrs. Ben Fishel, Jr., coffee pots from Richard Shouse and Mr. and Mrs. George Fisher, and an organ from Rural Hall.
Groundbreaking for the church was on April 17, 1988, and after the first service in the new building on November 6, it was dedicated that November 13. Meanwhile, a petition for full church status was approved, and charter Sunday was celebrated on February 12, 1989.
Good Shepherd has taken an active part in its growing neighborhood by providing space for homeowners associations to meet, sponsoring a Daisy Girl Scout troop, and holding Vacation Bible School.
Being surrounded by new and growing communities, Good Shepherd has drawn a number of people who were not affiliated with a church, and it has offered “a fresh place for these families to plant their roots and grow along with other members.”
And true to Moravian tradition, founding pastor Lane Sapp said, “We plan on making tradition as we grow.”*
* In 2018 this congregation is now closed.