In May of 1960, the Board of Directors of the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod extended a call to Rev. Harley E. Meyer, to serve as missionary-at-large to organize a congregation in Madison Township, New Jersey. On September 22, 1960, a planning council was organized to administer the congregation’s business and eight men attended. Then on the first Sunday in October, 1960, 109 children and adults (30 families) attended the first worship service held at Alan B. Shephard, Jr., School (then called Public School 18) on Bushnell Road. The parsonage was dedicated during the third worship service.
A land committee recommended the purchase of 17 acres of the Gaub Estate on Routes 9 & 516 in March 1961. The following November, this land was bought for the future church building. During the first year, the congregation numbered 250 baptized and 65 communicant members. While waiting for the construction of a new church, the congregation rented space at Madison Township High School (what is now Carl Sandburg Middle School) for worship services. In March 1965, ground was broken for the new church building, and construction began in May, 1965. The new church building, fellowship hall and an education wing, were dedicated October 31, 1965.
In 1969, Pastor Meyer accepted a call to go back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After a vacancy of more than a year, Rev. William Mitschke accepted the call to be pastor of Good Shepherd in January 1970, and served for over six years until September 1, 1976, when he accepted a call to Joliet, Illinois. While Pastor Mitschke was here the congregation grew to over 350 baptized members. His all-around youth work and interest in God’s people proved a real boon to the effort here at Good Shepherd.
In March 1977, Pastor Norman L. Johnson accepted the call to come here after serving nine years in the inner-city of New Jersey. Good Shepherd continues to grow with over 600 members.
Because of increased size in the Sunday School programs and our Children’s Center, a new education wing was opened and dedicated in September, 2004.
Pastor Johnson retired in November 2004.
Pastor Paul A. Voitko served Good Shepherd as our interim Pastor from January 2005 through January 2006. He had a distinguished career of 40 years in ministry in Toms River. Since retiring from there, he served as interim pastor at several churches.
In January 2006, Pastor William Qualman was installed as our Pastor. He served Good Shepherd through September 2010.
In fall 2008, Pastor Ebenezer (Ben) Mallepalle was installed as our Assistant Pastor.
Pastor Dale Johnston served Good Shepherd as one of our interim Pastors.
In February 2013, Pastor Phil Ressler accepted the call to come here, and was installed on May 5, 2013.