In 1984, the James O’Connell family donated 10 acres from their homestead for the building of a Catholic church. The mission community became known as Good Shepherd Church, and the pastors of Our Lady of Mercy Church continued to serve both communities. Parishioners in King began the formal process of building their church in 1986 by developing a parish mission statement and parish profile.
In August 1987, Jesuit Father Thomas Gaunt was named pastor of St. Benedict the Moor Church in Winston-Salem, and Good Shepherd Church has been served by pastors from that parish since that time. The Catholic community began the first construction phase in 1988, which led to the building of a church facility including reception and classroom areas. In November 1989, then-Bishop John F. Donoghue dedicated the building that could accommodate 95 people.
A growing religious education program prompted the need for a small classroom building to be added to the property. Good Shepherd Church celebrated the elimination of the church debt in November 1997, and in January 1998, the Diocese of Charlotte granted
permission to initiate the next phase of development.
By 1998, the Catholic community in King was comprised of parishioners from Stokes, Forsyth, Surry and Yadkin counties. Promoting a hospitable family atmosphere with an emphasis on youth, Good Shepherd Church developed an active religious education program, youth group and participation by youth in the liturgies. Members of all ages became involved in a variety of community outreach programs.
A steady increase in the congregation over the years demanded a larger facility; during the holidays, the mission had to use the local elementary school gymnasium to accommodate everyone for Mass. The capital campaign to expand the church began in 2000 and construction began in 2002.
To stay within budget, the church utilized available materials from other churches, such as Stations of the Cross from St. Benedict the Moor Church and pews from Holy Cross Church in Kernersville. The new altar was crafted from lumber of a fallen tree in a parishioner’s yard. Bad weather delayed the original December dedication ceremony, but on April 28, 2003, Bishop Emeritus William G. Curlin presided over the dedication of the expanded Good Shepherd Church. The old church became the narthex for the new Good Shepherd Church, which has four times the space and can accommodate more than 400 people.
Like any community, Good Shepherd’s parish family has fluctuated over the years. We currently have approximately 120 registered families. Our pastor, Father Anthony Forte has traveled a great distance to lead the congregation of Good Shepherd…all the way from New Jersey!!
Fr. Forte has brought a great love for the faith and excitement about the future of Good Shepherd Church. Join us for Adoration, Mass and a pot luck dinner on Wednesday evenings, or Vigil or Sunday Mass. We look forward to seeing you~