Steadfast in a Shifting Tide: New Location for Good Shepherd

Little boy in front of Good Shepherd sign

By The Rev. Will Klauber, Rector, Church of the Good Shepherd, Charleston

Charleston S.C. (September 14, 2023) As you may know, early this summer we were informed that the SC Supreme Court formally denied our petition for rehearing, effectively handing our buildings and property over to the Episcopal Church. We were the final church to hear this news, and in the few short months since the opinion was finalized what has happened has been nothing less than a miraculous series of divine interventions.

Soon to be nomads, we immediately began contacting and meeting with churches and businesses in our corner of West Ashley. After speaking with several pastors of churches located within two miles of the building, Pastor Joe Warring and the congregation at Northbridge Baptist Church were empathetic to our situation. They were quick to boldly and prayerfully step out in faith, as they saw our mission and vision to be worthwhile and consistent with their own. Their congregation voted unanimously to partner with us in an effort to work together and see the Kingdom of God grow. We reached agreements to be able to worship in their sanctuary on Sunday afternoons at 4 p.m., and move our day school into their education building, which once housed a K-12 Christian school.

Although the school closed 15 years ago, the education building was still being used for their Children’s ministries on Sunday mornings. So now, every Friday we stow much of the resources in our Tots and 2K classes so Northbridge can use those spaces. The partnership has started strong, and I can only attribute that to God preparing the way. He has certainly ordered our steps and has not left us wanting.

While Northbridge could meet our day school and worship needs, we were still in need of office space for our staff. Thanks to the kindness of the Rev. Jeff Miller and the leadership at St. Philip’s, Charleston, we have been provided office space at 25 Cumberland Street, right next to our brothers and sisters from Holy Trinity. The Lord has provided us a constant reminder we are not alone.

In this whole transition, the support we have received from brothers and sisters throughout the diocese has been incredible. In our last Sunday at Miles Drive, and our first at Northbridge, we were graced by clergy from Church of the Cross, Bluffton; St. Helena’s, Beaufort; Holy Trinity Anglican, Charleston; St. Alban’s, the Citadel; Christ Church Anglican, Mt Pleasant; and Old St. Andrew’s, Charleston, the latter of which provided the food for a glorious meal following the last service on Miles Drive.

The amount of support we have received in this transition has been truly overwhelming and humbling, but if this is the highlight of our journey then we are in trouble.

Recently, my wife Sara and I were reflecting upon our personal experience in ministry. She pointed out that the entire time we have been in some state of flux. From my start in youth ministry until now, we have never felt we were in a position or place that was long term.

We knew my time in youth and summer camp ministry would not last forever, and our time church planting just out of seminary was transitional. The past three years at Good Shepherd have always had a great deal of instability about them.

As a friend and fellow clergyman said recently, the Lord has ‘uniquely equipped’ us for the challenges at hand. Uniquely equipped to stabilize in the midst of instability and uncertainty, remain steadfast against a rapidly shifting tide, and lead the people of our parish well in the midst of great tribulation. We have been called to leave our home to follow God out into the wilderness knowing He will provide for us a new home, as he did with Abraham and Sarah. We could never do this without the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit which was clearly and liberally poured out upon our congregation. We could never have done this alone either. The ways in which our Baptist brethren, and the churches in the diocese have sacrificially given in order that we might succeed have showed us that the love of Christ is literally and tangibly present in the people of our diocese. For this, I am truly grateful.

For now, we rest. The Lord has provided us a place to tabernacle while we wait on the plans for our new home to come together. Not apart from our brothers and sisters, but with them in partnership for the Gospel, in the hope that we might see God’s Kingdom come here on earth. Thank you for your prayers, your help moving, and your encouragement along the way. It has made this trial into a season of hopeful expectation. We know that wherever we are gathered together, God is with us. Even in this uncertainty, God has, is, and will be glorified. To Him be the glory and honor, as he has provided a way forward for his children at Good Shepherd.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]