MCCORMICK—Good Shepherd Church celebrated a belated 50th anniversary on April 26 with a picnic, but parishioners have been celebrating their beliefs in the small rural community since the late 1800s.
According to a church history, it was the arrival of the McGrath family from County Cork, Ireland, that heralded the Catholic presence. By the early 1900s, the number of people wanting to attend Mass had grown to about 40, and services were held in homes or other local churches.
In the 1960s, the group asked Bishop Francis F. Reh if they could have a church. The bishop purchased approximately 18 acres on S.C. Highway 221 in February 1963.
Good Shepherd was founded as a mission in 1964 by Bishop Reh. For more than 40 years, members worshipped in a building that was once Our Lady of Lourdes in Greenwood. The building was lifted and towed 30 miles along country roads to its new home in McCormick.
Parishioners soon outgrew the small structure, so they raised more than $620,000 to build a new one. Those dedicated people were also the volunteers who painted the building, laid the carpeting and flooring, and even built the altar. Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone dedicated the new worship space in 2010. The old church was converted into a rectory. Parishioners also did much of the work on that project.
The bishop elevated the mission to church status in 2012.
Many members of Good Shepherd are retirees who live in the nearby Savannah Lakes community, and have helped the parish grow into a vibrant community. Parish activities include men’s and women’s clubs, a prison ministry, prayer shawl ministry, and other community outreach projects. In recent years, Good Shepherd has also added a parish life center, a columbarium, and a rosary and prayer garden.
Good Shepherd Church currently has more than 160 registered families. Father Robert Sayer, pastor, was appointed in February 2014.
Read more about the church history at goodshepherdmccormick.com.
Related: Good Shepherd Mission in McCormick grows into a church (Jan. 25, 2012)
Photos provided: Top, Lynn Yeaster and Dae Probst compete in the corn hole toss. Above, Father Robert Sayer throws a bocce ball.