GOOD SHEPHERD CHURCH OF CHRIST, DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, INC.
And He said unto them, Go ye into the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16: 15, 16
In 1973, The Glorious Church of Macedonia closed. The Pastor and all members left, with the exception of Mother Lillian Jones-Beard and Brothers George and Raymond Marshall.
Mother Jones-Beard and Mother Mattie Ingram (oldest sister to Elder Andrew H. Brown-founding Pastor) were long-time friends and prayer partners. Mother Beard consulted with her friend, Mother Ingram concerning the situation. As a result, Mo. Ingram told Mo. Beard that she knew of a God chosen Gospel preacher whom she believed would come to Newark, NJ and re-establish the congregation and stand firm for the Lord. The two God-fearing women prayed. After the prayer, Mo. Beard asked Mo. Ingram to call Eld. Brown and present the situation. Eld. Brown agreed to come to Newark to look into the matter. At the time, Elder Brown was an Associate Minister at the St. Paul Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ (DOC), Brooklyn, NY. His pastor was the late Bishop William Johnson, who was Presiding Bishop of the Northeastern District Assembly at that the time.
In May of 1973, two meetings were held with much discussion. In June, a third meeting was held at which time, Eld. Brown made it clear that he was an Associate Minister of the Church of Christ and a part of the Northeastern District Assembly (NEDA). He further stated that he would only pastor a Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ congregation and once the church was organized, he would then present the body to the NEDA for acceptance.
Mother Beard and Mo. Ingram stated that they were in agreement with the plan and asked Eld. Brown and his family (wife, Geraldine Brown and their 10 year old daughter, Tonya ‘Candy’ Brown (Stowe) to go ahead with the mission and that they would help in whatever way they could.
Being a praying man, Eld. Brown prayed before each meeting. He realized that this was a huge undertaking and he could not go forward without consulting the Lord. As a result, after receiving consent from the landlord, Mr. McCane, to use the 891 Hunterdon Street location, we went into this little building to pray and ask the God’s guidance. God’s Holy Spirit truly visited us and we did rejoice! Eld Brown expressed that he believed in his heart that this was a great opportunity to make some Disciples for Christ!
Mr. McCane informed us of the need for much renovation of the little one room building, before we could hold service. The following week, Eld. Brown and his wife, Mo. Brown, went to work repairing the place. They were not working alone for very long before the Lord sent them help. It seemed like help was coming from everywhere! They replaced the floor, installed panels, repaired the bath room, painted, purchased a piano, tables, seats, books and other needed materials. It wasn’t long before our first little Good Shepherd Church sign with the Order of Service for the outside went up.
Having been reminded of the Scripture (St. John 10:11) “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” Eld. Brown asked that the church’s name be: “The Good Shepherd Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ.” The name was so fitting and everyone was happy with it.
On Sunday, July 8, 1973, the Spirit of the Lord moved on this small flock and the Good Shepherd Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ was officially established. Conducting the first Divine Worship Service was Eld. Andrew H. Brown, Pastor, his wife, Mo. Geraldine Brown and their 10 year old daughter, Tonya Brown Stowe, standing supportively at his side.
At the conclusion of the Sermon, a Call to Discipleship was extended. Eight (8) people joined the Church. Good Shepherd’s First Member was and still is Sis. Willie Mae Cummings, followed by Karen Cummings, Mo. Gathern Wright, Doreen Martin (Wiley), Barbara Evans, James N. Cooper and little Tonya C. Brown (Stowe).
Sunday, September 12, 1973, a blessing and dream came true for Mo. Beard and Mo. Ingram when Bishop William Johnson came to Good Shepherd to install the Pastor, Eld. Andrew H. Brown and to dedicate the church. St. Paul came in great numbers to support and rejoice with their brothers and sisters in Christ. There were more people on the outside than could fit into our building. We could not seat them, but when Bishop Johnson came forth with the “Word of God,” it was just as spirited outside as inside.
God continued to smile on Good Shepherd. During the 41st Annual NEDA, which convened on Thursday morning,
September 12, 1973, Good Shepherd COC, DOC, became an official member of the NEDA; accomplishing one of its important goals. Good Shepherd holds the distinction of being the last church to be accepted into the NEDA under the administration of Bishop William Johnson, several days before his death.
Good Shepherd accomplished another goal. On September 10, 1973, the church was incorporated and placed on file at the Essex County Clerk’s Office. However, an amendment was added due to error in category of our filing. This error was discovered by our legal representation, Stein & Weiss and corrected. The amendment was filed October 28, 1988.
God moves in mysterious ways. On October 9, 1973, our beloved Bishop William Johnson was called home and Good Shepherd felt the lost. The church did not falter, but continued to look to the Lord for guidance.
The church remained at 891 Hunterdon Street for three (3) years. In the meantime, Eld. Brown’s goal was to have a place the church could call their own. Therefore, a search was put into place. The search led us to 282 So. Orange Avenue in Newark. On Sunday, November 21, 1976, Good Shepherd marched into our new Church home. Presiding Bishop George W. Johnson of the NEDA, performed the dedication service on March 6, 1977. Many members from the NEDA were present. The Lord blessed spiritually as well as financially.
Because God is good, he blessed Good Shepherd with people with a mind to work and we were able to form the following auxiliaries: the Missionary Circle, Sunday School Dept., the Willing Workers Club, the Adult and Young People’s Choirs. Also, the Usher Board, Nurse’s Unit, Pastor’s Aid Committee and Male Chorus. Wednesday night was set aside for Prayer Service and Bible Study. Pastor Brown appointed Sis. Erica Smith (Field) to serve as our “Church News “ paper Reporter.
Good Shepherd cannot forget Missionary Washington from 1973-1976. She worked in the field, encouraging, giving and bringing people to the Good Shepherd Church. Due to her calling and her answering her call,, she was able to lead many souls to Christ through Pastor Brown’s preaching and teaching. Nor can we forget Mo. Lilly Brown (1976-2001), who worked diligently and faithfully for Good Shepherd’s Baptismal Pool, installed in 1989.
We are eternally grateful to: St. Paul COC, DOC, where the late Elder Edward McCall was Pastor; to Emmanuel COC, DOC, where the late Bishop HN Foy was Pastor; St. Mark COC, DOC, where the late Dr. Hazel K. Slade was Pastor; Bethel COC, DOC, where the late Bishop Herman Rouse was Pastor. Their doors had always been opened to us for our Baptisms.
When Good Shepherd hosted other functions such as the Union, Assemblies, Conventions and did not have space to accommodate the numbers, St. Paul, Emmanuel and St. Mark readily made themselves available.
Due to Urban Renewal, Good Shepherd was forced to relocate again. We know the hand of God was in the Plan-for when the transaction was completed at 282 So. Orange Avenue, a more suitable church edifice was just waiting for us. On December 19, 1988, Good Shepherd Church “closed title” on the premises at 534 Springfield Avenue, Newark, NJ, where we presently reside. Our new church home was dedicated on Sunday April 1, 1990 by our then Presiding Bishop of the NEDA, Bishop Harold N. Foy, Pastor of Emmanuel COC, DOC.
Good Shepherd was able to reach out and get involved with the community at our new location. Community Out Reach labored in Distribution of Government Surplus Food; “Sun-Up” a breakfast and lunch program incorporated with our Vacation Bible School for neighborhood youth during their summer vacation; Street Ministry and “Share” Program. Good Shepherd, also operated a Soup Kitchen for the homeless in the neighborhood. At Christmastime, baskets of food were given to the needy.
Good Shepherd proudly wears the reputation of accepting anybody and everybody. No matter what the condition, Pastor Brown would say “Come! The Word of God has the answer for you.” Many came and today, a number of families are living Godly, productive lives. We give God the Praise!
February 1, 1994, at 10:05 PM, at St. Michael’s Hospital in Newark, the Lord called Pastor Andrew H. Brown from labour to reward. Good Shepherd was now faced with a test unlike any that we had faced in the past. However, the Lord was with us—–He was our Strength. Assistant Pastor, Elder Andrew J. Boomer, Jr., continued to walk faithfully. In 1994, Elder Boomer was elected Acting Pastor after the Homegoing Service of our beloved Elder Brown. After one (1) year as Acting Pastor, out of respect to Elder Brown and his work, Elder Boomer was elected Pastor. He was officially installed as Pastor, Sunday afternoon, March 26, 1995 at our 3:30 PM service by Dr. Marvin Creech, Presiding Bishop of the NEDA. Bishop Creech, also delivered the Sermon of Installation.
Pastor Boomer is carrying the torch that Elder Brown carried for twenty-one (21) years and six (6) months.
Since 1994, the History of Good Shepherd is still being made. The church continues to go forward. Pastor Boomer, with much prayer and fasting, with the help of our Divine Savior, has kept the doors open and on target—–Winning Souls to Christ, preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The same Gospel that our late founding Pastor, Elder Andrew H. Brown preached for over 21 years. The same Gospel that was given to the Disciples by Jesus Christ Himself, over two thousand ago.
Bishop Boomer served as Treasurer of the Northeastern District Assembly for 18 years, under two Bishops Harold N. Foy and Marvin Creech (both now deceased). On September 16, 2006, our very own Elder Andrew J. Boomer, Jr. was elected by the Northeastern District Assembly as Vice Bishop to Bishop Leonard E. Brown (Antioch CoC, DoC-NY), as Presiding Bishop; Sis. Porsha Armstrong (St. Paul CoC, DoC-NY), Secretary; Sis. Ivestia Blake (Antioch CoC, DoC-NY), Asst. Secretary; Bro. Dorsey Spencer,
(Gospel Temple CoC, DoC-NY) Treasurer.
On September 15, 2010, after much fasting and praying, Bishop Boomer was elected to the office of Presiding Bishop; Bishop Darryl Rouse, (Jerusalem CoC, DoC-MD) Vice; Sis. Porsha Armstrong, Secretary; Sis. Ivestia Blake, Asst. Secretary; Bro. Dorsey Spencer, Treasurer.
In September 14, 2014, Bishop Boomer was re-elected as Presiding Bishop of the Northeastern District Assembly. His staff: Bishop Darryl Rouse, (New Generation CoC, DoC) Vice; Sis. Ivestia Blake, Secretary; Sis. Jamara Stevenson, Asst. Secretary; Bro. Dorsey Spencer, Treasurer.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
To carry missionary and evangelistic work at both home and foreign missions in obedience to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Mark 16:15, 16)
To create departments as may be necessary to establish places of worship, to spread the Gospel, (including but not limited to educational, recreational, community, and social services). (Acts 6:1-7)
To license ministers of the Gospel and be their covering (1Thes.5:12; 2 Thes. 2:15; 3:4; Heb. 13:17)