Our Brethren Heritage

Steeped in history, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church had the distinction of being the oldest organized congregation of the United Brethern Church west of the Alleghany Mountains. It had a continuous history of existence since 1806, with its first meeting in the home of Andrew Zeller. Zeller, the founder of the church, organized the “class” which became Germantown United Brethren Church.

Several locations have been home for Good Shepherd. The first meeting house, 1817, was built on Zeller’s farm, on the East Side of Twin Creek.

Warren StWarren Street

A brick church was built on Warren Street in 1829. Additions were made to this structure in 1849, including a new bell. Two General Conferences of the United Brethren Church were held at the church, including in 1837 when the denominations constitution was proposed and ratified. The pulpit which the constitution was signed and an old cooper ball that once rested atop the tower, are now located at the United Brethren Historical Center. (Legend has it that the copper ball was shot at the church during the Civil War by a group of local copperheads protesting the United Brethren stand on slavery.)


Cherry StCherry Street

The church experienced significant growth, which prompted the construction of a new building on Cherry Street in 1879 at the cost of ten thousand dollars. When the denomination split in 1889, some moved back to the Warren Street building, including Bishop Milton Wright, father of Orville and Wilbur Wright, who eventually flew their first flying machine in 1903.

It is believed the Sunday school started in the Warren Street location around 1835. Classes such as the “Helping Hands”, “Willing Workers”, “Good Fellowship”, and educational classes for all ages were available.

In 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren and the Methodist denominations merged. At that point the Cherry Street Church became Good Shepherd United Methodist Church.


Good Shepherd Timeline


Click here to find out about our Methodist Heritage.