A Rich and Progressive History!
Church of the Good Shepherd (COGS) is a dynamic congregation with a rich history and an exciting ministry in the community.
Our church is a part of a blend of four major Protestant denominations that united together in 1957 to form the United Church of Christ. We claim the early Pilgrim and Puritan settlers of this country as part of our heritage, and celebrate the words of Pastor John Robinson, who in his farewell remarks to the Pilgrims as they were leaving for the “new world,” said,
“There is still more light and truth to break forth from God’s holy word.”
Chartered in 1959, Church of the Good Shepherd was founded in the early days of the United Church of Christ, striving to be a progressive Christian presence in the rapidly expanding Northeast Heights of Albuquerque. From the beginning, a strong music program, children’s and adult education and service in the community have been the hallmarks of our life and ministry.
We first worshipped in a dance studio near Menaul at Wyoming. Hauling everything we needed into and out of the space each time we met, we longed to have a space of our own. We soon completed our first building, a red brick, round church, located on Juan Tabo at Brentwood.
When both sides of Juan Tabo became a commercial district, we decided to move. We wanted a more residential setting. Our present location (near Tramway at Paseo del Norte) was acquired in 1985, when Tramway was a two-lane, dirt road. The site affords us a stunning view of Sandia Crest from our worship space, and gives us “room to grow” as we live into God’s call for us in this time and place.
Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace. Together, we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our communities. The UCC’s many “firsts” mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith. When we read in Galatians: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus”—a demand is made upon us. And so we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement. Our response to the demands of our faith is woven into the history of our country.
Church of the Good Shepherd is proud to be a part of United Church of Christ!