Phone: (865) 687-9420

Open Christianity • Open Hearts • Open Minds • Lead us to God

Real Stories. Real People.

Here are two short responses from individuals who came to Good Shepherd and decided to stay.


Why am I here?


I was reluctant to attend any church for a long time. I had been unhappy with organized religion for years - it was all about the money and fear of God. Then one day I was invited to attend a Men’s Club meeting at Good Shepherd. I went and found people that welcomed me – without question. Without question of my past, my beliefs and mostly without questions of “Would I join? Huh, huh, would I?”


I attended a service soon thereafter and felt uncomfortable about the ceremony and pageantry. Not uncomfortable because others were looking at me or thinking I’m some yutz, but uncomfortable because of my upbringings, strong Southern Baptist, and I didn’t have a clue why everyone stood, bowed, kneeled, crossed themselves, all at different times. The kneeling I got, it’s just prayer. But again, I was welcomed.


Over the years, I’ve walked the labyrinth, attended Seder meals, had Mardi Gras parties and, yes, even had real wine at some of these events. I’ve sat on the Watch with Jesus and tried to envision the weight of all our sins for all time on one man in one instant. I prefer the talk of Jesus’ love and God’s giving instead of the fear and God’s anger. I like the fact I am encouraged and facilitated in my search for spiritual growth.


As I’m sure with each and every parishioner, my history at the church is much more. But for that, you’ll have to join us and ask. Ask around for others' stories until you find me. I hope to meet you soon.


Why am I here?


As recent new arrival to Knoxville, my wife and I were looking for a church that would be a great place for our infant son and us. We visited a number of Episcopal churches, - Good Shepherd immediately hit us as a friendly, warm community.


As we got to know the church better, we found a church committed to the journey of faith for us as parents and for our son. Godly Play is a great program that we started him in even though we had doubts about how much a 2-year-old would get out of it. He loves it and enjoys the program.


Charles has brought new energy to Good Shepherd and the congregation has responded. We know that Good Shepherd will be our church family for years to come.


Want to read more stories?


We would love to add your story of  “Why am I here?” to our site. If you’d like to share, please email your story to us.



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