Our Synod Authorized Minister is Wilma Garing

The Synod has appointed Wilma Garing as a SAM acting as a part time pastor for Good Shepherd.

What is a SAM? A SAM is a Synod Authorized Minister who is authorized to function in the role of a pastor in the congregation to which they are appointed. A SAM is allowed to preach and teach the word, administer the sacraments, and provide pastoral guidance as needed. 

As a SAM, Wilma will have a local mentor to help guide and support her. They will meet once a week. (Her mentor has not yet been appointed).  This appointment by the Bishop Strickland will count as Wilma's internship for seminary.

There will be a contract for 1 year spelling out the responsibilities for both Wilma and Good Shepherd.

Even though Wilma was called to the ministry some time ago, she chose this time in her life to answer that call. She has accomplished a lot in a short time.

She has completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian studies from Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ

She has enrolled in Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley Ca., in the Teem Program (Theological Education for Emerging Ministries).  This is a program for second career persons over 55 who desire to go into the ministry. ​ ​Wilma’s first classes will be October 19-23, 2020.

This is what Wilma said when she was asked what she wanted the congregation to know: 

I felt God calling me to serve in ministry when I was 13 years old when on youth Sunday, I​ preached part of the sermon at Good shepherd.  I am excited to be at Good Shepherd as my first church to serve God in ministry as it all started here for me.


I began my education for ministry about twenty-five years ago and completed two years of college.  Although my full-time job prevented me from completing my four-year degree, the call from God to serve Him in ministry weighed heavy on my heart.  It was after my husband, Ron, and I were both sick a few years ago and God gave each of us another chance at life, I said, "OK God, thank you for these blessings”. I will complete my education and answer Your call to serve You in ministry.

Wilma will begin her ministry here at Good Shepherd on November 1, 2020.

Below is a list of Pastors we will have the opportunity to hear over the next couple of weeks 

10/04 Pastor Dave Rasmussen (homecoming)

10/11 Pastor Dave Rasmussen 

10/18 Pastor Jim Peper 10/25 Pastor Jim Peper

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Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was formed in 1937 as the 12th Lutheran congregation in Chatham and Effingham counties, and the first church built in Garden City. The founding pastor was the Rev. John Koch, Jr. The groundbreaking for the church building was held on May 23, 1937.  A Sunday School and Parish Building was completed in 1949.

What do Lutherans Believe?

Lutherans still hold to the basic principles of theology and practice espoused by Martin Luther:, Grace Alone. Faith alone. Scripture Alone.


  • We are saved by the grace of God, not by anything we do. But we respond to God’s unfailing love with gratitude toward God and in service to our neighbors.

  • God comes to meet us in the person of Jesus Christ. Faith is given by God so that we might believe that Christ gave his life to erase our sins. That faith allows us to trust in that promise of God, and to be guided by the Holy Spirit.

  • The Holy Scripture is God-given, and is the only true standard by which belief, teaching and doctrine can be judged; and should be applied with prayer and deep humility.