About Us

Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church, located at 5939 Oliver Ave. SW, Cokato, MN 55321 is a member of the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations.

Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church began as a Home Mission church of the AFLC in August of 1985, meeting in the Cokato Elementary gymnasium. The Baptist church in town had built and moved to a new building north of Cokato, so when an infant died, the Baptist church offered its old, vacant building (located on Broadway Ave just south of Casey’s General Store – an apartment building sits on the site now) so the funeral could be performed in a church. Soon after, a deal was worked out to purchase the former Baptist church – and the new congregation had a church building.

In June of 1992 a storm swept through Cokato, stripping trees of their leaves, vehicles of their windows, and buildings of their walls and/or roofs – Good Shepherd was a total loss. A building committee was already formed due to the fact we were starting to outgrow our current facility. The committee changed gears from adding on to possibly moving to a different location.

The stained glass windows in the former Baptist church had been donated by railroad tycoon James J Hill. The story passed on through the generations claimed that due to the size of the windows and its proximity to the railroad, anytime a train traveled through town, the windows would break. After the church replaced the windows many times, Hill made a donation to have stained glass installed. The windows didn’t break until the 1992 storm. Most of the stained glass in the current sanctuary windows is from the old church windows, with new glass added to make up for what was too small to reuse.

Statement of Faith

Good Shepherd adheres to the Bible as the inerant Word of God (II Timothy 3:16).

Statement from the AFLC Home Missions brochure:

While writing to the Colossae Church, the Apostle Paul gave insights, as a way of encouragement, to this new congregation. These insights are still relevant today in the building up of the Body of Christ. They are timely and powerful and will greatly help a Christ-centered congregation.

Today, AFLC Home Missions seeks, through the message of Jesus Christ, to bring three themes into our culture. They are based on one word – FORGIVE. This word’s effectiveness is based on the redemptive work of Jesus Christ – completed on Mount Calvary.

1) Be Forgiven of Personal Sins
Every person born needs to be forgiven from their sin. This forgiveness is found through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:13-14

2) Forgive Others
As a result of Christ’s atoning work on the cross, changes in attitudes and lifestyles are to take place in the lives of Christians. Evidence that a person is in Christ is demonstrated by their God-given ability to forgive others. Colossians 3:12-14

3) Be Giving of Yourself to the Lord’s Service
Christ must take the throne of our lives and become the Lord of every area in our being. The mind, under the control of the Holy Spirit, submits to the Lord’s will and desires to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The highest calling to men is to surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

These principles are essential for the beginnings of a new Living Congregation. In addition to these, we submit to you principles from the Book of Colossians which enhance the process of being a Living Congregation.

A. Passion for Jesus
Must have a living relationship with Christ. Colossians 1:16-19; Colossians 3:1-3
B. Passion for the Word
The foundation of our lives must be centered around the Bible. Colossians 1:25-29; Colossians 2:8-9
C. Passion for Prayer
The prayer meetings are the powerhouse. Colossians 4:2-4
D. Passion to Reach the Lost
Must have a true love for those who don’t know Christ and be active in sharing their faith. Colossians 1:28; Colossians 2:1-2; Colossians 4:3-6
E. Passion to be Lutheran in Doctrine and Sacraments
Must support the AFLC’s Fundamental Principles and Declaration of Faith. Colossians 2:12-15
F. Passion for Holy (Pietistic) Living
Must be devoted to daily living the Christian life Colossians 1:10; Colossians 1:21-22; Colossians 2:20; Colossians 3:5-8
G. Passion to be Involved in Building up the Kingdom of God
Must have a desire to serve and share the Gospel at all times Colossians 3:23-24
H. Passion for Spiritual Life in the Congregation
The Body of Christ is to be caring for its own. Colossians 1:4; Colossians 2:2-4; Colossians 3:12-16
I. Passion for God’s order in marriage, family, and congregation
According to God’s design, men are to be the spiritual leaders. Colossians 2:8-10; Colossians 3:18-21
J. Passion for the Priesthood of Believers
Everyone is able to contribute in service to the Lord. Colossians 4:7-17 (Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Barnabas, Justus, Epaphras, Luke, Archippus)
K. Passion for God’s righteousness regardless of suffering
We are not called to Political Correctness, but rather to be faithful. Colossians 1:24-29
L. Passion for God-centered worship
Worship is a celebration in which God’s name is to be honored and lifted up. Colossians 2:18-19; Colossians 3:16-17
M. Passion for Christ-centered victorious living
Evidence of Christ’s indwelling is freedom to say no to the flesh and its desires. Colossians 2:13-15