Church of the Good Shepherd

An Anglo-Catholic Parish In The Episcopal Diocese Of Upper South Carolina

Welcome to Good Shepherd

A Spiritual Home of Catholic Worship and Liturgical Music

The Church of the Good Shepherd is the third oldest Episcopal Church in the city of Columbia and is the principal Anglo-Catholic parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina. It is a spiritual home for people from all walks of life who gather under one roof to celebrate the catholic faith in the Anglican tradition.

The Reverend Doctor James Fraser Lyon IV, Rector.

All you ever wanted to know about the history of the Episcopal Church

Episcopal Church Flag

Curious about how the Episcopal Church fits into the larger story of Christianity? The Church of the Good Shepherd is offering a five-week class that takes participants from St. Peter, Gregory the Great and Augustine of Canterbury through Henry VIII, Samuel Seabury, William White and Samuel Provoost, and on to today.

The course is taught as part of Good Shepherd’s confirmation curriculum by Robert Clawson, a cradle Episcopalian, senior warden of Good Shepherd, Irmo attorney and former president of the Diocesan Executive Committee.

The other part of the curriculum is a class taught by Father Lyon on church polity, sacraments and worship. It is, among other things, a great introduction to Anglo-Catholicism.

Both classes are designed for those seeking to join Good Shepherd through confirmation, reception or reaffirmation, but anyone who’s interested in a refresher course or a no-commitment introduction to the church is welcome to attend one or both classes.

The classes run five successive Sundays: Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26. The history class will be held from 9:30 to 10:15, and Fr. Lyon’s class will follow the 10:30 Mass.

Anyone interested in participating should email or call 803-779-2960 to register.

A Message From The Rector

The Reverend Doctor James Fraser Lyon IV, Rector

Welcome to the Church of the Good Shepherd. I'm glad you found us, and I would like to invite you to join us for worship. It is through our prayers, and through the Eucharistic feast, that we bear witness to the mystery of the Incarnation and to Jesus' redemption of the world through His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection. It is in the Incarnate Son of God that we see the enfleshment of Divine love for the world, and it is our prayer that we be made worthy of the gift of salvation promised to all who believe and follow in the way of Jesus.

We are a Catholic parish of the Episcopal Church, founded in response to the call of the Oxford Movement for a renewal of catholicity in the Anglican expression of the Christian Church. At the center of our parish life is Sunday Mass, which is celebrated at 8 a.m. (Low Mass) and 10:30 a.m. (High Mass). The 8 a.m. Low Mass is celebrated using Rite I from the Book of Common Prayer (1979). The 10:30 a.m. High Mass is celebrated using Rite I in Lent and Rite II (Eucharistic Prayers A, B, and D) during the rest of the year. The Good Shepherd Choir provides leadership and support to the 10:30 High Mass by singing a substantial portion of the liturgy. We offer Christian education classes for all ages as well as the Rosary between the Masses.

You don't have to be a member of the Episcopal Church to participate in worship at Good Shepherd. We invite everyone who enters our doors to come forward to the altar at the time of communion to receive a blessing. The reception of Holy Communion is for those who are baptized, and if you would like to be initiated into the Christian community through baptism, or to explore the Christian faith at any level, please don't hesitate to speak to me.

At Good Shepherd we are delighted to meet and welcome newcomers and visitors, but we promise not to overwhelm you. Our ushers will give you an ordo, and they will be happy to answer any questions you have. For that matter, so will our parishioners. Please select a pew and take time to say your prayers before studying the ordo, which contains the order of the Mass and refers to two books located in the pew rack. The red book is the Book of Common Prayer, and the blue book is the hymnal; both are used during the 10:30 Mass.

At the end of the Mass, the lay servers and I will greet people at the foot of the front steps. We also welcome you to join us in the parish hall after the 8 and 10:30 Masses for coffee and refreshments. Coffee hour provides an opportunity to meet people, and our parishioners are always happy to greet newcomers.

Beyond the Mass, Good Shepherd offers fellowship groups for young adults, middle-aged parishioners and those who are retired. We have the Daughters of the King, the Episcopal Church Women, Saint Brigid's Guild of the ECW and a vibrant mission program to families in need in Appalachia. You'll find some of our upcoming activities on our website, but the best way to find out what's going on is to come to church on Sunday morning.

As an urban parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, we draw worshipers from throughout the Columbia metropolitan area. Our proximity to the campus of the University of South Carolina has blessed us with visiting students, choral scholars, faculty and staff. In our parish you will find people of all ages and all walks of life who hold in common a love for engaging the mystery of God through the historic Catholic faith and practice of the Church.

We have a great treasure here on Blanding Street, and I invite you to come and see what makes this place so very special.


Father Lyon †