I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.
–John 10:14

An Episcopal ministry was founded in Silver City in 1873, and was named The Church of the Good Shepherd by The Rev. Edward Silvan Cross who came to the church in 1889.

Land was bought for the church at its present location in 1891, the corner stone being laid in June of 1892 under the auspices of then-Rector, The Rev. Albert R. Llwyd and the Bishop of that time, Rt. Rev. J.M. Kendrick, D.D.  The first services were held in the present church in the fall of 1893.

The Church of the Good Shepherd mission had many different rectors in the early days, many only serving a year or two.  Some of the longer serving rectors were The Rev. W. Henry Ruffner (1900 to 1906); a well-known author, The Rev. Ross R. Calvin, Ph.D. (1927 to 1941); The Rev. David E. Holt (1945 to 1957); The Rev. Clifton M. Henderson (1958 to 1975), who was the first minister who did not come to Silver City for his health; The Rev. Gerald Griffin (1981 to 1987); and The Rev. Robert L. Ihlefeld who came to the parish in 1988 and served until 2008. The current rector is The Rev. Bonnie E. Edwards, the first woman in this post in the history of the church.

In 1943, the Church of the Good Shepherd became a parish.  A complete history of the church, The Centennial History of the Church of the Good Shepherd, was written in 1991 by Jean W. Henderson, wife of a former rector.


The Church of the Good Shepherd continues to hold services in the beautiful, historic, red brick building erected in 1892-1893.  Its traditional cruciform design is dignified by the use of ecclesiastical motifs.  Memorials include the beautiful stained-glass windows, many of the interior furnishings, the altar and many objects in and around the property.

A columbarium was installed at the front of the church, behind the baptismal font in 2005.

Maximum seating in the sanctuary is about 150.

A rectory was built next to the church during the tenure of The Rev. Ruffner in 1902.  The former rectory now houses the church offices and has been renamed Henderson Hall.  A parish hall was added to the church building in the early 1920s, and expanded in 1960-1961 when larger Sunday school accommodations were needed for the growing congregation.