CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Christ Church has been the mother of many missions, none of which has had a more interesting career than that of the Church of the Good Shepherd, West Springfield. The following account taken from their records gives an idea of their struggles and successes.
The Episcopal Mission, the Church of the Good Shepherd in West Springfield, owes its origin largely to the piety and benevolence of one man, the late Mr. Charles Ely of New York and West Springfield. Mr. Ely made his home in New York City, but is vacations were spent in West Springfield where his ancesters had lived since the first settlement of the town, where he owned much land, and where he had built a large and beautiful mansion.
On his own land, at the corner of main Street and the lane which has since been called Church Street, so named from the Episcopal Church, he erected a small Gothic church of wood, with stained glass windows, organ and bell, all complete and ready for use. It was first opened for service on the Sunday after Ascension Day 1871.
Mr. Ely had been aided by friends. Mr. George Southworth gave a generous sum of money, Mr. J. B. Stebbins the chancel window, and Dr. Nathan Adams the baptismal font.
The Rev. Dr. Burgess was the rector of Christ Church at that time, and the Rev. Mr. Benedict was the assistant and had charge of this mission. On festivals it was the custom to send carriages for Dr. Burgess and the choir boys to come from Christ Church.
Later the Rev. Mr. Benedict was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Parker and the Rev. John L. Egbert. The latter is recalled by many who hold him in tender memory, for he loved the Mission and labored faithfully to further its growth, conducting a Bible class followed by a preaching service on Sunday afternoons.
Then came evil days. The fortune of the patron, Mr. Ely, was lost through unfortunate investment, and he could no longer carry the burden of the expense. Dr. Burgess had left