GSLS Annual Auction
Good Shepherd Lutheran School
Believing that Christian education is a vital aspect of God’s mission, commanded by Him to the church in the Great Commission, three area Lutheran churches formed an association to work toward the opening of a Lutheran school in the Pekin area. That goal was realized when the doors to Good Shepherd Lutheran School were opened in August of 1981.
The first building housed by Good Shepherd School was at 200 Sapp Street in Pekin, a public school building rented from District 108. Dozens of parents, grandparents, and church members joined forces to renovate, paint, construct, and otherwise prepare the school building for occupancy. In August, 1987, Good Shepherd Lutheran School moved to its present site, 333 State Street, to lease the public school building currently owned by Grace Methodist Church.
Good Shepherd School began serving students from Preschool through Grade 3. Grades have been added until the present when the school holds classes for Preschool through Grade 8. A full-time licensed Day Care center was added in 1988 and continued for three years, enrolling twenty 3-5 year olds. In the fall of 1989 a latchkey program was added. It is available 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Any child Preschool—through grade 8 may enroll.
Good Shepherd offers an active music program for all grade levels, sports activities like volleyball, basketball, track and cheerleading, and opportunities to participate in religion, math, and spelling bowls. The staff of Good Shepherd consists of nine teachers, a part-time computer instructor, secretary custodian and bus driver as well as music instructors in band and piano. A resale shop, EWE’s Treasures, was opened in 1986 to provide additional support for the school. The shop is managed and operated entirely by volunteers and offers high quality clothing and housewares of all kinds.
News Article: "Old School Building Demolished in 2010"
PEKIN, Ill. — The former Lincoln School will meet the wrecking ball this fall.
One of the last in town from its era, it was built in 1913 with 11 rooms and an auditorium. The red-brick structure and striking limestone columns functioned as a neighborhood grade school until 1983.
It was sold in public auction to Grace United Methodist Church that year. In 1987, the church began renting the building to Good Shepherd Lutheran School, which it continued to do until the end of the last school year. Good Shepherd moved into its new building, the remodeled former Leath Furniture outlet on Court Street, this school year.
Former Pekin School District 108 Superintendent Mike Caringello remembered the school’s name as being nearly synonymous with that of its longtime principal, Anna Kumpf.
“She was known as a no-nonsense, strict disciplinarian,” he said. “Lincoln School was her life. She even lived near the school and kept a watchful eye on the school during non-school hours.”
With a healthy enrollment of neighborhood children, it would have about 150 students, he said.
That number eventually declined until it was closed due to low enrollment and budget restrictions, he said, along with several other presidential-named buildings, including McKinley and Roosevelt schools.
Grace United Methodist Church Pastor Gary Ford said the building will be demolished to prevent it from becoming an empty liability like “another West Campus.”
He said asbestos abatement has already been done, but that it would take millions of dollars to bring the rest of the building up to code and OSHA standards.
“That building just no longer fits our needs for what we’re trying to do,” he said. “The smartest business decision would be to do the demolition.
“Our sanctuary building that is in the same block was built in 1912. Having two buildings that are (almost) 100 years old was more than we could manage.”
The decision had to pass through the church council and then a district committee on church location and building that operates in the organizational structure above the church, he said.
He said there has been harvesting of usable things from the building — especially molding and other wood. The columns will be removed and resold by the demolition company.
The space will host a parking lot in about a year, he said, and down the road the church would like to build a new family life center in its vicinity.
“We are looking and dreaming and planning in that direction,” he said.