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Good Shepherd prepares for move of its new church

Good Shepherd Church members gathered last week for a groundbreaking for their new church on Yankee Ridge Road. From left are Jack Fuchs, Heidi Sickles, Ardyce Johnson, Ken Johnson, Dick Hufford, Diane Lesmeister, Kathy Meierding, Yvonne Krupke, Virene Luthi, Darlene Koosmann, Orville Koosmann and Gary Weers, Kneeling is Jan Asmus, and in the back row is Rev. Norman Olsen and Bob Asmus.

Orville and Darlene Koosmann left their rural Appleton farm last June to move to a home near Hancock. Also behind them they left their church, Good Shepherd, which closed because of a lack of members.

Today, the Koosmanns are once again members of Good Shepherd. Only now, the church building will soon be in rural Morris.

"We moved and brought our church with us," Orville said with a smile.

The Good Shepherd congregation, which started as West Central Lutheran Church, began in Morris last year and its 80 members have been holding 9 a.m. services at the Prairie Inn's Cougar Room.

The Good Shepherd Church was affiliated with the Evangelical Church of America and now is affiliated with the Lutheran Congregations - Mission for Christ.

In September, the rural Appleton church building of the same name will be moved to Morris. As an homage to the building and former congregation, West Central Lutheran renamed itself after it purchased the building and its belongings for $1.

Dick and Myrna Hufford donated three acres of land along Yankee Ridge Road to make room for the church. The previous congregation was going to demolish the building if it couldn't be sold to another organization.

"It's a country setting for a country church," said Good Shepherd member Jan Asmus.

The church already has connections to the area. The church building was completed in 1951 with the help of Art and Kenny Asmus, great uncles of current Good Shepherd member Bob Asmus.

Weather permitting, the 52-foot by 72-foot building will be moved to Morris in two days. The logistical considerations are many, including traffic and the need to move power lines. And, fittingly for a country church, the move date was set predicated on its new environment.

"We had to do it after the air conditioning season and before corn drying," Bob Asmus said.