Good Shepherd Episcopal Church Celebrates its 117th Anniversary

Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, 1420 East Dewey in Sapulpa, has two reasons to celebrate: its 117th anniversary and the appointment of its 33rd priest, Fr. Keith Fallis.

The church owes its early existence to one of the pioneer families of the community, Mr. and Mrs. R.L. Mason, who moved to Sapulpa and established their home on East Dewey Avenue. Mrs. Mason established a Sunday School in their home since there was no Episcopal Church in Sapulpa.

On November 7th, 1901, the Rt. Reverend Francis Key Brooke, the first Episcopal Bishop of Oklahoma, sent Rev. Frank Jones of Vinita to the Mason home to baptize their daughter, Margaret. In December 1901, Bishop Brooke visited the Mason home and confirmed their son, Ben.

The church soon outgrew the Mason

The original location of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, which celebrates it’s 117th anniversary in November.

home and services were held in various public buildings including the old “Dewey College’ school building that stood where the present Creek County Courthouse is now located. A small frame church was constructed in 1907 at the corner of Dewey and Walnut. The church was moved to a lot two blocks south on the corner of Walnut and Thompson. In 1967, a new building was constructed at the present location of 1420 E. Dewey, adding a new sanctuary in 1982.

Good Shepherd has been served by 33 priests, including its current priest, Fr. Keith Fallis.

Father Keith Fallis is a native Tulsan who attended Trinity Episcopal Church as a young child. His family moved to St. John’s Episcopal Church where they attended church until he went to college at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah.

He went to work for the City of Tulsa in 1985 and is currently employed there.

Father Fallis was assigned to the church earlier in 2018.

Over the years, he struggled with the call to ministry and finally accepted the call. After going through the Church’s process for ordination, he was allowed to attend IONA School of Formation in the Diocese of Oklahoma. This is a program that was overseen and developed by the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. He also completed Clinical Pastoral Education at Hillcrest Medical Center and was ordained to the transitional Deaconate at St. Paul’s Cathedral in OKC on June 13th, 2017. He was then ordained into the priesthood at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Tulsa on February 23, 2018.

On July 22, 2018, Fr. Fallis was assigned by Bishop Konieczny of Oklahoma to Good Shepherd Episcopal Church.

He is the father of four daughters (Katy, Kimberly, Kelsey, and Kara), who live in Tulsa. He is the grandfather of one grandson, Lucas.

Good Shepherd has seen had many baptisms, confirmations, marriages and funerals in 117 years. There are many wonderful families who have been a part of the church’s history over the years: The Horns, the Holts, the VanLandinghams, and currently, the Naifehs, the Barnes, and the Gillilands, to name a few.

I have been attending Good Shepherd for a little less than two years. I can say unequivocally, this is the most accepting, loving, hard-working congregation I have ever seen anywhere! I am proud to call Good Shepherd my church home. Good Shepherd is blessed to have such a wonderful new Priest. Sapulpa is blessed to have such a wonderful church.

I love their motto: Love God, Love your neighbor and change the world.

I wish to thank Sharon moody for providing the old photograph and the great historical information.

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Charles Betzler

Charles Betzler

Charles Betzler is a contributing writer for Sapulpa Times.