By Edna Ward
Opelika has always been blessed with great churches and ministers who have from the city’s beginning addressed the spiritual needs of our community.
Opelika now has a new church which came to my attention by Seth Owen, an Auburn University student. As Owen told me about his church there was a sparkle of sincerity that beamed: “this church is different.” It is Good Shepherd Anglican Church located at 1311 Second Avenue in Opelika. Father Timothy Ullmann serves as the congregation’s priest, which is a mission of Christchurch in Montgomery. Both churches are members of the Anglican Church in North America. In 2009 the church’s first Archbishop, the Most Reverend Robert Duncan, made the call to plant 1,000 new congregations in America. Opelika’s Good Shepherd is one of these.
Father Timothy explained, “We have about 40 members of all ages. It’s interesting to note most of our members come from non-Anglican backgrounds. They are looking for more. They want to experience and participate in the Ancient Christian Faith and liturgical worship centered in the Eucharist. This is who we are and what we do. And, we follow the liturgical year, which begins with Christ’s birth, His passion, death, resurrection and ascension. At all times our worship is Trinitarian focusing on God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and what He has done—and continues to do—for us.”
“An example of our liturgical life was last Sunday, Palm Sunday, and this week, Holy Week. Palm Sunday was the blessing of the palms, signifying the joy of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. But our joy quickly turns to sorrow during Holy Week when Christ was betrayed and abandoned. On Good Friday our Lord was crucified and, breathing His last, said, ‘It is finished’—redemption was complete through His sacrifice. This leads to the beautiful Easter message of Christ’s resurrection – this gives Christians hope, forgiveness of sins, the promise of heaven and peace with God.”
Father Timothy said, “Good Shepherd is based on the love of God because God is the lover of mankind. This love is the gospel we want to bring to Opelika, Auburn, Lee County and beyond.” He explained further, “The Anglican Church began in England around 56 AD, and spread to all parts of the British Empire. As an Ancient Faith Church, our liturgy is traditional. We read the Scriptures, pray, profess our faith, and we receive the Eucharist. There is no entertainment. No guitars. No drums. We lift our voices to Almighty God in worship, praise and thanksgiving. Here at Good Shepherd our people seek a personal relationship with God and a Christian relationship with one another. These are what unite us in the love of Christ. Anyone wanting this kind of experience is very welcome to ‘come and see’ devoted worship and be a part of a loving Christian community.” Worship is every Sunday at 10 a.m.