Church of the Good Shepherd 515 Queen Street

PO Box 928 Wilmington, NC 28402

Welcome to Church of the Good Shepherd

Our Patroness "Saint"

Sister Cecilia of the Sisterhood of the Good Shepherd

 Bishop Watson 1889 - “one of the most valuable spiritual agencies in the diocese, working for the working class and having done a large amount of missionary work.”

Bishop Strange 1894 – “she has been one of the choice vessels of the grace of our Heavenly Father and one of the lights of the world in her generation.”

An orphan and widow herself, she was called from Louisburg, NC to Wilmington to help with St. James House for destitute widows and orphans after the war.

Later as a sister in the Sisterhood of the Good Shepherd, she became sister in charge and rapidly out grew Dr. J. Amand DeRossett Jr.’s St. James House. Established the first free day school for working mothers in Wilmington and Parish School for working children.

At the present location of Church of the Good Shepherd, she grew the Sunday School to 177 and day school to 123. She managed St. James House, started Sunday School, acted as family counselor and sent in annual reports without ever mentioning her name. A FIRST MIRACLE.

She died shortly after she became ill in 1892 and is buried in Oakdale Cemetery in Major Whiting’s plot. Not a dry eye in the funeral and her casket born by her boys.

SECOND MIRACLE:  Almost a hundred years later the now Church of the Good Shepherd vestry voted to open a soup kitchen. Over the 20 years of operation, almost a million meals were served and services added to aid the poor and homeless in the first major outreach in Wilmington. Her spirit is alive and moving Good Shepherd.

Help give her the sainthood she deserves and honor the courageous women of the Sisterhood of the Good Shepherd.

“The clouds of prejudice and misunderstanding which have so long enshrouded this whole subject of sisterhood in the church seems to be gradually vanishing as the light to experience dawns upon those willing to be taught.” Annual Report 1876. They were transitioned to deaconesses/disbanded in 1899.