Our goal is to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ.
The enriching experience of being part of a church is not just highlighted on Sundays-
it’s a daily adventure, best explored alongside others who will offer you support and encouragement.
As you take a look around we hope that you would be drawn to embrace the true essence of community. 
We’re here for you in love and service, and we’d love to be a part of your journey.

Bible Verse of the Day 11/29/2021

[Thanksgiving to God for His Enduring Mercy] Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. — Psalm 136:1,26 (NKJV)
Story that Zig Ziglar tells:

“I was talking to a man who told me he didn’t go to church because “that’s where all the hypocrites hang out” Zig replied, “friend, if a hypocrite is standing between you and God, he is closer to God than you are … so I wouldn’t use that one anymore.”

He’s got a point! 😆
Other Quotes;

“There’s nothing like making you want to reach lost people than seeing lost people come to Jesus. Be a church that gets around lost people.”

 “Pray BIG ASK prayers — when the situation looks impossible, pray big. We don’t have a situation problem, we have a faith problem.”

 “There is a favor on big, bold prayers. Why? Baby prayers insult God. Where there is a god-given vision, there will be a God-given provision.”


Come Visit Us!

Address: 2274 Porter Road, Bear, Delaware 19701
Telephone: (302) 834-2928
Please connect with us!!!
Text Welcome if you are a Guest,
Text Connect if you are a Mission Partner,
Text Yardsale to sign up and keep informed about our Yard Sale,
to 302-205-0558
Follow Us on Social Media!
We are so glad you have chosen to connect with our Church Family here at Good Shepherd.  You can watch our recorded services or live streams here or on our Facebook Live page directly.  We would love to stay in contact with you and keep you informed of all of the events going on at Good Shepherd.  Please click on the Join Us button or Connect with GSBC here!!!

Stay Connected

CCLI Copyright License
Exp. 10/31/2021
CCLI Streaming License
Exp. 04/30/22
CCLI Video License
Exp. 11/07/2021




Our God is a God of abundance and He loves to give. He sacrificed willingly on the cross and then invited us into fullness of life. As His children, we are called to imitate Him. Our generosity in giving is a demonstration of God’s character and a response to what He has done for us.
You can use or share this link for Tithes and Offerings;
You can SCAN the QR Code.

Tithes and Offerings

You can also mail in your Tithes and Offering to:
2274 Porter Road
Bear, DE 19701
Thank you for giving to the Lord!


Good Shepherd Baptist Church
Service Update
Corona-virus Action
Updated 11/07/2021
Delaware now allowing 100% Occupancy
and no masks if vaccinated!!!
Three (3) feet social distancing still recommended
(Streaming provided in Mission Hall)


In accordance with recent news and status of Delaware’s State of Emergency, we want to assure the committed community that the Eldership has discussed and are following the adjusted requirements. That being said, the Eldership has updated the preventative measures for the health and safety of GSBC.
“Our Hospital grade air scrubbers are being properly maintained and running 24/7 to keep the air inside our building as safe as possible.”
We are excited to be worshipping together again! As we move into the next phase of reopening please be aware of the following guidelines:

In-person worship at 9:00am & 11:00am will be inside in the auditorium. Both worship experiences will be live streamed on our website, YouTube and Facebook.

Masks are no longer required for attenders or volunteers. Hand Sanitizer will still be available for those who desire, but masks are no longer required.

The entire experience will be touch-less. Doors will be open for you, no handouts will be given, and such. Text “Bulletin” to 302-205-0558 to get our weekly bulletin. (that’s a capital “B” in Bulletin)

Be sure to ask the following questions on behalf of your entire group and the church family before attending worship this weekend:

Am I showing any flu-like symptoms?
Have I had a fever of 100.4 or higher in the past 14 days?
Have I had prolonged exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
Is there any medical reason why I believe I shouldn’t be around others?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we strongly encourage you to attend GSBC online this weekend.

All good? We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
“Beginning Sunday 02/07/2021, GSBC will return to holding 2 services.  09:30 am & 11:00 am services will be held each week both in person and on-line.  We will continue to stream our service to other sections of the building to maintain our social distancing and occupancy requirements as well as sanitizing before and after each service. “

We will also stream our live service to the Mission Hall and the Double room as needed to maintain our social distancing.  We do this to allow as many of our flock to experience fellowship during worship to the fullest extent possible while still worshiping Our God with the utmost of safety in mind.

We will continue to hold our services online as well, and encourage those at high risk to continue worshiping with us online until such time that you feel comfortable returning to our in-person fellowship of believers.
Our on-line service can be seen on this website, or on the following sites as well;
We will have members of our communication team on-hand to chat with you during the service on Facebook and YouTube.
There may or may not be any child care provided at this time so children should be prepared to remain with their parent/guardian at all times.  We are trying to start the Children’s Church program again.

COVID-19 continues to pose a serious threat to our community. The Eldership encourages all vulnerable individuals, including those at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and those 65 and older, to take any necessary precautions up to and including continuing to shelter in place and worship with us on-line.

Beginning Sunday 02/07/2021, GSBC will return to holding 2 services.  09:30 am & 11:00 am services will be held each week both in person and on-line.  We will continue to stream our service to other sections of the building to maintain our social distancing and occupancy requirements as well as sanitizing before and after each service. 
Our Hospital grade air scrubbers are being properly maintained and running 24/7 to keep the air inside our building as safe as possible.


*** Special Note ***

Everyone will still be able to give tithes and offering via GSBC’s website and Facebook through the GSBC’s PayPal link.

Again, we encourage the beloved not to forsake meeting together. Please use the gift of technology to continue to meet together on Sunday services and be discipled throughout the week. We encourage our families to tune in service together and use our RightNow media services to start a daily family discipleship. Let us continue to display the truth that “… God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (1 Timothy 1:7).

In Christ,

Elders of GSBC

Small Group Feels Like Family

We’re not meant to navigate life alone. We flourish when we have meaningful relationships around us. Church is a wonderful place to look for a caring support system. But sometimes, it’s easy to feel like you are flying under the radar and could quietly fade away in a crowd. And it is unfortunate that for some, the church doors are taken for spinning turnstiles that allow people to just walk in and out, without tangible life change. But there’s surely more to it than that. The antidote to feeling disconnected is to become part of a small group! It promotes a close-knit sense of belongingness. Your presence counts. It feels like family, but it transcends the linear definition of family by blood or legal bonds.

What is a small group? It’s a group of people that come together on a recurring basis, usually weekly, and they share life together. The relationships formed in this manner reinforce the concept of kinship through shared values and beliefs.

Here are some of the things you can expect in a small group:

  • Everyone is acknowledged, regardless of where they are in their spiritual walk. We can all learn from the array of experiences represented by each person from different phases of life.
  • Know clearly which things are shared with confidentiality, and relay them only to God in prayer.
  • Some are talkers while some are natural listeners. Don’t force transparency if they are not ready for it.
  • Always steer through the challenges of life through the lens of the Word of God, and not your own subjective personal opinion
  • Friction may happen but we offer grace to one another other.
  • Small group is meant for outreach, to bring people together and get connected.
  • The group ideally needs to breakout and multiply when you reach a certain maximum number. 
Small group is life changing. There is an overflow of unconditional, non-judgmental support for one another. Relationships carry over outside of the group meetings, forming life-long friendships and accountability. Whether you are single or married, young or old, or anything in between, being part of the small group yields many benefits. Be part of one now and see people in a whole new set of light.
Click here to see what others think about being part of a small group.


The Goal of Ministry

DSC06245Ministry is an overflow of God’s love that is demonstrated by service to others. There’s intentionality in meeting people where they are at and ushering them into a relationship with Jesus Christ. But it is only effective when you start with God. He is the One who empowers and enables you to be a spring of blessing for others. It is very much an inward process of filling up the heart before any outward expression occurs.  
Ministry is never one-dimensional nor should it ever be. It’s not just evidence of elbow grease for the sake of busyness – it’s more meaningful than that. It is relational and personal in nature. As J.R. Briggs puts it: “Faithful ministry isn’t a project. Ministry is people. The administrative elements of ministry should only be tools that lead us to building relationships with others.”   It calls for compassion as you work out peeling away the layers of people’s instinctive barriers. It is a continual commitment to stand by a person, waiting for them to become receptive to what you are teaching or sharing. It is discipleship in action.
DSC06296It may sound as though it requires much from you. And so often we find ourselves wrung out of energy and we reason out that we don’t have the time to commit to something that will pull us away from our already beefed-up schedules. But every burnt out soul needs refreshing. And in Proverbs 11:25, it says: A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.   So inspect closely the order of your priorities. See if there are any honest opportunities to re-align them, because there is truly nothing more fulfilling than taking part in the work that God is doing through people and toward people.  
There are many opportunities from where you’re standing. Go ahead, and look around you. Ministry can purposefully be accomplished in the home, in church, in school, in your place of work. Wherever your mission field is, you are to display and magnify the very character of Christ in your interactions with people.
Here is a List of the various ministries at Good Shepherd Baptist Church
Click on any one of them for a full description of that ministry.

Every believer is called to ministry. And every ministry should be doing The Great Commission.  This, below, is the goal of ministry. Are you on point?  

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age – (Matthew 28: 19-20).

Our Church History



It was a seed of prayer that was planted by many to start a new American Baptist church in the Bear, Delaware area. It dug its roots in 1989 and sprouted into the Good Shepherd Baptist Church (GSBC). A steering committee cultivated the budding church in its first year until Rev. Sean Lee was named founding pastor.

The central meeting place was at Glasgow Pines Community Center in March 1990. A 4-week phone-a-thon was conducted, with volunteers from other American Baptist Churches making 14,514 phone calls to inform the community about the formation of the new church. On Mother’s Day of 1990, GSBC held its first worship service with 138 people in attendance. The subsequent weeks saw an average attendance of about 60 people.
Over the following months, fellowship continued to grow, as did its ministries and weekday programs. Before long, GSBC has outgrown the Community Center. And the search for affordable property began. Within a short time, the Lord led the search team to its present property, a four-acre lot. In January 1991, it held worship services at May B. Leisure Elementary School. In April of that year, GSBC celebrated the signing of its Constitution and dedication of the newly acquired land.


In April 1992, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new church building. The exterior structure was contracted out. And it took a village to construct the interior with the heartening participation of GSBC members, along with volunteers from several churches in the area, as well as from other East Coast churches. While the building was still a work in progress, GSBC conducted services on the property grounds under a large Army tent. What an exciting time that was in the life of the church. GSBC celebrated its first worship service and completed construction in November 1992.


Growth in the new building continued, with membership peaking at about 150 members. Near the beginning of 1995, special approval was obtained from the County to expand the burgeoning Sunday school classes into the main floor of the church house, while funds were collected for a new education wing. During that period, GSBC shared in over 100 baptisms, 12 weddings, 30 children dedication, and more than 200 souls won for Christ.

On June 8, 1997, Rev. Peter Ely was installed as the first permanent pastor since the founding of the church. Prayer teams were implemented, and they would provide prayer for individuals following the worship service. During this time, a praise team was also formed. Many outside groups began using the facilities, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Mom’s Club, Autistic Group from Newark High School, and a local Jazzercise group. Also, another newly formed church – Grace Tabernacle American Baptist Church began using the facility for worship, Sunday school, and weekday Bible study and prayer.
On July 4, 2001, a new education wing was completed and approved for occupancy. These additions were afforded, in part because insurance money was made available ($22,300) from damaged water pipes in the church house. In fact, this was just the amount needed to complete the project. The reason funds were low was that the church attendance had dwindled to less than 35, even as the building expanded.
There have been a total of 8 servants of God who each became an instrumental part in laying down the spiritual brickwork of GSBC over time:
  • Rev. Sean Lee (1990 – 1996)
  • Rev. David Darodd (1996 – 1997)
  • Rev. Peter Ely (1997 – 2002)
  • Rev. Steve Smith (2002 – 2003)
  • Rev. Rick Hill (Aug – Dec 2003)
  • Rev. Robert Zimmerman (2004 – 2005)
  • Rev. Leland Maxson (2005 – 2007)
  • Rev. William Offutt (2007 – 2010)
  • Rev. Gregory Ellis (2010 – 2013)

A new chapter was penned in 2013 as two separate churches intertwine and recognize the mutually beneficial decision to join as one.

It became evident that each was the answer to the other’s prayer. The merger marks a major turning point in the history of GSBC.

Healing Water Bible Church International (HWBCI) was a next-door neighbor, affiliated with Southern Baptist Church. Though it had its humble beginnings in 2004 meeting in a trailer at the parking lot of Ogletown Church, its stable growth ultimately reached the full capacity of its subsequently owned residential property in Porter Road, utilized as a church facility. Facing zoning issues, HWBCI became an itinerant church with provisions saved up, actively looking for a permanent place to pitch in its pegs.

It was a complementing union, supplying what the other needed. HWBCI had to live out to its name to heal, as it served as the lifeline for GSBC to continue in its course pulsating in its mission to cater to the community where it’s planted. The HWBCI congregation voted in favor of the merger, in line with the recommendation of its Senior Pastor Jessie Arce who piloted a new disposition of embracing cultural diversity for the heavily Filipino congregation. And in turn, GSBC found its doors bustling with foot traffic. The combined leadership decided to align itself with “organizations of like faith” so that we can officially continue to voluntarily cooperate with any bible believing church, association, and convention of same faith and practice.

God breathed life into the situation. But it also called for its members to get out of their comfort zones and stretch their faith to far greater heights than they’ve ever been. A lot of changes were introduced and it inherently became a pruning phase for the Church body.

Amid all the moving parts, investing in the younger generation to bring about youthful energy into the mix remained a high-priority objective. The big push in this direction will sustain the generational balance and ensure the longevity of the church, training its future leaders and activating them now to participate in the overall commission.


A second vocational position was imminent to close the gap of engaging younger demographics. In 2012, Pastor Daniel Vaughan was hired into the role of the first Student Pastor and hoisted in the middle of the action for this divinely appropriated progression. In 2016, his function expanded as the Associate Pastor also.
In June 2016, the GSBC leadership challenged its members to be mission-minded through the Capture The Vision (CTV) capital campaign. The church embarked on a major renovation of the facility to create an open layout at the rear end of the building and have a conducive and inviting fellowship hall. The intention was to build a community hub, strengthening local missions and outreach, while promoting biblical generosity.
It was timely and fitting that in February 2017, GSBC welcomed its third pastoral staff in the person of Pastor Paul Vaughan who now serves as the Discipleship and Outreach Pastor. He has filled a real need to equip and train all the Elders, Deacons, and Ministry Leaders to be cognizant of the Purpose, Mission, and Vision (PMV) of the church. He is looking to mobilize all the small groups to march forward in one accord.
Pastor Jessie Arce
GSBC Senior Pastor
Pastor Carlos Xavier Jr.
GSBC Student Pastor
The Piggy

The Piggy

Pastor Paul Vaughan
GSBC Discipleship & Outreach Pastor
Throughout its history, GSBC has established a stronger sense of identity, survived transitional periods of internal conflict, and emerged with a new vision and excitement for ministry. It continually pursues to reach into the community as a colorful mosaic projecting the diversity of the people it serves. The Gospel is for all regardless of background, age, ethnicity, or social-economic status. GSBC welcomes everyone into the family.
We are Disciples making Disciples through:
  • Genuine Relationship
  • Sacrificial Service
  • Bold Evangelism
  • Committed Community