Why Our Ministry Exists
“we love because HE first loved us.” 1 john 4:19
Throughout his ministry, Jesus reached out with love to people in need. He healed the sick and broken, fed the hungry, and gave hope to the hopeless. Good Shepherd Ministries wants to show Christ-like love to our neighbors by offering medical and dental care to the uninsured and spiritual care to the broken.
So many of our urban Oklahoma City neighbors are hurting. Poverty rates in our state reached an all-time high in 2011. In Oklahoma County, 17.8% of the population live in poverty, putting them at risk of increased illnesses and chronic diseases with little to no access to care.
One in five people in Oklahoma County doesn’t have health insurance — a rate higher than the state overall. And with Oklahomans having some of the worst rates of diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses, access to quality medical care is critical.
Good Shepherd Ministries exists to show God’s love to those in need.
In the late 1960s, Good Shepherd Ministries began out of a commitment by First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City (FBC) to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the inner city. From the beginning, Good Shepherd programs included a small food pantry, clothes closet, and special Bible study.
In 1977, Good Shepherd expanded its ministries when two OU medical students and FBC Pastor Tom Mitscher witnessed first-hand the medical needs of Oklahoma City’s downtown residents. These three, joined by a doctor and nurse, established a makeshift clinic at Chuck and Chris’s Bar in downtown Oklahoma City. They began with only a few supplies and a lot of prayers!
The clinic ran as a two night a week operation until 2012, solely through the efforts of volunteer licensed medical professionals, students, and community members. The two physicians, Fred Loper and Stan Corley, who began volunteering at the clinic in 1977 as medical students, continued volunteering at Good Shepherd throughout the years. Dr. Loper was then hired in 2012 to be the clinic’s first full-time Medical Director, the clinic’s first paid staff person.
Today Good Shepherd Clinic is housed in the Ramirez Center (222 NW 12 Street), located in the FBC parking lot on the corner of 12th Street and Harvey. The clinic that began in a bar is now a modern, clean, well-equipped medical home for hundreds of uninsured adults. Licensed medical professionals, healthcare students from local universities and other caring volunteers continue to offer an exceptional medical practice that provides prevention, wellness and sick care to low-income, uninsured people throughout central Oklahoma.
In addition to medical care, the Clinic has offered dental care to adults almost since the medical clinic began. Originally offering only extractions, the clinic later began making dentures for people in need. In 2003, Good Shepherd began hosting a children’s dental clinic to offer cleanings and fillings. Now the dental clinic is staffed with the equivalence of one full-time dentist, two dental assistance, and one hygienist. Their services are multiplied through the work of volunteer dentist, dental students, and hygiene students. Every Good Shepherd medical patients receives dental care, and our dental clinic continues to reach deep into the community by offering weekly free extraction nights.
The visions and dreams for the future continue to stay large for Good Shepherd with plans to open a physical therapy clinic, along with a student ran audiology clinic in 2015. Join us as we strive to provide quality, Christian care for the uninsured and underserved of Oklahoma City.
“I have tried to get insurance. I’m employed but can’t get insurance through my employer because I work part-time. I make $16 a month too much to qualify for SoonerCare. Dr. Loper and the Good Shepherd Clinic are a God-send. Without them, I don’t think I would be alive.”
— Good Shepherd Clinic Patient