History of Shepherd of the Hills
The first phase of our existing church structure was built in 1978 and dedicated to the service of God on September 17, 1978. However, the first service actually occurred on Sunday, November 9, 1975, in the Sisters home of then retired Pastor R. Ylvisaker, with 16 worshipers in attendance.
The constitution of the congregation was adopted in November of 1976, with the articles of incorporation identifying 37 charter members at that time.
As the small congregation grew in size it became obvious that accommodating an average attendance of 50 worshipers in the Ylvisaker home was becoming almost impossible. A five member "steering committee" was charged with developing a plan to acquire funding and support for a dedicated chapel and to acquire the land for its construction. The land at our present location was purchased in 1978 and the first "chapel type" phase was completed in time for its dedication on Sept 17, 1978. Construction of the chapel was made possible, in large part, by a great deal of voluntary labor donated by members and friends of the congregation, including work parties from Bethesda Lutheran in Eugene, Oregon. Bethesda Lutheran also contributed significant funds to acquire the land and construct the church.
Pastor Ylvisaker served our congregation until January 8, 1984. A series of interim pastors served our congregation until 1989 when Pastor Ron Gregg was recommended by Synod and accepted a part-time position as Pastor at Shepherd of the Hills. Average Sunday attendance had dwindled to about 20-25 souls upon Pastor Greggs arrival thus the small congregation could not support the salary of a full-time pastor thus requiring Pastor Gregg to work various part-time jobs to supplement his income.
Pastor Greggs enthusiastic ministry resulted in a rapidly growing congregation and by 2004 the requirements of 150+ members one again exceeded the initial capabilities of the small chapel. Several additions yielded a larger multi-purpose room and kitchen, Sunday school rooms, new restrooms and a new Pastor's office. 85% of the funds needed for this large expansion were donated BEFORE work was begun. Shepherd of the Hills has NEVER had a mortgage. Faithful financial support of members and a dedicated volunteer corps allows this fact to continue.
A full historical treatment of Shepherd of the Hills is available in the back of our church.