Worship Times:
Sunday Worship: 8:30 am and 10:00 am
Sunday Nursery: 10:00 am
Visitor Information

"To Reach, Ignite and Empower People for Jesus"


Who We Are

Welcome and thank you for your interest in Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (ELCA). Our goal as a congregation is to provide a caring community where people can grow and develop in their faith and their love for Jesus Christ. Our variety of worship times and formats are intended to welcome people of many church backgrounds and music preferences, as well as help people explore what being a disciple of Jesus really means. Our many and growing ministries make it possible for individuals to get connected in smaller groups for spiritual growth, fellowship, and service to others.

church panorama


Our mission is To Reach, Ignite and Empower People For Jesus. We do this through Spirit-filled worship, relevant preaching, honest expressions of compassion and love, strong reliance on prayer, and a positive hope and vision for the great things God can do in our lives and community.

If youre searching for a caring and hope-filled community, or are looking for a church who focuses on Biblical truth and growing discipleship, we welcome you to Shepherd of the Hills.


Faith Statement

  • We believe in the Triune God-- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We believe in one God revealed to us in three persons.
  • We believe that God the Father created the universe and each and every person.He is a God who is loving, compassionate, just and kind. His deepest desire is to live in an intimate faith relationship with all people.
  • We believe that, because of his deepest desire to live in a relationship with us, God became a human being.Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, is fully God and fully human. Through his death on the cross and resurrection, Jesus made it possible for all people to live in a relationship with God.
  • We believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life.Through him and him alone people enter into a faith relationship with God.
  • We believe that the Holy Spirit is the presence of Jesus Christ among us.Through the Holy Spirit God loves us, empowers us and lives in us. The Holy Spirit gives gifts to all believers. We believe that God wants each person to develop and use whatever gifts of the Spirit they have been given.
  • We believe that the Bible is the Word of God.Through the Bible God reveals himself to us. We believe that the Bible is God-inspired and points us to Gods true revelation in Jesus Christ. The Old and New Testaments are the norm and guide upon which we base our faith.
  • We believe that the Church, be it a local congregation or the world-wide fellowship of believers, is the body of Christ.As his body, we are called upon to worship him, serve him in our daily lives, and be the vehicle through which the Good News of Christ in its fullness is shared with the world.
  • We affirm and identify with the confessions of the Lutheran Church.We affirm the centrality of the Word alone, grace alone, and faith alone.
  • We believe in and practice the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion.We believe that through the waters of Baptism, God comes to us to adopt us as his children. Through Baptism God gives the gift of new life. We affirm the Baptism of infants, as well as offering this gift to any older child or adult who wishes to be baptized.
  • We believe that through the Lords Supper God comes to love us and forgive us.It is a meal of renewal. Jesus is really present in this meal.
  • We believe in the worth and value of each human being.Created in Gods image, humans have dignity. Their worth is dependent, not on accomplishments, but on Gods love and grace. Because God sees each person as worth dying for, we affirm and acknowledge the dignity and worth of human beings.
  • At the same time we acknowledge that human beings are separated from God because of sin.We joyfully proclaim the Good News that because of Jesus Christ, forgiveness and new life are a possibility. It is that forgiveness that restores the worth of each fallen human being.
  • We believe in and anticipate the return of Jesus Christ.Though we dont know the day and hour, we joyfully proclaim that we need to be ready at all times, to inspire us all to make the most of life today.



Our History

  • Shepherd of the Hills held its first worship service on September 19, 1965 at Island Lake School. 154 people attended.
  • In 1965, 117 people signed the charter, and Shepherd of the Hills officially became a congregation.
  • Groundbreaking was held for the original building in 1968, and dedication was held on March 16, 1969. Pastor Robert G. Ross was the founding pastor and served until June 15, 1970.
  • The pastors who followed were Pastor Lewis J. Sundquist from 1971 to 1973; Pastor Thomas A. Schultz from 1974 to 1988; and Leonard J. Nadeau from 1983 to 1988.
  • The first building addition was dedicated in 1980 and included a sanctuary, narthex and offices.
  • The second building addition, dedicated in 1987, included Sunday School rooms, Choir room, and a Youth room on the lower level.
  • In 1989, Pastor Nathan J. Thompson began his ministry at Shepherd of the Hills as Senior Pastor.
  • In 1992, Pastor Deborah L. Birkeland joined the staff as Associate Pastor.
  • A Building Fund Drive was conducted at Shepherd of the Hills in 1996 in preparation for facility expansion. Groundbreaking for a new sanctuary and building addition was held on April 27, 1997.
  • In the fall of 1997, Shepherd of the Hills Preschool opened its doors. It continues to be a dynamic outreach into the community.
  • The first worship services in the new sanctuary were held on December 7, 1997. A service of dedication and celebration was held on February 8, 1998.
  • In the summer of 2000, Pastor Vera A. Johnson joined Shepherd's staff as Associate Pastor. The focus of her ministry was to help strengthen Shepherd's mission outreach and our caring ministry for one another.
  • On May 16, 2004, a new C.B. Fisk Op. 122 tracker pipe organ was dedicated in Shepherd's sanctuary. The total cost of $500,000 was given by our generous congregation members and friends and was paid in full at time of installation.
  • A Congregational Visioning Process was conducted in 2005, a Capital Appeal in 2006, and a new $2.2 million dollar addition was constructed in 2007. This addition features a new kitchen; two-story education wing with new preschool rooms, youth room, and family group rooms; and more storage. This new space is now filled with groups and activities each week, and has helped grow Shepherds ministries and outreach into the community.
  • Shepherd's Senior Staff Leadership Team, with reorganized and additional staff, began implementing a Vision Culture Plan in the fall of 2007 with aggressive ministry goals and strategic plans for the next years. This Vision Culture Plan kept staff focused as a team on unified goals.
  • Shepherds Governing Board (changed from a limited and less effective Church Council structure in 2000) is growing as a dynamic leadership Board and is becoming more strategic in governing and leading the congregations future vision and goals.
  • In 2009 the Shepherd congregation participated in the Reveal Study. These results helped to shape Shepherds ministries and staff in helping to grow each persons faith in Jesus, and in developing Bible centered and trained Christ Followers.
  • In 2010, a change was made in our leadership following the departure of our associate and senior pastors. Pastor John Kerr served as our interim pastor during the call process for a new senior pastor.
  • In January, 2012, Pastor Michelle Gawienowski accepted the call here at Shepherd of the Hills and reinvigorated our church family, growing in ministry and mission together for the sake of Jesus Christ.
  • In October 2013, Pastor Horacio Castillo joined Shepherd as a part-time pastor while pursuing his Masters of Arts in Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary.
  • Pastor Michelle in June of 2014 left to be a full-time mom. We welcomed Interim Senior Pastor David Wrightsman in July, 2014 to lead us through our transition.
  • In August of 2015, we welcomed Pastor Renee Patterson as our Senior Pastor.