Key Events in the Life of Shepherd of the Hills

1966 As people began building homes Northwest of Menomonee Falls, Holy Cross Lutheran Church decides to help plant a new congregation in the Richfield/Hubertus area.

1967  In the Spring, Pastor Lee Longrie begins visiting homes in the area.

1967  Worship services begin at the Richfield Fire Hall. Every week, members come early, clean up the room, set up chairs and furnishings for worship.

Oct 1967 97 people sign as “charter” members, as we are received as a congregation of the Lutheran Church in America (LCA).

Easter 1968  First services held in the new building (now outdoor pavilion).

1970  We begin an emphasis on contemporary worship with our first “celebration” service.

1976  Cynthia Skaalen and Joan Moertl begin serving as organist & choir director. Joan will serve for 25 years, and Cynthia is still playing!

1970’s Under the leadership of Pastor Tom Shaeffer, and then John Roseth, the young congregation grows rapidly.

1980  Another young pastor, Michael Obinger, leads the church to further growth. He is remembered as a gifted speaker. Plans are made to expand the building.

Feb 1985 Pastor Obinger resigns amid charges of sexual misconduct. As the story hits the newspapers, many people leave the church.

March 1985  Even without a pastor, the congregation leaders determine to move forward, and continue with the building program.

Nov 1985 The new sanctuary is dedicated. Pastor Charles Brummond begins his ministry. He brings healing to the congregation. He is remembered as a great people person, with a marvelous memory for people’s names.

June 1995 After nearly ten years of service, Pastor Brummond resigns. In April 1996, Richard Dick, Jr., becomes our sixth pastor. Through his leadership, Holy Communion is now celebrated at all of our services.

1997 A generous memorial gift allows us to launch the Handbell Choir.

July 1998  Pastor Rick Dick resigns. It is a time of great stress in the congregation, as the church seeks its second new pastor in 3 years.

June 1999 Pastor Jay Thorson is called and moves from Pennsylvania to begin his ministry here. Vickie Stretz begins the “children’s church” ministry.

May 2002 After 25 years of service, Joan Moertl retires as choir director.

Sept 2002 The worship schedule is changed, and the new “praise & communion” service is launched (our current 10:30 service).

Oct 2002 Karen Puhl begins her work as Assistant for Lay Ministries. Living Stones Associates completes their consultation work with us, paving the way for future growth of ministries, staff, & facilities, to better reach & serve our community.

Feb 2003 Work begins on a comprehensive remodeling of the building. The fellowship hall & sanctuary are converted to multi-purpose space, the nursery room & parking lot are expanded.

Sept 2004 The remodeled sanctuary is rededicated.

June 2004 Trish & Jim Kapelke begin work in the areas of Christian Formation and Music. Kristin Tetzke begins as choir director.

Sept 2005 Because of crowding at 10:30 worship, a second contemporary service is added on Saturday evening. In Jan 2007, this service is moved to Sunday evening.

Sep 2006 A major emphasis leads to a doubling of the number of small groups, to around 25.  Our expanded mission activity includes a delegation traveling to Tanzania, to begin a partnership with Shishitony Parish.

Jan 2007 Our second consultation with Living Stones in Jan. 2007 leads to the beginning of a major plan to expand our facilities and ministries.

Feb 2007 The staff is restructured, after the Kapelke’s leave to serve a church in Kansas.

Mid 2007  Now in his 8th year as our pastor, Jay Thorson is given a 3 month sabbatical for renewal and refreshment.

Aug 2007 The congregation hosts a celebration for Pastor Jay’s 20th ordination anniversary.

Nov 2007 We celebrate the 40th anniversary of Shepherd of the Hills

June 2009 We celebrate Pastor Jay’s 10th anniversary as our Pastor

August 2009 We break ground for our new church building, so we can reach & serve more people.

April 2010 First service in our new church held on Easter Sunday.

May 2010 Dedication of New Church Facility.

June 2011 Congregation changes affiliation from ELCA to LCMC /Augustana District

July 2011 Demolition of old church begins. Orginal Sanctuary left and will be converted to a pavilion.

Nov 2011 Karen Puhl transitions to full-time mission work with Simple Hope, while Chris Rudolph is called to the new position of Ministry Administrator, which becomes full-time in Jan. 2012.

Dec 2012 Constitution & Bylaws (C & B) Task Force consisting of Diane Pedersen, Jim Bahr and Don Kriefall presents new C & B to congregation for adoption.

Jan 2013 New Constitution & Bylaws ratified by congregation.

Jan 2013 New letter of Call issued to Pastor Jay Thorson.

March 2013 Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) was organized with mission “To have Shepherd of the Hills be a thriving ministry in the year 2020.”

September 2014 Congregation unanimously approved the Call of Matt Shields for our Associate Pastor. to move from church start in South Africa.

November 1 2014 Matt Shields, joined Shepherd of the Hills Staff as Associate Pastor

November 30, 2014 Matt Shields was Ordained at Shepherd of the Hills

January 2015  Congregation voted to accept new mission statement  “We are called to build a community that lives by and for the Gospel of Christ”

May 2016 Reaffirmed Pastor Matt Shields call as Associate Pastor without a limited term

December 2016 Council of Shepherds approved an official Discipleship Path to bring all members into a closer relationship with God

February 2017 After 17.8 years, Pastor Jay resigns to accept a call to serve as pastor at Capitol Drive Lutheran Church in Milwaukee central city.

March 5, 2017 Pastor Jay preaches his last sermon. Pastor Matt appointed as Interim Lead Pastor.

May 22, 2017 Congregation voted to call Pastor Matt as Senior Pastor