Shepherd of The Hills Lutheran Church
On March 31, 1974, thirty-six interested people met with Rev. Berthold J. Lossel, Interim Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Hardy, to discuss the formation of a Lutheran Church in Horseshoe Bend. Rev. Ralph Bird the newly called Pastor at Peace Lutheran in Hardy, conducted the first service at the Lion’s Den on July 21, 1974, with seventy-five people in attendance. The name “The Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church” was selected.
In January 1975, clear title to a church site was announced and a building committee was appointed. A ground-breaking service for the new sanctuary was held on April 11, 1976 with 150 attending. The unique features of the new $170,000 structure was the installation of solar heat panels and seven memorial circular faceted stained glass windows depicting the Good Shepherd in Psalm 23. On May 1, 1978, Rev. Ralph Bird and Dr. Wilbert Griesse, President of the Mid-South District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, led the service of dedication.
On October 1, 1978, Rev. Walter Rueger, was installed as the first resident Pastor of Shepherd of the Hills. On January 6, 1980, two members of the congregation, George and Ruth Brandau were commissioned as lay workers to Liberia, Afica. The Lord Jesus in His wisdom called Rev. Rueger to his eternal home on January 13, 1980. On October 11, 1981, a beautiful 17 foot textured stainless steel sculpture of the “Good Shepherd leading His Flock” was dedicated to the Glory of God in loving memory of Rev. Rueger and mounted on the front of the church.
On October 12, 1980, Rev. Eric Cash was installed as first full-time Pastor of Shepherd of the Hills. On September 18, 1983, a new Rodgers organ was dedicated to the Glory of God in memory of many faithful servants of God. On June 26,1988, Pastor Cash retired from the active ministry. On July 1, 1989, Rev. John Reimold was installed as the second full-time pastor of the congregation. During this time a Tape Ministry was started for shut-ins and the church’s first Newsletter was printed. Rev. Reimold retired from the active ministry on May 31,1996.
On November 17, 1996, Rev. David Tews was installed as the congregation’s third full-time pastor. The fellowship hall has been expanded and handicapped accessible restrooms, a Sunday School room, a choir room and storage space have been added. Pastor Tews retired from the active ministry on December 31, 2018.
On November 3, 2019, Rev. Bradley Heinecke was installed as the congregation’s fourth full-time pastor.