Shepherd of the Hills’ History
The Journey for Shepherd of the Hills began in 1962. Because there was no Presbyterian Church was within three miles in any direction of the growing community of Applewood. A man from the far off reaches of Alaska who had for 25 years of his life served Jesus Christ’s ministry, Dr. Malcolm Sweet, was called to organize our initial congregation. In our church’s first meeting at a local Grange building, 69 men and women met Dr. Sweet, and discussed what it was to become a congregation. After meeting for Sunday School at unlikely places such as dance studios, schools and even a three bedroom house, the membership more than doubled by the time ground was broken in early 1960 for a church building. By the end of 1964, 237 members and 250 children were attending Sunday School.
In 1970, work started on the present sanctuary. Charter Hall, the original Sanctuary, could-no longer handle the spiraling membership growth. Robert Strange, a member of the congregation and the architect of the current sanctuary came up with the unique tent roof design. The design speaks to the real meaning of our church, that however solid brick and mortar walls are, it needs to keep, like a tent, the adaptability to be flexible, mobile and ready to adjust in order to meet the needs of the community and church family. The design was literally inspired by the biblical “David’s tent” or “tent of meeting”.
The sanctuary was completed in 1973. The most recent major expansion was completed in 1993. This added many needed additions to the sanctuary, narthex, classrooms, choir room, kitchen, staff office space, library, lounge and included construction of an elevator.
Not only has the physical structure of Shepherd of the Hills grown, but also church membership, which began with 69 prospective members, was by 1995, nearly 750.
A quote from Dr. L. W. Almy, Executive of the Colorado Synod, made at the first dedication service in 1964 still rings true today:
“In the fruitful days ahead we shall here, and in our self-giving we shall teach children, youth, and adults here, and in so doing, it will become a place of spiritual loyalty and love.”
Pastors who have served include:
Pastor Dr. Malcolm S. Sweet (1962-1982)
Associate Pastor J. Patrick Jordan (1973-1986)
Associate Pastor Patricia J. Willis (1977-1983)
Interim pastor Robert Hermanson (1982-1984)
Pastor J. Edgar McDonald (1984-1986)
Interim pastor Gilbert C. Murphy (1986-1988)
Pastor Dr. Alan Landes (1988-1999)
Parish Associate Jane Hays (1986-1995) (Parish Associate Emerita 1995 – present)
Parish Associate Harold M. Davis (1989-1992)
Associate Pastor Michael H. Carrier (1990-1993)
Parish Associate John Bratt (1993-2002)
Associate Pastor Suzanne Lindsey (1995-1996)
Parish Associate Kennan Smith (1996-2001)
Interim pastor Lester Avery (1999-2001)
Parish Associate J. Patrick Jordan (2001)
Pastor Ronald Holmes (2001-present)
Associate Pastor Julia Leeth (2002-2008)
Minister of Member Care Rev. Barbara Royle (2004-2012)
Associate Pastor Andy Hamer (2014-present)
Interim Pastor Dan Dolquist (2017-Present)