Sharing God’s Love

For More Than 60 Years


Historical Highlights

1961          Pastor Irvine Moline begins his ministry

Our first service held at Vandercook School with an attendance of 92.  Bob and Ginna Fritz, still in our choir today, were among others who sang in the choir at that service.  Bob was also one of our first deacons.

1962          First services were held in what is now our Fellowship Hall.

1965          Pastor Moline resigned in March; Pastor Earl Matson began his ministry in August.

1968          An education wing addition was approved.  The Shepherd Logo, drawn by member Jack O’Brien began to be used.

1969          Education wing dedicated

1971          Pastor Matson resigned in June; Pastor Gerald Peterson began his ministry in August.

1972          Elsie Seibel, our organist since 2000 (Anne Olson began sharing organist duties in 2002), became music director, a post she held until 1985

We began our Christmas season Coffee and Cookies at the Mall, an event we continue today.

1976          Sponsored a refugee family—The Vang Family, 11 persons

1979          Sponsored Refugee family—The Nauasavanha Family,  3 persons

1985          Began weekly communion

1990          The first computer was donated to the church.  Pastor Peterson said it made, “good writing easier to do.”

Sponsored a refugee family—The Ivanov Family, 4 persons

1990          Approved building a new sanctuary, a second education wing, and increased parking.

Of the original seven members of the 1991 Building Committee, we are blessed to have one still worshiping with us 32 years later, Bob Tukker.

1991          Began our first three-year building fund campaign, “Lift High the Cross.”

1995          Began our second three-year building fund campaign, “Our Best For God’s Glory.”  Pledges and contributions exceeded those for the prior campaign, an unusual result.

1996          Began supporting Freedom Tree Village construction at the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center in Oregon, IL.

Began an association with Lutheran High/Academy.

1998          Began our third building fund campaign, “A Time For Greatness.”  Pledges exceeded those for the first two campaigns.  The campaign was successfully completed in 2001.

Pastor Peterson retired in August

1999          Pastor Janet Wold began her ministry in August.

Shepherd of the Valley has been blessed to be without a Pastor for less than one and a half years in its 40-year history.  Today, many churches wait longer than two years to replace a Pastor where we took 11 months to call Pastor Wold to continue the ministry begun by Pastor Moline, Pastor Matson, and Pastor Peterson.  

2001          Lori Stanton began serving as Youth and Family Ministry in August.

2002          Hosted “Walk Through The New Testament.”  Nearly 200 people from Shepherd of the Valley, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.

2003          Purchased first set of bells for a bell choir–3 octaves.

2014        Pastor Wold resigned, Pastor Marilyn Hanson came on to serve as Interim Pastor

2015     Scott Benolkin was called and ordained to lead our church

2023     Pastor Scott resigns July 24th taking a new call in Missouri.


Long time staff not mentioned above:

  • Harry Ockerlander, more than 25 years as Financial Secretary and Treasurer
  • Carol Dahl, Financial Secretary, more than 13 years
  • Mary Lofquist, Church secretary, more than 25 years
  • Lois Peterson, Organist, 13 years