Thanks to EVERYONE who made "In the Path of the Shepherd",
The Celebration of the Centennial of the Ministry of Shepherd of the Hill, a complete success!
A CD of 275 photos taken by Randy Lee is available for $10!
(Individual photos may also be ordered; the order form is in the Gathering Space)
The photos will be shown in the Gathering space as a slide show.
The DVD made by Molly Heltne is available for $5!
Prints of Mary Elworthy's watercolor are available from $2 to $80!
(order forms in Gathering Space)


Charter Members Trivia
Five of the charter members were from the same family. Mother (Randine Gullickson Jenson),
three sons (Martin T., and family, John G, and family, Eddie and family) and daughter Carrie,
who married Albert Howe. Alfred and Nels Gilbertson were brothers. Nels Hanson and Earl W.
Hanson were father and son. Most of the charter members were farmers; however, other
occupations were: postmaster, blacksmith/livery business, wagon maker, mailman, banker, store
clerk, and Wisconsin Assemblyman. Most were active in the community, serving as village
trustees, town or school board members, and members of such organizations as the Masons.
January 10, 1923 Annual Meeting
Trustees verbally submitted an estimate of $450 for expenses for the coming year.
January 18, 1918 Annual Meeting
Motion made and seconded that we have a one-month parochial school next summer.


SHEPHERD OF THE HILL LUTHERAN CHURCH HISTORY



On the seventh day of April, 1913, a small group gathered at the home of Nels Hanson in the village of Elk Mound for the purpose of forming a Lutheran congregation. There were 17 families in this group:

Andrew Amundson Anton Amundson family Gustav Barum family
Torval Christopherson Alfred Gilbertson family Nels Gilbertson family
Earl Hanson Nels Hanson family Albert Howe family
Arthur Howe family Alfred Jenson family Eddie Jenson family
John G. Jenson family Martin Jenson family Randine Jenson
Carl Rosenberg family Oswald Sorenson family


The minutes of this first meeting were recorded in Norwegian: Translated they read: "Alfred Jenson was elected President. The congregation's name is The Norwegian Lutheran Church of Elk Mound Village (Menighedens Naum Den Norske Lutherske Kirke of Elk Mound Village). Arthur Howe was elected secretary for one year. Earl Hansen was elected treasurer for one year. Carl Rosenberg was elected trustee for two years. Alfred Jenson was elected trustee for one year. Alfred Gilbertson was elected trustee for three years. Motion made/approved that a committee of three be appointed to draw up a constitution. Motion made/approved that trustees be elected together. Motion made/approved that Earl Hanson buy two books, one for the treasurer and one for the secretary. Motion made/approved that the trustees send Pastor Anton P. Lea a letter of agreement (or contract) about worship services every three weeks with payment of $100 and offerings from three holidays and a ministerial offering. M. T. Jenson, secretary." (Pastor A. P. Lea came from Central Lutheran in Chippewa Falls.)

The second meeting was held on May 20, 1913. A constitution and by-laws were adopted. In addition, a decision was made to purchase hymnals. E. W. Hanson was instructed to find hymnals written in English, probably The Lutheran Hymnary. It was decided to hold English language services every other meeting.

1914 was a very busy year. The first annual meeting was held on January 14 at the Nels Hanson home. It was decided to hold the English language services at the German Lutheran Church for the time being. Plans for the erection of a church building were considered. E. W. Hanson and John G. Jenson were given the responsibility of soliciting funds for the project and a building committee was selected (Nels Hanson, Oswald Sorensen, Ole Kleven, Martin Jenson and Anton Amundson). Mrs. Caroline Christopherson donated the site. Building plans were submitted, discussed and approved. Details of the plans: the church would be 28-feet wide, 40-feet long, 14-feet high with a full basement and cement floor at an estimated cost of $1,950.00. At a later meeting it was decided to include an addition to the south end of the church, 18 feet wide, 12 feet long and 10 feet high with stairway to the basement. The Building Fund had a balance of $1,606 (the Ladies Aid had donated $250.00 to this fund). The building committee was given the authority to purchase the furnishings for the new building. A.C. Aale was selected to serve as sexton and Mr. M. T. Jenson Sunday School Superintendent.

A special meeting was held on January 27, 1914, for the purpose of incorporating and it was decided to incorporate under the name of Elk Mound Lutheran Church. On July 14, 1914, the cornerstone was laid for the new church by Rev. Peder J. Tandjerd of Eau Claire. The church building was completed and dedication services were held June 25-27, 1915. Sunday School was held every other Sunday.

During the year of 1918, a vote was taken to consolidate with Big Elk Creek Norwegian Lutheran Church, and the Barum Norwegian Lutheran Church. Pastor Lea was not considered to serve the consolidated parish. Pastor Horneland was hired to serve the three churches. The following year a parsonage was purchased to house the pastor's family. Also, consideration was given to a Chippewa Falls congregation joining this congregation but their request was denied because the railroad connections were very poor for a minister to travel between the 4 churches.

A bell was purchased for the church in December 1920 and installed shortly thereafter. That same month a special meeting was held to revise the constitution stating that "the Constitution be amended by striking out the word 'male' so as to read as follows: "The voting members of the congregation shall be all members 21 years old and over." It passed unanimously. On January 12 the following year the proposed change became official.

At the January 12, 1922 Annual Meeting, a discussion was held about purchasing a new piano or organ and a committee of three (Mrs. Anton Amundson, Earl W. Hanson and John Jenson) was appointed. It was decided to build a sacristy. A special meeting was held on October 18, 1922, to accept the resignation of Reverend Horneland. Temporary outside ministers conducted services until a call letter was sent to Reverend Paulson in September of 1924 offering him a salary of $250 plus three offerings per year (Elk Mound's share).

In 1925 the congregation agreed to have ushers. These ushers served by the year. The following year services were still spoken in Norwegian or English at the discretion of the minister. The envelope system for offerings and the use of collection plates began in 1927.

Reverend Paulson resigned on January 30, 1928. A Call Committee sent Rev. Carl Pederson a call to be our pastor.

The Sunrise Easter Service on Mound Hill was introduced by the Rev. Carl Pederson on April 20, 1930. Along with the Easter message, instrumental and vocal music was conducted. A road was built to the summit in the 1930s and attendance increased to as many as 300 people. This Easter Sunday tradition continued for many years. At the January 1930 meeting a janitor was hired for $100 per year and "he shall do all extra fixing that is necessary." That same year it was necessary to install a new furnace, a Premier Hot Air Furnace, including a silent electric fan for the sum of $450.00. Also, the first mention of Thursday Religious Day School was considered at this meeting (children were released from school the first hour of the school day to attend religious instruction at the church of their choice).

The 25th anniversary of the congregation was celebrated May 29, 1938. There was a history committee, a worship committee and the matter of serving food was left to the Ladies Aid. There were 108 voting members, 134 confirmed members and 155 baptized members. The debt of the congregation was $500 in the form of a note.

In July of 1939 Rev. Carl O. Pederson resigned. Durint the fall of 1942 the congregation began using English language services exclusively. The thirtieth anniversary of the congregation was celebrated in 1943 along with commemorating the 100th year of the Norwegian Lutheran Church in America. Pastor Edwin Gunderson was serving the congregation and resigned at a church service on October 10, 1943 to serve as an army chaplain.

Rev. Alf Hjemboe served the parish from 1945 to 1949. Rev. O.R. A. Toffefson served the parish from 1950 to 1954. Rev. Hubert DeBoer accepted a call to serve the parish in 1955.

In 1947 organ music was added to services with the purchase of a Wicks Pipe Organ from a church in Wausau. It was picked up and delivered by Eddie Gilbertson in his new pickup truck. That same organ is being used today. In October of 1948 there was a motion to purchase an addressograph at a cost of $50.00 for the Pastor's use in mailing The Parish Messenger and other publications at a cost of $50.

At the annual meeting in 1958 the Board of Deacons suggested the treasurer's duties be divided into three parts; a head treasurer, a benevolence secretary and a building fund secretary. Early in 1958, a committee was appointed to investigate the possibility of additional Sunday School space, cost not to exceed $25,000. It was planned to build 12 feet away from the church to allow for the construction of a new church 40 feet wide instead of 28 feet wide, joining the two buildings with a basement passageway. A groundbreaking service was held April 5, 1959. The building (28 feet by 60 feet) was designed with nine classrooms on the first floor, and a basement assembly room, accommodating 132 pupils. S.S. enrollment was 81 pupils and 13 teachers and officers. It was completed in August of 1959 and dedication was held June 11, 1961. The land for this addition was donated by Lawrence and Sylvia Sanford.

Pastor De Boer accepted a call to the Clearbrook Parish, Clearbrook, Minnesota, in June 1959, terminating his services in Elk Mound on August 31, 1959. Pastor Gilbert Borreson, was installed as pastor of the parish at Barum Lutheran Church on March 23, 1960. It was noted in 1961 that there were 121 confirmed members, 156 baptized members. Under the ALC, the Ladies Aid received a new name, Lutheran Church Women. The LCW was also divided into Circles; namely, Faith, Hope & Charity.

A festive and memorable day was celebrated on August 18, 1963 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of The Elk Mound Lutheran Church. The forenoon and afternoon services were conducted by Pastor Gilbert Borreson. Pastor Alf Hjemboe preached at the morning service and Pastor Alton Larson, Ostrander, MN spoke at the afternoon service. The seven surviving charter members were introduced; Anna Amundson, Agnes Howe, Carrie Howe, Jenny Gilbertson, Menly Gilbertson, Emma Rosenberg, and Carl Rosenberg. The cornerstone was opened at the close of the service. The Luther League presented a sacred drama, "The Challenge of the Cross." The baptized membership of the congregation was reported to be 205 and confirmed membership was 140. The proposed budget for 1963 was $7,274. A special meeting was called to consider the appropriate age of confirmation students-freshmen in high school would coincide with junior confirmation and sophomore in high school with senior confirmation.

With the formation of the Synod of the American Lutheran Church, churches of many backgrounds (United Evangelical Lutheran Church, est. 1896; Evangelical Lutheran Church, est. 1917; and American Lutheran Church, est. 1930) came together to worship as one. On January 8, 1964, the congregation voted to become a member of the synod of The American Lutheran Church, the Northern WI District, Eau Claire Conference. It was also voted to subscribe to "The Lutheran Standard."

On Sunday, June 11, 1967 the electric audio sound system was dedicated in memory of Emma Rosenberg. In January 1967, a building committee was appointed to explore the condition of the building and report its findings to the congregation along with plans for remodeling and repair. On February 25, 1968 at a meeting of the congregation, a resolution was approved to complete an addition, and renovate the church narthex. Groundbreaking was held on March 24, 1968, and dedication was held on November 17, 1968.

The Springbrook Methodist Church donated six stained glass windows from their country church to Shepherd of the Hill, to be used in the Sanctuary, since they had consolidated with the village Methodist Church. We were using Service Book and Hymnal.

At the 1968 annual meeting it was voted to support the LIFE Program of the ALC with a pledge of $400. "LIFE (Lutheran Ingathering for Education) is designed to strengthen institutions through which the Church conducts its educational ministry. A special meeting of the congregation was held after worship service on Sunday, June 30, 1968 to select a name for the church with some religious significance. The names presented were Peace, Prince of Peace, Bethel, and Shepherd of the Hill. Shepherd of the Hill received 29 of the 51 votes cast and the name of Elk Mound Lutheran Church was changed to Shepherd of the Hill Lutheran Church. Pastor Borreson tendered his resignation at Sunday worship service on May 5, 1968. A farewell party was held on July 14, 1968, following morning worship service. Pastor Gerald Giving from St. Paul (Augsburg Publishing House) served as Interim Pastor in 1968-69, preaching his first service on August 4, 1968.

At the annual meeting in 1969 a motion was approved that the trustees explore the possibility of developing a driveway and parking lot on the property at the rear of the Sunday School and Church buildings.

In 1969, Big Elk Creek and Barum congregations separated from Elk Mound. Shepherd of the Hill Lutheran Church and Spring Brook Lutheran Church were united into one congregation. The combined congregation was named Faith Lutheran and the new pastor "shall be a man not presently serving either congregation." Pastor Leonard Ellison was sent a letter of call on May 13, 1969 offering an annual salary of $6,000. In the fall of 1979 the country property was transferred to the Spring Brook Church Organization.

At a January 1972 meeting, it was proposed that the youth of the congregation be allowed the privilege of receiving the Lord's Supper before their rite of confirmation and was ratified in January 1973. Pastor Dean Brockmeier was sent a letter of call on May 8, 1972 offering an annual salary of $8,100 plus housing allowance and car expense.

The Lutheran Book of Worship was first used on September 16, 1979. There were 457 members and 330 confirmed members at this time.

On January 23, 1980, the congregation voted to build an L-shaped addition to the Sunday School unit which would tie the two buildings together, provide for worship overflow, expanded education, new kitchen, fellowship and office space ($157,000 addition). The groundbreaking was held on June 7, 1981 and dedication was held on September 26, 1982. Tours were conducted following the service along with food/fellowship. July 12, 1981 began a tradition of Outdoor Worship at "The Land," a special place along the Chippewa River at the Martin and Joann Knutson farm. This continued until the farm was sold.

The Shepherd's Shelf, established at Shepherd of the Hill in 1983, was developed into a community food pantry serving a wide area. On July 12, 1981, the congregation voted to change its name back to Shepherd of the Hill Lutheran Church. There were four Bible study circles, Naomi, Hope/Martha, and Sarah.

At the 1987 annual meeting, Shepherd of the Hill voted to approve the "Agreement and Plan Merger" by and between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the American Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church in America, and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches. A name was selected and a model constitution for congregations was adopted by the Constituting Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on April 30, 1987. This model constitution was distributed to congregations by Synod offices. Shepherd of the Hill Church Council formed a committee in December of 1991 to review and write a new document which would comply, yet preserve the uniqueness of our original document. (This new constitution was adopted April 18, 1993 and is still in use today.)

On May 18, 1988, a dedication was held for new pews and padded chairs as well as two additional stained glass windows which were added to the Chancel area. This was made possible from donations. The Elk Mound congregation celebrated its 75th anniversary on August 18, 1988. The High School Commons was used for the noon meal. Pastors Giving, Ellison, and Estelle Borreson (widow of Pastor Gilbert Borreson) participated. Menly Gilbertson was the only charter member living. Commemorative plates, cups, notecards and cookbooks were offered for sale. Membership was 396 baptized members, 290 confirmed members.

The Shepherd's Fund was established in September 1989. Padding was added to the church pews and additional padded chairs purchased for the overflow area. Donations, undesignated and memorial funds paid for the improvements. According to the annual report, at the end of 1990, there were 399 baptized members and 306 confirmed members. Total number of members communing was 218. A new highefficiency gas furnace was installed. The congregation and Pastor Dean celebrated his 25 years of ordained ministry.

In 1992 the parking lot was extended and improved. There were sufficient funds to add curb, gutter, striping, and a new light pole in addition to the new blacktop. A park area at the end of the parking lot was added in 1993. Trees were planted, picnic tables, an arbor and statues were placed in the area. It was named the Shepherd's Wayside.

The first community Ecumenical Service was held at the village park August 1, 1993, with Pastor Strong (Trinity Methodist), Father Hoerburger (St. Joseph's Catholic) and Pastor Brockmeier presiding.

During worship service April 9, 1995 a service of thanksgiving was held in which the real estate mortgage taken out in 1981 was burned as it was paid-in-full. Discussion also began in 1995 on space needs and it was decided in 2000 to look at various plans for major renovations/addition to the Church. In August 2002 the congregation voted to contract with Market and Johnson to construct a new addition/renovate at a cost not to exceed $650,000. The chosen plan called for removing the Sacristy and Chancel in order that the new Sanctuary might be tied directly to the original structure built in 1914. The old worship overflow space became offices and the old Sanctuary was returned to the exact space as planned and built in 1914. On August 18, a service was held closing the Chancel and Sacristy and groundbreaking took place. A temporary wall was erected and we continued to worship in the 1914 Sanctuary through March 9, 2003. On that day a special service was held remembering the many acts of ministry that had taken place in that Sanctuary and then the worship furnishings were moved into our new Sanctuary. A dedication celebration, along with the ninetieth anniversary of Shepherd Hill was held October 19, 2003. A program for the congregation and community was held at 2:00 p.m. following a noon meal. Bishop Robert Berg, Pastors Hjemboe and Ellison spoke at the afternoon program. A Confirmation Reunion was held on Saturday, October 18 with an evening meal and program. It was well attended.

November 2, 1997, Pastor Dean was honored for twenty-five years of ministry at Shepherd of the Hill. The first Compaq computer, monitor and Hewlett-Packard laser jet printer were purchased for the office.

At the 2001 ELCA Church-wide Assembly five Synods (Met. Chicago, SE Michigan, Upstate New York, Met. Washington, Dc and Virginia) brought memorials asking our ELCA to implement a church-wide study on homosexuality with reference to: 1)the blessing of same-sex unions, and the ordination, consecration, and commissioning of people in same-sex unions Two study documents were prepared . A report would be due at the 2005 Assembly. At the Churchwide Assembly in August 2009 a Social Statement on Human Sexuality was adopted.

September through December of 2006, Shepherd of the Hill offered a fellowship/Bible study course entitled ALPHA featuring an Anglican priest, Nicky Gumbel, from London. Thirty people participated in the first offering and found it to be a renewing experience.

Pastor Dean Brockmeier retired on January 31, 2008. A retirement gathering was held on January 27, 2008, with an open house and program. The Church Council voted to offer Pastor Sherm Iverson a 3/4 time interim pastor position at a salary of $53,825.

In January 2009 Pastor Michael Wollman accepted a call to be the new pastor of Shepherd of the Hill. At the Churchwide Assembly in August 2009 the Social Statement on Human Sexuality was adopted by the ELCA. The ALPHA course was offered again on Wednesday evenings. These services have continued-the BETA course, the study of Spiritual Gifts, from I Cor. 12, and other Bible studies.

Highlights of 2012 include expansion and blacktopping of the parking lot and the decision to be a host organization for Ruby's Pantry/Home and Away Ministries. Surplus food is distributed the fourth Saturday of each month at the low cost of $15. This $15 helps to cover operational, shipping and handling costs for Ruby's and 20 percent of these funds are used to benefit the community. All are welcome to participate.

At the end of 2012, the annual report of the congregation indicated that there are 442 baptized members at Shepherd of the Hill, 317 confirmed members. However, only 250 members have communed this past year.


Last updated: May 31st, 2017