Lutheran Church and School

7691 S. University Blvd.
Centennial, CO 80122
303-798-0711

History

In June, 1963, Pastor Henry F. Fingerlin accepted a call to be a “Missionary-At-Large” to the Littleton area, under supervision of the Mission Board of the Colorado District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

After a preliminary canvas and contact with interested persons, an organizational meeting was held on September 22, 1963, at Pastor’s parsonage. The first name chosen for the congregation was “Cherrywood Village Lutheran Church.” The first service was held on October 13, at the Grange Hall which was located west of University on Orchard Road. Ninety-seven people attended the first service and forty children came to the first Sunday School. Two months later the name of the congregation was changed to Shepherd Of The Hills Lutheran Church.

In December of 1963, 22 families were chartered as the first members of the newly formed congregation. One year later ground was broken at our present location and the first buildings – the Parish Hall and Sunday School classroom building – were dedicated in May, 1965. The church experienced continued growth, so an administration building was dedicated in 1968 and a new sanctuary in 1976. In 1984, to accommodate continued growth, the north school building was constructed. Shepherd of the Hills Christian School opened its doors September, 1985.

The south school and administration building was dedicated in 1996. Our latest building project was the gymnasium, built in 2001, and dedicated in the spring of 2002.

As the congregation has grown in size, so has the number of organizations and activities. More than a dozen ministries have formed over the years to support the ministry of the congregation. Pastor Fingerlin’s adult instruction class has continued its weekly course of studies through the years, instructing many, many new members over the years.

Rev. John-Paul Meyer assisted Pastor Fingerlin from 1974-79. Rev. David Kruger assisted from 1979-82. Rev. C. Eric Morganthaler assisted from 1983-88, at which time he accepted the call to begin a new mission, Community of Hope, in the Highlands Ranch area.

In the fall of 1988, Pastor Fingerlin requested to be given Associate Pastor status so that the congregation could call a new Senior Pastor. Rev. Craig W. Henningfield of Streamwood, Illinois, accepted this call and was installed in January of 1989. Rev. Robert L. Tasler assisted in the pastoral ministry from 1989-1999. Pastor Henningfield resigned in July of 2003.

In February of 2001, Pastor James Brammeier accepted the call to serve us as “co-Senior Pastor” in partnership with Pastor Craig. He left in February of 2004 to take care of his wife and family in Des Moines, Iowa.

Pastor Rinehart was called and served as an Interim Ministry Pastor from February 2004 through July 2005.

Jason Reitz became Youth Director in 2001. He left in 2003 to attend seminary in St. Louis. Andy Roettjer replaced him as Youth director in 2003 and continued into 2004 when he left to work in the family business in Estes Park, Colorado.

June 2006 marked the beginning of the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Bradley Stoltenow, who currently serves the congregation.

Gail Black has worked as Worship Coordinator and Music Director from 2000 until the present.

During our history, we have assisted in establishing five mission congregations:

1. Trinity, Franktown
2. Our Father, Littleton
3. Hosanna, Littleton
4. Community of Hope, Highlands Ranch
5. Holy Cross, Highlands Ranch

Fifty of our congregational members were inspired to seek Christian Education and subsequent employment in the preaching and teaching ministry of the Lutheran Church and Schools.