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Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church -- Historical Site

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Past Pastors

Rev. John Klindworth                                   (Served from 1859 – 1879)

            Rev. John Klindworth was born on August 9, 1833 in Hanover, Germany. His father was a well-educated man and a teacher by profession. Rev. John had been well educated with reference to his future calling with the church. He came to America at the age of twenty-five. He boarded the ship “Louis Napoleon” in Hamburg, Germany and arrived in New York, New York on July 23, 1858. He came over with two other young clergyman and all where heading for Detroit, Michigan. He traveled with three boxes containing his personal items. According to the US Census of 1860, John Klindworth lived in the 4th Galena Ward, Jo Daviess County, IL with the family of Chas & Eliz Grassman. He was listed as a Lutheran Clergy from Hanover, Germany. He was betrothed to Miss Catherine Brandt, who came to America, as his intended bride. They were married on October 18, 1861 . To their marriage they were blessed with seven children. Their children are as followed:

  1. Clara – She married Rev. A. Kleinlein.
  2. Gustave – A minister of the Lutheran faith, he served Zion & St. John’s from 1888 to 1900.
  3. Albert – He also became a minister of the Lutheran faith, he served in Steubenville , Ohio .
  4. Otto – He was a shipping clerk for the firm of Myer, Rose, & Co. in St. Louis , MO.
  5. Agnes – married Mr. Wecker.
  6. Emma – She passed away at the age of about three months.
  7. Emilie – She passed away at the age of ten months old.

Rev. Klindworth founded St. Matthew’s Lutheran church in Galena, IL in 1858. He also founded St. John’s Lutheran church in Guilford Township in 1868. St. John’s and Zion Congregation obtained land from Anton Schap in Schapville to build their first parsonage (this was in March of 1879).

(Article from the Galena Gazette on December 5, 1907 -- Rev. John Klindworth III -- The parochial school of St. Matthew's Lutheran church was closed today by order of the mayor on account the Rev. John Klindworth, pastor of St. Matthew's church being taken ill with diphtheria. The home of Rev. Klindworth also has been placed under quarantine. The many friends of Rev. Klindworth will learn with regret of his illness, and will hope that he may recover as quickly as the nature of the sickness will permit.) 

Church record from St. Matthew's Lutheran church states that Rev. John Klindworth took ill on December 2, 1907 and dictated a letter from his sick bed to his daughter, Mrs. Clara Kleinlein. This letter was later read to the congregation after his death.

Rev. Klindworth’s wife, Catherine, passed away on the 23rd day of March in 1900. Rev. John passed away on the 5th of December 1907. Both are buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Galena, IL along with their daughters Agnes, Emma, & Emilie and some granddaughters.


Rev. George Kaempflein                  (Served from 1879 – 1886)

      Rev. Kaempflein was born around 1852 in Bavaria, Germany. He was married to Hannah (Johanna) (b. 1855 in Bavaria, Germany) and they had two girls before moving to Schapville. His two girls were:  Agnes (b. 1876) and Ester (1878 – November 14, 1898).

      He served a parish in New Baltimore, Michigan in 1875 before coming to St. John and Zion’s Congregation. He was the first resident pastor for St. John’s and Zion Lutheran church. While at our congregation, he and his wife, Hannah had a son, Gustow August Adolf (August 21, 1882) and just before they left a daughter, Mary (abt. 1886).

      There was a need for a second church and so they purchased the land from Mr. Philip Parker and built Zion Lutheran (also known as the lower church) in Schapville, Thompson Township, Jo Daviess County.

      He withdrew from the Iowa Synod and became an independent pastor with no synod connection. Rev. George left this little community and moved to Janesville, Wisconsin where he served at St. John’s Lutheran Church. While there, he and his wife had another son, George F. (b. December 25, 1887) and a daughter, Emma (b. 1889). He and his family later moved to Beloit, Rock County, Wisconsin where he passed away on April 6, 1898. After Rev. Kaempflein’s death, his family moved back to Janesville, WI and lived there all their life. (This according to the U. S. Census)

Rev. Hugo Basilius Kuhn                     (Served from 1886 – 1888)

            Rev. Hugo B. Kuhn was installed (October 11, 1886) the day after the dedication of the new church in Schapville, IL. During his time at St. John’s & Zion, the church purchased land from Theodor Hoppe for the cemetery.

            Rev. Kuhn was born around 1819. He is listed on the Wuerttemberg German Emigration Index of September 1852. Pastor Kuhn’s wife was Anna (born abt. 1925). They both were from Württemberg, Germany. They were blessed with two children:  Henrietta (born abt. 1860 in Indiana) and Emil (born abt. 1861 in Michigan). According to the US Census of 1870 the family lived in New Castle, Delaware and the US Census of 1880 they lived in Port Jervis, Orange County, New York.

             Pastor Kuhn resigned because of poor health in early October 1888. He then moved to Chicago, IL, where he passed away from a chest illness that he had suffered from for the past year. He passed away on July 13, 1889 and his wasted body was laid to rest in a Christian manner with the participation of the congregation that he belonged to. He is buried in a Lutheran Cemetery in Blue Island, IL. He left behind a wife, one grown son and one grown daughter and many dear friends.

            His son, Emil W. Kuhn married Lena Hoffmann on July 3, 1887 at either St. John's or Zion Lutheran church with Karl and Margaret Hefs as their witnesses.

Rev. Gustuv F. Klindworth                 (Served from 1888 – 1900)

            Rev. Gustuv F. Klindworth was born on November 22, 1965 in Galena , IL . He was the son of Rev. John & Catherine (Brandt) Klindworth, our founding father. Rev. Gus attended Northwestern University in Watertown, Wisconsin and then the Capital University and Seminary in Columbia, Ohio. He was ordained on April 30, 1883. He served in Des Moines, Iowa as an assistant for his brother-in-law, the Rev. A Kleinlein, from 1883 to 1888. His next call was to St. John’s and Zion Lutheran church.

            While Rev. Klindworth was serving as pastor of St. John’s and Zion Lutheran church, he fell in love and married Miss Regina W. Schlichting (a young women from his congregation in Schapville.)

Miss Regina W. Schlichting  was born on October 9, 1871 in Guilford Township. She was the daughter of Louis and Sophia Schlichting. Regina was baptized by Rev. John Klindworth and confirmed in 1887 by Rev. Hugo Kuhn. She was a homemaker. Two years before she passed away, she became ill. She passed away on Monday, morning, November 28, 1921 at 7:30 pm with her husband and two daughters at her side. She is buried at Lutheran Gethsemane Cemetery. The cemetery is owned by the Salems & St. Paul’s Lutheran church of Detroit, Michigan.

            Rev. Gustuv Klindworth and Miss Regina Schlichting were married on February 5, 1890 at Zion Lutheran Church in Schapville with Rev. John Klindworth officiating. To their union, they were blessed with five children. There children are as followed:

       1.  Ruby Maria Sophia Catharine (January 27, 1892 – September 27, 1973)

        2.  Enno Johann Ludwig (July 10, 1896 – August 9, 1897)

                                                            3.  Amos Johann Albert (October 29, 1898 – August 22, 1900)

                                                            4.  Lucile (June 7, 1901 -- July 12, 1901)

                                                            5.  Flora  (1904 --)

While Rev. Gustuv was at St. John’s and Zion, there were new pews installed at St. John’s, a new bell was given by Gustav Durstein and John Hesselbacher in 1891. In the year, 1900, a barn was erected on the parsonage property. That year was also memorable as the year that the parsonage was destroyed by fire. Rev. Gustuv also lost his mother suddenly in March and lost his son, Amos in August. The congregation of St. John’s and Zion grew uneasy with Rev. Klindworth and asked for his resignation that same year. Rev. Klindworth took a call from St. Paul’s Lutheran church in Lynville from 1900 to 1912. He served three other congregations before he retired in 1932. Rev. Klindworth passed away on June 22, 1933 in Detroit, Michigan. He is buried beside his wife in Gethsemane Lutheran Cemetery in Detroit.


Served from 1900 – 1907)

                                            Rev. Henry Meyer was installed on December 5, 1900 . He was married Eleonore Prigge around 1896. (Eleonore was born in Minnesota abt. 1878 the daughter of Henry & Dorothea Prohl Prigge) Rev. and Mrs. Meyer came to this congregation with three daughters: Dorothea, Lydia and Meta. They had three children while serving our congregation. All three were baptized here. Their children were:  Herman Karl Heinrich (October 25, 1902 - April 15, 1988); Eleonore Johanna Henrietta (September 4, 1904 - October 1986); and Walter Hermann Johann (June 25, 1906- April 1973). After leaving they had two more daughters: Emma and Pauline.

            While Rev. Meyer was here, our congregation held the first Mission Festival picnic and they raised $77.00. During his time here at St. John’s and Zion, the ornate copper ceiling at Zion was installed in 1907. Rev. Meyer and Henry Boldt traveled to Chicago to select the material for the ceiling which cost the congregation $800.00 and an ornamental large crown for the chancel was purchased for an additional cost of $10.00. It was brought back to Scales Mound by rail and then four teams of horses and wagons brought it to the church. George Kuhn was one of the drivers of the teams. The ceiling is still intact and the interest of anyone stopping by Zion (now Shepherd of the Hills). It still remains a mystery what the actual material is that makes up the ceiling. The congregation also added the handcrafted altar from Germany. This altar came across the Atlantic Ocean and through the Great Lakes to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, then it was shipped by rail to Apple River. Henry Schlichting and Louis Schultz brought the altar to Schapville by a team of horses and a wagon. The altar cost the congregation $800.00.

            Rev. Meyer contracted tuberculosis. He resigned and retired from the ministry on December 7, 1907. They moved to Elberta & Josephine, Baldwin, Alabama and he took up farming. According to the 1920 US Census, Ella and her eight children were living in Hebron, Thayer, Nebraska.

 Rev.Henry Hofhenke   (Served from 1908 – 1921)

            Rev. Henry Hofhenke was born on November 13, 1876 in Germany. He came to America in 1888. He graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and was ordained in 1901 under the Ohio Synod. He served as a pastor in Bowbells, North Dakota; Schapville, Illinois; and Mt. Olive, Illinois for a total of fifty-five (55) years. He retired in 1956.

            Rev. Henry married Bertha Harms on December 15, 1903. (She was born in Germany about 1880. She left Breman, Germany and sailed on the ship, “Trave” to New York, New York arriving in America on May 21, 1898 with her mother. They were headed for Bowbells, North Dakota.) Rev Henry and Bertha had three children: Heinrich J. (January 24, 1905); Bertha J. (July 24, 1906); and Paul Theodor Hermann (March 21, 1911- December 21, 1995 in Alabama). Heinrich was confirmed at Zion Lutheran church on April 13, 1919 and Paul T.H. was baptized on April 9, 1911 at the parsonage.

            Pastor Hofhenke was installed on February 26, 1908. During his time at St. John’s and Zion, new hymnals were purchased from the Ohio church. A new black pulpit and altar were purchased for the St. John’s site. The first automobile garage was built at the parsonage. The Brotherhood organization was started in October 20, 1917 at Zion and every male member was to become a member. No further information about this group is known. One English service will be held each month at St. John’s . In 1920, electricity was installed at the parsonage and Zion Lutheran Church.

    Pastor Hofhenke registered to serve in WWI on September 12, 1918

        Pastor Hofhenke took a call to Zion Lutheran church in Mt. Olive, Illinois, the beginning of January, 1921.

            Pastor Hofhenke passed away on February 14, 1968 at his home in Pine Grove, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania.

  Rev. Henry  Fredrick William Holzhausen   (Served from 1921 – 1923)

            Rev. Henry Holzhausen was born on January 6, 1881 in Leisten, Hannover , Germany.  He attended the Luther Theo. Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was ordained on June 18, 1909 under the Ohio Synod.

            Rev. Henry was married to Ida Grimm in 1909. (Ida was born around 1878 in Minnesota, the daughter of Michael & Elizabeth Mamual Grimm.) To their union, they were blessed with two children:  Oscar (born: August 27, 1912– married Elnora J. Haney on July 30, 1935 in Corson County, South Dakota – divorced in June 1971 in Santa Barbara, CA – married Anna M Lindun Stark on November 11, 1973 in Los Angeles City, CA) and Elvira (born:  February 11, 1916 – married Melvin Glandt on September 3, 1938 in Browns County, South Dakota) and all were born in Wisconsin. In 1935, his dear wife, Ida, passed away. He later married Louis Steinke on September 6, 1938.

            Rev. Henry Holzhausen took the “Oath of Citizenship” on July 13, 1898 at the city of Ramsey, Minnesota.

            Rev. Holzhausen registered to serve in WW1 on September 12, 1918 in Barrow, Wisconsin.

            Rev. Holzhausen was installed on April 3, 1921. During his time here the following things were accomplished: The envelope system was started at Zion in 1922, Membership was determined – a full membership was a single or married man and a half membership was a widow or single lady.

            At the end of 1922, the two congregations were getting dissatisfied with Rev. Holzhausen and asked for his resignation. He took a call at Emanuel Lutheran & St. Paul’s Lutheran Churches in Garrison, North Dakota. He gave his last sermon on May 27, 1923. He served many congregations in North Dakota in his life time of ministry.

            Rev. Holzhausen retired on September of 1956. He suffered several light strokes that affected his mind to the point that he was unable to do anything. He later died on May 30, 1963 in Steele, North Dakota.

Rev. Herman F. Leschensky   (Served from 1923 – 1928)

 Rev. Herman F. Leschensky was born on May 26, 1892 in Marion, Waupaca County, Wisconsin. His parents were August & Wilhelmina (Minnie) Zuse Leschensky. He attended Luther College and Seminary in St. Paul’s, Minnesota from 1908 to 1915. He was ordained on June 23, 1915 under the Minnesota District and Ohio Synod.

Rev. Leschensky married Gertrude Barteilt on July 8, 1915. To their union, they were blessed with four children:  Eugene J. (July 25, 1916 - January 5, 1997) – he became a minister; Immanuel (February 24, 1918 - February 1980); Armin (May 8, 1920 - January 1983); and Lorraine Gertrude Wanda (October 24, 1926 - ). Lorraine was baptized at Zion in Schapville on November 7, 1926. Rev. Leschensky’s wife, passed away in 1954. He later married Louise Hertz on December 7, 1955.

            Rev. Leschensky was installed on July 8, 1923. During his time as pastor at St. John’s and Zion, he had services in German as well as English, the parsonage was remodeled, building the new school house, a basement was put under Zion church to hold a parish hall in 1925, and a new altar was presented to St. John’s by the Wachter Family on November of 1926, both congregations adopted a constitution. To keep in accordance with the State of Illinois, St. John’s and Zion became incorporated on January of 1928. Also in 1928, all services at St. John’s were held in English.

            Rev. Leschensky took a call at Trinity Lutheran church in Loyal, Wisconsin in January of 1928 after receiving a peaceful dismissal from our congregation. He served on the Board of Education for over 8 years while in Loyal, Wisconsin. He served in four other parishes in Wisconsin after leaving St. John’s and Zion Lutheran Churches. He retired on April 21, 1963.

            Rev. Leschensky passed away on August 20, 1976 in Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin.


Rev. Otto Carl Moke   (Served from 1928 – 1934)

                                                        Rev. Otto C. Moke was born on July 13, 1897 in Hillside , South Dakota . He was the son of Gottlieb and Anna (Nisch) Moke. He attended Dakota Wesleyan in Mitchell , South Dakota in 1917; Wartburg College in Clinton in 1919; St. Paul ’s Luther College in 1920 and St. Paul ’s Luther Seminary in 1925. He was ordained in 1925 by the Joint Ohio Synod. He registered for WWI on August 24, 1918 , at                                                            Rev. Moke married Laura Steinigeweg in 1925. To their union, they had        two children:  Lois Harriet (September 13, 1928) and David Fredrick (July 16, 1933).  Lois was baptized on October 18, 1928 at Zion Lutheran church and                   David was baptized on August 9, 1933 at the church parsonage.

                                                            The congregation sent two calls to Rev. Moke before he agreed to be the new pastor of St. John’s and Zion . He was previously the pastor at St. Paul ’s Lutheran church in Warren , IL . Rev. Moke was installed on April 12, 1928 . During his time as pastor of St. John’s and Zion was:  The arched gate way at St. John’s , it was given by Mrs. John Dotzel as a memorial. Also there was a woodshed built at St. John’s cemetery (to store equipment and wood).

            Rev. Moke accepted a call from St. Paul ’s Lutheran church in Streator , Illinois in 1934. He later served in congregations in Louisiana and Arkansas before retiring in 1965 after 40 years of service to Our Lord.

            On October 4, 1978 , Rev. Moke passed away in Biloxi , Mississippi at the age of 81 years old.

Rev. Albert R. Seeman    (Served from 1934 – 1938)

                                    Rev. Albert Seeman was born on February 9, 1898 in Altenburg , Mo. He was the son of Ernest T. Seemen. His education was received at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa in 1922 and then on to Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He graduated from seminary on June 1926. He was ordained on July 11, 1926 under the Iowa Synod.

    Rev. Seeman married Augusta Litzner on August 6, 1928. To their union they were blessed with two children:  William C. (April 30, 1930) and Georjane Frances (July 17, 1935 and baptized at Zion Lutheran on August 4, 1935).

    Rev. Seeman was installed by the Rev. Dieter from Clinton, Iowa on October 28, 1934. While he was pastor, the following changes were made:  The pulpit at Zion was lowered and the organ was moved from the balcony to the main floor. Art Koester began his duties as Janitor at St. John's succeeding his father, who had held that position for many years. Confirmation was held 4 days a week and it was changed to Saturday only, for two (2) years and students started in the 7th grade. Anyone over 16 years of age were considered an adult (this was for anyone joining the church)

         Rev. Seeman wrote a letter to the congregation of both St. John's and Zion in February of 1938. In this letter he had been called before the church trustees and told to leave. Rev. Seeman was accused of making remarks about the former pastor and other district leaders who made life miserable for him and his family. Which lead to Mrs. Seeman's nervous breakdown. He also apologies for any remarks to the congregation and that he would be leaving as soon as he could and he wanted their forgiveness. Rev. Seeman gave his last sermon on May 1, 1938.

    Rev. Seeman took time off to help his wife and family before taking another parish and moving to St. John's Lutheran church in Patricksburg, Ind in 1951.  He served here for 17 years. He also served St. Paul's in Steubenville, Ind. until his death on September 18, 1968. In his elder years he had considerable trouble with arthritis and other minor ailments.

    Mrs. Seeman passed away in 1958 while at Patricksburg, Indiana.

Rev. Ernst W. Karsten  (Served 1938 -- 1942)

                                                      Rev. Karsten was born on June 1, 1905 in Renwick , Iowa , the son of Albert F. Karsten. He attended Wartburg College from 1922 to 1926. Then he attended Wartburg Seminary from 1926 to 1929. He was ordained on June 16, 1929 under the Iowa Synod. His first call was with Redeemer Lutheran Church in Oak Forest , Illinois . He served in another parish and was a chaplain in the U.S. Army before coming to St. Paul ’s and Zion Lutheran Church in 1938.

            Rev. Karsten married Elva Hueneke (b. September 22, 1904 in Alts Vista, Iowa)  August 8, 1929 . To their union, they were blessed with eight children:  Joan M. (October 7, 1930); John A. (March 23, 1932); Carla R. (February 22, 1935); Wanda L. (April 6, 1937); Kathryn Ann (June 1, 1939, she was baptized at Zion Lutheran on June 8, 1939); Ernst Randall (October 14, 1940, he was baptized at Zion Lutheran on November 10, 1940); Gail M. (May 3, 1944); and E. Melise (June 5, 1945). The two children that were born during the Karsten’s stay were born in the parsonage with the help of Ruth Dotzel, who at the time was the church organist.

During Rev. Karsten’s stay at our congregation the following items were accomplished: 

       The American Lutheran Hymnal was adopted.

       No more German services at Zion .

       The parish became a member of the ALC Pension Fund.

       Changes made to the Constitution, so no officer should succeed himself.

       Sunday services were held at both churches each Sunday.

       They did a extensive remodeling job on Zion Lutheran Church . The remodeling included the addition of stained glass windows, new pulpit (Pastor Karsten carved the panels for the pulpit, on their kitchen table in the parsonage. He was unable to find a pulpit to match the carvings on the altar, so he volunteered to build one. He did the carving and a couple of men from the congregation helped him with the mill work and construction of the pulpit.), new pews were added, the oak flooring, the entry was added along with the cry room, the new cement steps, a basement was added with fellowship hall, kitchen & bath rooms, the front of the chancel was changed to what it is now (with one room on each side), the drive way was bulldozed and blazed to make it wider, and some changes to the school house by the Luther League and Choir. On May 20, 1941 , there was a dedication service held for all the redecorating and remodeling of the church. Rev. William String of Rockford , IL , Rev. T.J. Pagel from Galena , IL and Rev. F.W. Henke from Ashton , IL came to the celebration and each preached on the occasion.

            Rev. Karsten resigned to serve as a chaplain again in the U.S. Army, since the USA entered the war in Europe . The Karsten family moved to Ozark , Alabama while Rev. Karsten served his country. Lois Grebner went to live with the Karsten family in Alabama, to help Mrs. Karsten with the children while Rev. Karsten was away at war. Rev. Karsten served in California; Seoul, Korea; Hawaii; and Kansas.

            Rev. Karsten retired in June of 1970, but he served as Interim Pastor until 1977. He passed away on October 6, 1991 .

Rev. Arnd Traugott Buckler  (Served 1942 – 1947)

            Rev. Buckler was born on April 9, 1899 in Princeton , Minnesota , the son of Frederick Emil Schimpfky Buckler. He attended Northwestern University from 1918 to 1919, then St. Paul Luther College from 1919 to 1920, then St. Paul Luther Seminary from 1920 to 1923. His transcript of credits has a solid B average. He was ordained on June 17, 1923 under the Joint Synod of Ohio. His first congregation was at St. Paul ’s Lutheran church in Otis , Colorado in 1923.

            Rev. Buckler married Laura Viola Olson (b. September 6, 1902 in Calfax , Wisconsin – d. July 1978. She was a Registered Nurse) on December 12, 1924 . To their union they had six children:  Paul F. (November 18, 1925 – August 17, 1999); Margaret (1927); Genevieve (1929); Phyllis (1930); Dorothy (1932); and Gerald (1936).

            Rev. Buckler was installed on July 5, 1942 by Rev. Pagels of Galena , IL . While he served our congregation the following things were done:

       Women were given the right to vote in church.

       St. John’s received electricity and a building fund was established.

       Lenten services were alternated between the two churches on Wednesday night

       Zion joined the American Lutheran Church .

       Zion congregation purchased an acre of land from the Zion Presbyterian church in 1947, for the cemetery.

       Mrs. Emma Liphardt was recognized for her 13 years of service as the organist.

            Rev. Buckler resigned and left our congregation on October 1947 to take a call at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cullom , Illinois .  After leaving her he was involved with many organizations (Commander of Legion Post, President of Community Library Club, President of Peoria Conference Sunday School Teachers Association and the list goes on) while in Cullom and Somonauk , Illinois . He retired on July 1, 1976 .

            Rev. Buckler passed away on June of 1980 at Chenoa , Illinois .

Eight Month Vacancy

Rev. Randolph Frederick Hahn  (Served 1948 – 1951)

                                                 Rev. Hahn was born on May 7, 1915 in Grabina , Germany , the son of Herman Hahn. He attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa from 1944 to 1945. He then attended Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque , Iowa from 1945 to 1948. He was ordained on June 6, 1948 under the American Lutheran Church .

            Rev. Hahn married Margaret Burzlaff (1918 in Clinton , Iowa ) on October 18, 1942 . To their union, they were blessed with three children:  James Randolph (baptized on September 11, 1949 at Zion Lutheran Church); Kathryn Margaret (1951): and Donald Paul (1955).

            While Rev. Hahn was pastor of St. John’s and Zion the following items were accomplished:

       Vacation Bible School was held every year;

       The Kilgen pipe organ was purchased at Zion .

       The basement at Zion was excavated and built to substantially what it is today.

       St. John’s became members of the American Lutheran Church .

       St. John’s observed its 80th Anniversary of its dedication.

       Mrs. Hahn directed a joint choir of the two churches.

            Rev. Hahn took a call from Zion Lutheran Church in Tinley Park , Illinois on January of 1951. He then served two congregations in California before retiring. He now lives with his son Donald in California.

            Rev. Hahn passed away on May 20, 2006 at Glendale, Los Angeles County, California.

Five Months Vacancy

Rev. John Northwall  (Served 1951 – 1953)

            Rev. Northwall was born in 1927 in Kansas City , Missouri , the son of Walter Northwall. He received his higher education at Tarkio College in Tarkio , Missouri from 1944 to 1947, then he attended the State University of Iowa from 1947 to 1948. Afterwards he attended Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque , Iowa from 1948 to 1951. He received his Ph. D in Speech from the University of Colorado in 1969. He was ordained on June 3, 1951 under the American Lutheran Church .

            Rev. Northwall married Naomi Ruth Ohrtman (1925 in Fonda, Iowa) on June 10, 1951 . To their union, they were blessed with four children:  Karl Walter (baptized at Zion Lutheran church on May 18, 1952); Susan (1953); Luke (1956); and Karen (1960).

            During the time that Rev. Northwall served as our pastor the following items were accomplished:

       Constitution was updated.

       St. John’s was enlarged and renovated. A new floor was installed, the pulpit was lowered and covered, the interior was redecorated and two Sunday School rooms were added to the western end of the church.

            Rev. Northwall took a call at Hope Lutheran Church in Smithfield , Nebraska and Peace Lutheran Church in Arapahoe, Nebraska . He left in March of 1953.  In 1978, he was teaching at Dana College in Omaha , Nebraska . He lives in Omaha , Nebraska with his wife, Naomi Ruth.

Five Months Vacancy

 Rev. Paul Eugene Albers   (Served 1953 – 1956)

            Rev. Albers was born in 1924 in Golden, Illinois , the son of Eilert William Albers. He received his education at Wartburg College at Waverly, Iowa from 1947 to 1950 and then attended Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque , Iowa from 1950 to 1953. He was ordained on June 28, 1953 under the American Lutheran Church , Illinois District.

            Rev. Albers married Erna K.B. Fick (1927 in Boyden, Iowa) on June 14, 1953 . The couple was blessed with four children:  Mark Paul (he was baptized at Zion Lutheran church on June 12, 1955); Timothy John (1957); Anna Marie (1962); and Ruth Erna (1966).

             Rev. Albers first call was at St. John’s and Zion Lutheran church. During his time that he served as pastor the following accomplishments were completed:

       A loud-speaker system was installed at Zion in memory of Russell Dotzel.

       New front doors were added to Zion .

       A new Baptismal Font was added.

            Rev. Albers took a call from Good Shepherd in Bloomfield , Iowa in February of 1956. After serving that congregation the American Lutheran Church loan Rev. Albers to the Lutheran Church of Australia . He served in Australia from 1960 to 1970. He then was released from the American Lutheran Church and served six parishes in all. He retired from parish service in June of 1991, but became the chaplain at the Loxton Lutheran Rest Home from 1991 to July 25, 2004 . He is now properly “retired”.

            Rev. and Mrs. Albers celebrated their 50th marriage anniversary and the 50th anniversary of his ordination in Loxton , South Australia on the 29 of June, 2003. They have moved into a retirement village near the capital of South Australia .

Rev. Elroy Dietrich  (Served 1956 – 1960)

            Rev. Dietrich was born in 1928 in Cedarburg , Wisconsin, he was the son of Paul F. Dietrich. He received his education at Milwaukee State Teacher’s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the fall of 1946. He then attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa from 1948 to 1952 and then attended Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa from 1952 to 1956. He was ordained on February 5, 1956 under the American Lutheran Church .

            Rev. Dietrich married Joan Dahlstedt (1933 in Fort Wing, Wisconsin) on August 9, 1953 .  They were blessed with one son, Carl Arthur (he was baptized at Zion Lutheran on April 29, 1956).

            During Rev. Dietrich time at our congregation the following events occurred:

       St. John’s obtained a new Hammond Spinet electric organ.

       Service Book and Hymnals were purchased.

       Chancel pews and a new baptismal font were added to St. John’s as a gift from the Women’s Missionary Society.

       New doors were added to St. John’s .

        A new propane gas furnace was placed in the parsonage to replace the wood-coal furnace.

            Rev. Dietrich took a call from St. Paul ’s Lutheran church in Marine City , Michigan . He left our congregation in March of 1960.


Rev. Charles Mueller (Served from 1960 - 1962)

    Rev. Charles Mueller was born on November 4, 1933 in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. He was the son of Arno Fredrick & Edna Mueller. He was educated at Marquette University in Milwaukee, then Wartburg College in Waverly, IA and then to the Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, IA. He graduated from Wartburg Seminary in May of 1960 and was ordained on June 5, 1960. Taking a call at St. John's Lutheran church & Zion Lutheran church as his first parish. He served here for two years.

    Rev. Mueller married Helene L. Bencke (1936) on August 11, 1957. To their union, they were blessed with two children, Edna (1959) and Eric (1963). His wife, Helene, was an elementary school teacher. She enjoyed sewing, music, gardening and reading.

    His last parish was St. Luke's Lutheran church in Manchester, Missouri. He had served there since January 1984 and retired in 1999.  Rev. Mueller passed away on August 25, 1999 at St. Louis, Missouri

    A choir was organized with 15 members.  Zion and St. John's Churches incorporated as St. Paul 's Parish.


Rev. Ernest L. Serr      (Served from 1962 - 1966)

      Rev. Earnest Serr was born in 1931 in Botkins, Ohio. He was the son of Otto & Sophia Serr. He was the youngest of seven children. He was educated at Bowling Green State University, Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, Evangelic Lutheran Theological Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, Northwestern Lutheran Seminary in Minneapolis and Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, IA.  He was ordained on July 28, 1957. His first parish was St. John's Lutheran church in Cullom, IL.

    Rev. Serr married Beverly Wenzel (1934) on June 10, 1956. To their union, they were blessed with a son, Brian (1958). His wife, Beverly was a elementary teacher. His last place of employment was Mendota Lutheran Home as a Administration/Chaplain. He started at this position in May, 1981 and retired in 1994.

    New steeple was finished on St. Paul 's ( Zion ) church.  Lighted cross was donated in memory of Raymond Schlichting.  The Brotherhood held a Mission Sunday and a family night.


Rev. David Siefert    (Served from 1966 - 1969)

  St. John's congregation celebrated its 100th anniversary.  Lenten services were joint with the Schapville Presbyterian Church.  


Rev. John Paul Dexter    (Served from 1970 - 1979)

  Rev. Dexter was born on June 26, 1932 in Kankakee, IL, he was the son of Charles Dexter and Lorette E. Meintz Dykstra. He married Shirley Capper on June 1, 1954. He was ordained a minister of the Lutheran Church in 1958. He received a call from St. John's and Zion Lutheran Church in Jo Daviess County in IL on July 7, 1970.  He was installed pastor of both congregations on August 16, 1970. Along with him and his wife, Shirley they brought to the Schapville parsonage four sons. Residents from Apple Canyon Lake began coming and many joined Zion Lutheran church.  Services and Sunday School were moved to Zion church for each Sunday of 1973.  In 1976, legal action was taken to combine the two congregations.  A vote was taken to dissolve the church names of Zion and St. John's and adopt the new name of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church .  New roof was put on the Schapville church.  Pastor Dexter and wife, Shirley, had two sons confirmed while they were here:  Joel Michael Dexter (1972) and Joshua Anthony Dexter (1976). Rev. Dexter left Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in 1979. Even after he left, he kept in close contact with members of the congregation. He passed away at St. Mary's Hospital in Galesburg, IL on December 11, 1988. He is buried in Danforth Cemetery in Danforth, IL


Rev. James Gardner   (Served from 1979 - 1994)

       Rev. Gardner was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated from Dana College in Blair, Nebraska in 1974 and Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa in 1978. His first call was at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (St. John's and Zion Lutheran Churches) in Elizabeth, IL on December 30, 1979. He was married to Cheryl in May 1, 1974. They had no children.

        New hymnals were donated by Mr. & Mrs. Oscar Gustus.  New piano was purchased.  The church was redecorated by The Religious Art Group.  It was voted to donate St. John's building to the mission Lutheran church in East Dubuque.  This was later abandoned because of cost.  New parsonage roof.  Church signs were placed on several roads, giving direction to the church.  New siding for the parsonage.

Over a Year Vacancy

 The old garage at the parsonage was torn down and a new two car garage was added.  Air-conditioning was added to the church and the parsonage.  


Rev. Richard Dowling   (Served from 1995 - 1998)

         Rev. Dowling was born in Akron, Iowa. He attended high school at Akron Community High School and college at Westmar College in LeMars, Iowa and Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, Illinois. He also did Clinical Pastoral Education at Christ Community Hospital in Oak lawn, IL and Iowa State Mental Hospital in Cherokee, Iowa. 

    Rev. Dowling married Paula Koehler in 1978. They were blessed with four sons: Thomas P.; James P.; John P.; and Robert P..

      New siding for the church.  St. John's church building was sold for $10 to Sandy Wolfram and now rest on her farm as a wedding chapel.  Every summer, our congregation holds a Sunday service there and an old fashion picnic follows the service. Construction of the new sign in front of the Shepherd of the Hills church. Gazebo was built over the place where St. John's church once stood. The first computer for the church office was purchased.  

    Rev. Dowling attended the 1997 National Youth Convention in New Orleans with 5 youth and one other adult from our congregation. He belonged to the Apple Canyon Lake Fire Department. He expanded his puppet ministry.

    Rev. Dowling took a call from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Rio, Wisconsin. This was to move them closer to Paula's family who live in Wisconsin. He gave his last sermon on March 15, 1998, he also held Confirmation that Sunday.

Two Year Vacancy

    Seminary Students from Wartburg Seminary helped provide us with leadership.  We were fortunate to have one special student who helped in the leadership of our church for most of the two year vacancy.

Tony Haglund

        Tony was a Seminary Student from Wartburg who gave our congregation one and a half years of service. He preformed the duties of a supply pastor while he was here. His wife, Rhonda was involved with the choir and children's choir. His three children attended Sunday School and was in the children's choir. He played the guitar, which added more music on certain Sunday's.  Tony, Rhonda, Elizabeth, Sam and Justin became a part of our congregational family. In spring of 2000, Tony and his family were going to leave so he could do his internship in South Dakota.

Rev. Barbara Rapp   (Served from 2000 - 2002) 

     First women pastor in the history of our church.  Shepherd of the Hills was redecorated, new sound system installed, and protection windows were installed to protect the stain glass windows. During this time the church parsonage remained vacant.

    Rev. Rapp was a part-time minister and worked part-time for the Bishop's Office. Rev. Rapp resigned as pastor of Shepherd of the Hills in August 2002. She is now working with Campus Ministry at De Kalb University,           De Kalb, IL.

Rev. Denise Anderson   (Served from 2002 - 2003)

      Rev. Anderson accepted our call after she graduated from Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa. She was married to Kevin and they had three children. Her and her husband lived in Dubuque, Iowa while serving our congregation. 

    Floor was refinished at Shepherd of the Hills. All the old wooden signs for the church at different locations in the area to direct visitors have been replaced with vinyl direction signs.

    Rev. Anderson was extended another one year contract and she declined the contract. She accepted a call from the Lutheran church in Cuba City, Wisconsin.


Rev. Arthur Stees (Served from 2003 - May 15, 2005)

        Rev. Stees entered into a 18 month contract with Shepherd of the Hills congregation . We need a pastor and had an empty parsonage. The Stees need a home to live in after selling their home in Freeport and Pastor was retired. Pastor & Audrey Stees lived in the parsonage from August 2003 until March 26, 2005. They moved into their new retirement condo in Freeport, IL. He will be serving Shepherd of the Hills month by month, until we approve a new pastor.

        During this time our congregation has purchased over 10 acres of land just up the road from the church. It is for future plans of maybe moving the church to the new sight. A church directory was done. The Stees have spruced up the parsonage and the grounds around the parsonage.


Rev. Barb Rapp (Served from May 15, 2005 -- )

        The Congregation of Shepherd of the Hills voted to extend a call to Pastor Barb Rapp on April 17, 2005. She accepted the call. She will be starting on May 16, 2005. Her future plans are to sell her home in Freeport and move into the church parsonage for one year and a half. During her time of living in the parsonage, she will pray and consider about purchasing her own home in the area.

    As of July her future plans have been completed. She sold her home in Freeport and moved into the church parsonage on July 13, 2005.

    On September 11, 2005, the Congregation of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church will be taking a vote on moving the church from its existing site to the new site, hiring a architect and contractor, and applying for a loan thru Mission Funding. The meeting will be held at 11 am following the 10 am service. The congregation voted to continue with the plans for adding on to the church and wanted cost for the new site and the old site. To move the church and keep Maryville Construction, the congregation voted it down.

On March 12, 2006, the Congregation of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church took a vote to move the church to the new site and add on to the east side of the church and extend the entry way.

May 28, 2006, Groundbreaking ceremony at the new site. On June 4, 2006, the last services at the old site will be celebrated. Photos of those members and guest attending were taken after each service. The church will be moved in June, 2006. 

June 28, 2006 -- the church was moved from the present location up the road a half mile to the new site. The move started getting the church ready before 8 am and was completed by 4:50 pm.

December 24, 2006 -- the first service was held since the moving of the church. The sanctuary area has been given the ok to worship in by the county. Our congregation is now home again.  

January 28, 2007 -- Dedication of the new addition. A 3 pm service was held. There were 208 people at the dedication service and many more attended the luncheon and open house that followed the service.  


Despite the frequent change of pastors, Shepherd of the Hills parish has been fortunate in having Wartburg Seminary professors and students, retired ministers and individuals from our church to provide immeasurable and dedicated leadership.  For this we are thankful.


Thank you to the fine pastors that have shape us at Shepherd of the Hills.

Shepherd of the Hill -- 536 E. Schapville Road -- Scales Mound, IL 61075 -- 815-845-2061