In the Beginning…
Light of the Hills began as an outreach of First Lutheran Church of Placerville, CA, some 9 miles east of Cameron Park, CA. Don Herman was the pastor of First Lutheran Church at that time.
In the fall of 1989, two Bible study groups were started in homes in Cameron Park and Shingle Springs. Wade Meyer accepted a call from First Lutheran Church of Placerville to become an associate pastor. One of his duties was to assist in starting the mission church in the Cameron Park area. In October 1990, one hundred-one worshipers gathered in the Gymnasium of Buckeye Elementary School in Shingle Springs, CA, for the first worship service of the new mission outreach. Pastor Meyer served as the first mission pastor for our group of worshipers. Pastor Herman shared preaching responsibilities with Pastor Meyer during the first two years.
When the first winter cold arrived, the members of the young mission church learned that there was no heat in the gymnasium. This prompted the group to find a suitable worship facility. The Seventh Day Adventist Church on North Shingle Road was available on Sundays and the mission moved to this facility in December 1990. It was here that worshipers chose the name, “Light of the Hills” for their mission church, and developed the church’s mission statement: “Offers the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the fellowship of all believers to the people of this community that they may know God and His will for their lives”. The congregation continued to grow and the Seventh Day Adventist Church became too small for our needs.
In June of 1992 the congregation moved to Cameron Park, CA to an office park location on Robin Lane, some 4-5 blocks east of our current location. The first service at Robin Lane took place on Pentecost Sunday.
Our California-Nevada-Hawaii District placed Pastor Steven Borst as the first full-time pastor of the mission church – “Light of the Hills“. Pastor Borst served the congregation for almost two years and in June 1994 accepted a call to the campus ministry at Concordia University, Irvine, CA.
Pastor Orv Oswald, former president of the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, and now retired, served as interim pastor until January 1995.
In December 1994, the congregation called Pastor Mark Hohbach and he was installed as pastor of our mission church in January 1995. On October 1, 1995, Light of the Hills received approval from the CA-NV-HI District for the constitution which the members adopted, and we became an independent congregation of the CA-NV-HI District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. In June 1996, Pastor Hohbach resigned and left the ministry.
In August 1996, retired pastor Eugene Roeder, living in Auburn, CA, became our interim pastor until February 1997. The congregation called Pastor Alan Sommer who arrived at Light of the Hills in February 1997.
The congregation continued to grow in numbers and planning for a new church started in earnest during 1996. Plans were developed and a search for a site for the new church began. The Lord surely guided the congregation during this time, clearing many hurdles involving site location, financing, and design. An ideal location became available just as a parcel owned by the CA-NV-HI District proved to be unusable due to environmental problems. Similarly, the design of our church was finalized by the Long Range Planning Committee and approved by the voters. A local contractor, specializing in the steel building construction that the congregation desired, was awarded the construction job. Ground was broken in November, 1998. Heavy rains prevented the start of construction until May 1999. The present church building was completed in mid-September 1999. A joyous dedication service was held on the afternoon of September 26, 1999.
In July 2000, a Director of Youth and Family Ministry position was established to further serve our mission. Annie Tiberg is our current director.
In 2004, Light of the Hills partnered with Concordia Seminary of St. Louis, Missouri for adding a vicar to the ministry. Since then, Light of the Hills has had ten vicars. The vicar program is one where the students in their third year of seminary education are assigned to a congregation where they receive on the job training in pastoral ministry. This lasts for 12 months, after which the student returns for his final year back at St. Louis. During the year at a local congregation the vicar under guidance from the pastor, performs the various duties of a pastor, including preaching, visitation, working with various activities of the ministry. The following persons have served at Light of the Hills since 2004:
2004 – Vicar Aaron Smith
2005 – Vicar Ross Shaver
2006 – Vicar Mike Hall
2007 – Vicar Tim Schutt
2008 – Vicar Joe Behnke
2009 – Vicar Jaime Nava
2010 – Vicar Ryan Hochgrebe
2011 – Vicar Tristan Engle
2012 – Vicar James Conrad
2013 – Vicar David Mommens
In October 2011, after seven years of planning and fundraising, our new Education Building was dedicated on October 30, 2011.