Mission and Beliefs

We seek to demonstrate God’s grace, to learn and grow in Christian faith, and to serve with humility.

We are here to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. We will, with God’s help, support you as you grow in faith, and offer you the opportunity to serve your community in concrete ways. Below are some brief statements of our faith. This is not an exhaustive list, but some of the points we hold up as core beliefs.

We believe that:

God loves and values all people. God calls everyone into fellowship with God through Christ. Through the presence and promises of God in our lives we have spiritual wellness, vitality and new life. God then calls us to be of service to our neighbor, to advocate for peace and justice, and to provide for human need.

God calls us into a community. This community, the church, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit is the Body of Christ in the world.

God is Three in One, Father (Creator), Son (Redeemer), and Holy Spirit (Sanctifier).

Jesus Christ the Savior is the Word of God incarnate, born of Mary, truly human, and born of the Holy Spirit, truly God, through whom everything was made and through whose life, death, and resurrection all creation is made new.

Salvation is the restoration of our holy relationship with God. Salvation begins now, and is brought to perfection in life after the resurrection. Salvation is the gift of God’s grace through Jesus Christ. We do not work for salvation. Nothing we have or could do can secure it for us. We respond to the gift of salvation by loving God and neighbor, which is God’s will for us.

The Gospel, called the Good News, is the power of God spoken and heard in the world which restores the relationship of God with humanity. The Gospel is found within the Holy Scriptures, spoken and preached, and is embodied in the sacraments (baptism, holy communion). The Gospel is confessed in the ecumenical creeds (Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian) as the power of God to create, redeem and sustain the Church for God’s mission in the world.

The Word of God is: 1. Jesus Christ, (the Word incarnate); 2. The proclamation of God’s message (both Law and Gospel); and 3. The written Word of God (the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, inspired by God and the authoritative source and norm of our proclamation, faith, and life).



For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him

John 3:17


Meet the SOTH Leadership Team

Rev. Darryl Kiehl, PhD
Born in Ohio, I received my BA in History and East Asian Studies at Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, and Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg Pennsylvania. Ordained in 1979, I received a call to start a new congregation in Marietta, Georgia. This included door-to-door evangelism and construction of a church building. I received my Masters Degree in Community Counseling and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University. Over the years I have served as Pastor for Evangelism at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Atlanta, Georgia; Psychotherapist (Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia); board member of several social service agencies, and am currently on the board of Reconciling Works/Lutherans for Full Participation. In the ELCA and its predecessor body I worked for the Division for Mission in North America, served on Synod Council and the Conflict Resolution team, and volunteered for disaster relief. I have been serving as the pastor of Shepherd of the Hills since 1998. While at Shepherd of the Hills I’ve had the joy of supervising six interns from Gettysburg Seminary.

Spiritually, my upbringing was nominally Methodist, though we weren’t active church-goers. I shared in the often common college age exploration of agnosticism and atheism, then became active in Zen Buddhist meditation. My readings in Buddhism gave me a new, more hopeful perspective on Jesus and Christianity. Subsequently I came to recognize Jesus as the one who reconciles me to God, and the church as the living Body of Christ in the world. This experience of radical grace came through the Lutheran Church, and through many encounters with pastors, family and friends who live an active Christian lives. My goal is to see Shepherd of the Hills continue as an oasis of learning, peace, grace, and service. It is important to me that our church brings into loving community those who don’t think there is a place for them in Christianity. The verse of scripture I quote most often is John 3:17, “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”

I have a daughter, son-in-law, and three granddaughters. I am currently struggling to learn basic Spanish, and my hobbies include boats, old cars, running, science fiction and home repair. If you have more questions about me, feel free to come ask them in person!

Marcia Giordano
Youth & Family Director
Marcia graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources, Outdoor Recreation and Management. A member of Shades Valley for 17 years, she has been active with the youth for over 12 years and became director in 1999. Growing up in the Lutheran church has given her an extensive commitment to youth and a purpose for furthering Christ’s commission in the world. Marcia and her husband have three children.
Ann Jones
Music Director
Ann Jones is the organist and Shepherd’s Bells Director at SOTH.  She earned her BME from Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY with a major in piano.  Her experience includes many years of teaching piano and accompanying instrumentalists and vocalists from the elementary to the professional level.  She has accompanied the choir at SOTH since 1992 and has been organist since 2006.  After playing in a bell choir for 20 years, she became the Shepherd’s Bells director in 2014.
Corey Griffin
Choir Director
 Corey Brian Griffin is a Tenor from Pinson, AL. Corey started music young in the All-State choir through Pinson Elementary. At Rudd Middle School, he turned his attention to the instrumental side of music by picking up the trumpet. Corey played as a soloist for the Pinson Valley Marching Chiefs through high school, participating in numerous state contests and honor band competitions. In his senior year, Corey played his first major role in Pinson Valley High School’s production of Godspell as the lead, rekindling his love for singing. During his first year at Jefferson State Community College, he marched with the UAB Marching Blazers. As a sophomore, Corey auditioned for Jessica Kaufhold’s Jeff State Singers and received a full tuition scholarship that he held for two semesters. The time Corey spent with the Jeff State Singers and eventually Dr. Brian Kittredge’s UAB Concert Choir lead him to pursue a major in Voice. After beginning under the excellent instruction of world renowned Bass Dr. Won Cho, Corey sang in the opera The Merry Widow and accomplished much in undergraduate work. In 2014, he received his Bachelors of Arts in Music and subsequently sang with Opera Brimingham’s Chorus for their 2015 productions of Hamlet and La Bohème. Corey is currently working towards a Masters in Music Education at UAB.


Times of Worship
9:30 a.m.
The Lord’s Supper is celebrated every Sunday.
Sunday School
11:00 a.m.
Adult Class 
  Preschool Class Ages 2 – 4
Elementary Class
Junior High Class
Senior High Class
Confirmation Class
(Coffee and donuts)
9:00am & 11:00AM

Shepherd of the Hills Communion Policy

To receive communion: please follow the ushers’ direction to the table. Beginning with the back row, come forward up the center aisle and return by the side aisles. Wine distribution is offered by common cup or intinction. If you do not wish to drink from the common cup you may receive by holding your bread and dipping it in the pouring chalice. Grape juice is available in pre-filled glasses for those who cannot receive wine. Gluten-free wafers are also available upon request. If you cannot come forward but would like to receive, please tell an usher.

Children’s Church

During the school year, children ages 4-7 are invited to attend children’s church held at the 11:00 service. Children will be dismissed from the main worship service immediately after the children’s sermon and return to the sanctuary during the offering. The program will begin with the Lord’s Prayer, continue with a bible story from the lesson, and end with a craft or other fun activity.  The nursery is also available for parents to use with their children if they wish. The worship service is broadcasted over the nursery speakers.

We would love to have you join us! 


Bringing God’s Word to the Corners of the World

Apr 16, 2017
April 16, 2017
Series: April 2017
  • Apr 16, 2017April 16, 2017
    Apr 16, 2017
    April 16, 2017
    Series: April 2017
  • Apr 9, 2017April 9, 2017
    Apr 9, 2017
    April 9, 2017
    Series: April 2017
  • Apr 2, 2017April 2, 2017
    Apr 2, 2017
    April 2, 2017
    Series: April 2017
  • Mar 19, 2017March 19, 2017
    Mar 19, 2017
    March 19, 2017
    Series: March 2017
  • Mar 12, 2017March 12, 2017
    Mar 12, 2017
    March 12, 2017
    Series: March 2017
  • Mar 1, 2017Ash Wednesday 2017
    Mar 1, 2017
    Ash Wednesday 2017
  • Feb 26, 2017February 26, 2017
    Feb 26, 2017
    February 26, 2017
  • Feb 19, 2017February 19, 2017
    Feb 19, 2017
    February 19, 2017
  • Feb 12, 2017February 12. 2017
    Feb 12, 2017
    February 12. 2017
  • Feb 5, 2017February 5, 2017
    Feb 5, 2017
    February 5, 2017


Where can God use your talents?



The worship committee consists of the Pastor, music director, organist, council liaison and several members from the congregation at large. With guidance from Pastor, the committee oversees all aspects of the worship service including music, settings, service format, sanctuary arrangement and all other aspects of the worship service. The committee also oversees scheduling of worship assistants, communion setup, changing of the paraments and seasonal church decorations. They meet generally on the second Sunday of the month after the second service.



The Outreach Committee supports congregations in their mission to be faithful, welcoming, and generous. Its primary purpose is to assist and fund various social purpose programs for relief, sustainable development, advocacy, education, and community organizing such as Three Hots and a Cot, Habitat Humanity, Food for the Poor, Oak Mountain Ministries, Firehouse Shelter and  Lutheran Disaster relief.




Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran has three premiere ensembles.  The Contemporary ensemble is a group of singers and instrumentalists that focus on the more modern Christian music.  The Hand Bell Choir is a traditional instrumental ensemble that teaches the basics of musicianship (reading, counting, etc.) through practice.  The Sanctuary Choir is an ensemble focused on high school and collegiate choral repertoire. 

We welcome all individuals at any musical levels into every ensemble.  Any inquires can be sent to Corey Griffin, Director of Musical Activities, at or 205-514-0394, or simply show up to any and all rehearsals that interest you during the on seasons of August-May (summer common time is a break time for must ensembles).  the Contemporary group meets Thursdays at 6:15pm, Hand Bells Tuesdays at 7:00pm, and Choir on Wednesdays at 7:00pm


What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “stewardship?” Budgets and spreadsheets? Money? Pledge cards? What about love? Stewardship is about so much more than money – stewardship is about love.

The definition for Stewardship: the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving. It is all about love and caring.

For this reason, we are undertaking a year round stewardship program, “Stewards of God’s love.” This program will teach us how to make stewardship an integral part of our congregation’s life. It will also teach us how to make the best use of our time, talents and treasures for not only our congregation’s benefit but our community’s as well.


The Fellowship Committee’s main responsibility is coordinating activities that engage the congregation in fellowship at Shepherd of the Hills.  For the most part, this means planning the various meals that are provided in the Fellowship Hall.  For example,  the committee coordinates the annual Epiphany Celebration, Ladies Luncheon, Easter Breakfast, Rally Day, and various special celebrations throughout the year.   
If you would like to participate on the committee, please contact Susan Pritchett at
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
4887 Valleydale Road
Birmingham, AL  35242
Phone: 205-995-9673

Rev. Darryl Kiehl, PhD


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