Shepherd of the Valley traces its roots back to October 1993 when Mr. Les Proeber discussed the idea of establishing a church in Surprise. Over the years, the vision evolved, and in April 1997, the church received Exploratory Mission Status from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Under the leadership of Pastor John Sprain, plans were set in motion, including the purchase of land on Bell Road in December 1997. From humble beginnings with a Bible class in the Proeber home to the first worship service at a local inn in November 1998, the congregation steadily grew.

Ground was broken for a new church building in June 1999, and by August 2000, the first service was held in the new facility. Over the years, the church continued to expand its outreach and facilities, culminating in the dedication of a Bible Class/Fellowship building addition in 2011.

Today, Shepherd of the Valley exists to serve its members and the surrounding area with the gospel of Christ.

Surprise, Arizona

History of Shepherd of the Valley

Pastor John Sprain earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern College and a Master of Divinity Degree from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. He was the Youth Minister at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Tempe for 10 years. He started Shepherd of the Valley 25 years ago. Pastor and his wife Vicki have five children.

Pastor John Sprain

Retired Pastor Kirby Spevacek earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern College and a Masters of Divinity degree from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. He has been a missionary to Africa, Russia, Albania, and Bulgaria. He was the principal and professor of the Bible Institute and Seminary on the Apache Indian Reservation in East Fork, AZ.

Pastor Kirby Spevacek

 Barbara and her husband, Mike, came from the cool temperatures of Buffalo, New York, to the sunny deserts of Arizona. Barbara was a legal secretary at a law firm for over 40 years. When there was an opening for an office assistant at Shepherd of the Valley, she accepted the position. She has been serving us for over three years, and she is ready to help you if you have any requests for the church office.

Secretary Barbara Turner

Meet the Staff

Our congregation's worship revolves around receiving and responding to our Good Shepherd’s love with prayers, praises, and thanks. Worship is liturgical - maintaining consistency from week to week while allowing for variety in hymns, readings, and sermons. Christ remains central in every service throughout the church calendar.

Central to our worship is the preaching of the Bible, which guides and informs us in all we say and sing. Our pastor dedicates time to preaching sermons grounded in Scripture - in law and gospel.

We welcome you to explore more about our church and the faith we share.


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