JACKS VALLEY - Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church's congregation celebrated the fourth anniversary of its founding March 5.
The church moved the old Southwest Gas Corp. building to its Jacks Valley location April 25, 1999.
The church received a large flagpole at about the same time. It is centrally located on the property of the church. Buffo Electric recently provided a spotlight for the top of the 40-foot pole.
The congregation had a rather difficult beginning. The small congregation held services at Jacks Valley Elementary School when it started in 1996. It was anticipated that the first building of the new congregation would be completed within the two-year limit imposed by the regulations of the school board.
When the bids for the original plans came in much higher than the allowed budget, the congregation decided to use the Southwest Gas building, which had been offered. It was anticipated that the building could be moved easily and rapidly.
With only two licensed movers in the state of Nevada, not only did moving the building become a problem, the building had deteriorated to such an extent that when it was finally moved only the steel beams of the building and the roof were usable.
Ground was broken in October of 1998. By this time, winter had set in and construction slowed to a crawl. Then the congregation was asked to leave Jacks Valley, but fortunately in the spring of 1999 the town board of Genoa agreed to let the congregation use the Genoa Town Hall, those Sundays when it was not being used for community activities such as the Candy Dance festival.
"Of course, with the unsettled state of affairs, and with people not even knowing where to go for services much of the time, growth was hampered, and even the group committed to SOS became a bit discouraged," said Pastor E.D. Thyr.
But with the dedication of the Christian Education/Youth facility at the end of last year, Shepherd of the Sierra is now able to provide a variety of programs and activities not possible when the group had use of a facility only three hours on Sunday morning, Thyr said.
Choir has been established, men's Bible breakfast started and an exciting youth group now has its own facility where 15 to 20 teens gather regularly for meetings, topic study, recreation and refreshments.
"An enthusiastic group of members is reaching out into the community to let everyone know that SOS is here to stay and that God loves them and has an exciting plan for their lives - perhaps including involvement in the life of Shepherd of the Sierra," Thyr said.
The church is at 3680 Highway 395, a half mile north of Jacks Valley Road on the west side of Highway 395.
For information about Shepherd of the Sierra, call 267-3680.