St. Stephen's Lutheran Church
It was our great pleasure to celebrate our 50th Anniversary of Ministry at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in El Dorado Hills on May 18, 2014. To commemorate the occasion, Pastor Trudy Franzen designed a six-foot outdoor mosaic. She and members of the community worked together to complete this three-month project.
Imagine for a moment the prospect of starting a brand new church with just a handful of families. By any standard, it is a difficult and time-consuming task! St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church was conceived in 1963 and officially began to worship, holding a services next to the municipal swimming pool! By May 17 of 1964, sixty adults signed the charter of incorporation and the first church in El Dorado Hills was born.
St. Stephen’s had a lot of challenges along the way. First, they quickly outgrew the space they were using for worship at the local Fire Station. Then, they had the challenge of building a structure despite economic downturn. Layoffs occurred at Aerojet, a company that had once employed 25,000 people but was downsized to less than 1,000. St. Stephen’s then took on the challenge of building an education wing during another period of economic instability (1978-1980).
Through the years, St. Stephen’s has been blessed with dedicated leaders and pastors, generous givers, and scores of volunteers. Nestled on a hillside surrounded by beautiful trees, St. Stephen’s has a retreat-like quality that embodies all of the love that has been poured out to sustain it.
Over the years, St. Stephen’s has always supported youth activities, such as Boy Scout Troop 454. Service projects have included various denominational drives to combat hunger, as well as work with Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, the Faith Based Nomadic Shelter for the Homeless, St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children, Acres of Hope, El Dorado Food Bank, Lutheran Social Services, Heifer Project, El Dorado Mental Health Services and American Muslim Voice. St. Stephen’s also supports Kibungo Parish in Rwanda, partnering with Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Auburn and Grace Lutheran Church in Lincoln.