Knowing Christ and making Him known, serving Christ by serving others.

Church History

Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church got its start in September of 1993 when Dorothy Hinkle placed a classified advertisement in The Spectrum, the newspaper in St. George. The people who answered the advertisement first met in Mrs. Hinkle’s home and quickly grew to more than 30 people. Eddie Kelemini, superintendent for the Utah Western District, paid a visit, and soon the church group became known as First United Methodist Church. The first Sunday morning services were held at the Comfort Suites Motel. Later, services were held at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. Dr. Steve Souders was named as the church’s first pastor.

In 1994, Rev. Souders left for a new appointment, and the Rev. Dr. Douglas Harrell became the pastor. In October of that year, the church celebrated its charter membership and became Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church (SHUMC). The church averaged about 70 worshippers each Sunday. In April 1995, Rev. Harrell left due to illness, but the church’s official certification by the conference came on April 23, 1995. The Rev. Chuck Southcotte became the church’s first full-time pastor in July of 1995. He was followed by Rev. Darrel Hinshaw in June of 1996.

The church bought property in Washington City, Utah, in 1996. With building still years away, the church began meeting in the historic Cotton Mill in Washington City. In 1998 the church moved services to the 2 Lazy 2 Ranch Restaurant, and later that year the church put its property up for sale. The church continued to seek a place to meet, with a quick stop at one child care center before settling in at Country Kids Day Care in December of 1998. On May 30, 1999, the church announced an agreement to purchase property at 920 Tonaquint Drive in St. George. Construction began in the spring of 2001, and the sanctuary was consecrated during the first service there on September 16, 2001. The membership numbered about 120 that first Sunday.

Rev. Hinshaw retired in June, 2004 after eight years of service at SHUMC and more than 30 years of ministry. The Rev. Buddy Herrington became the new pastor in July of 2004. During his tenure, the church launched the Backpacks for Kids program with help from community civic groups and other churches and the CROP Walk for Hunger program.

In March 2007, the church consecrated a new education building that provided six classrooms, a church office, music rehearsal room, and chapel for prayer and events for small numbers of people. As of December of 2010, the membership had grown to 255. Rev. Herrington retired as of June of 2011. Rev. Michael Chamness served as Lead Pastor from July 2011 until his death in December of 2021, and Revs. Joyce and Derek DeToni-Hill have been appointed to serve as Co-Lead Pastors since July 2022.