A-to-Z Index

Shepherd of the Valley Church,

 Dayton


Shepherd of the Valley, Tower

Shepherd of the Valley, Tower

Shepherd of the Valley, nave

Shepherd of the Valley, nave

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Dayton was built in 1878, but rebuilt in 1904 after being destroyed by fire. The original church had a single gabled façade and a corner tower with the entrance portal. Currently, the exterior has steep, double gables with a mostly slate, bracketed roof. The crenellated bell tower bisects the façade in an unusual manner, reflecting the addition of the second wing of the church.

The façade presents seven pointed arch windows and three rose windows of varying sizes. The exterior decoration is minimal, focusing on the stained glass windows and emphasizing the tower. The interior has a simple nave with second level balcony in the back for elevated seating. A row of pointed arched windows illuminates this upper story, leading the eye upwards. The ground floor has arena-style seating with pews arranged on a broad curve with no center aisle.

This organization reflects the building's historic connection with the United Brethren’s Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music. The church functioned primarily as a rehearsal space and concert hall in early years, before the conservatory moved to Winchester, Virginia. The two side aisles separate the pews, carved with simple quatrefoils in relief, and lead towards the chancel, which exhibits a simple interlace Gothic arched screen behind the altar.

Nicole Desiderio