Biography of Reverend David T. Shoemaker, Ret.
Reverend Shoemaker’s home parish was Grace in Modesto, California. He attended California Concordia College, Concordia-River Forest, and graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary, then located in Springfield, Illinois (May of 1965).
He was ordained into the ministry of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod on June 15, 1965, and called to serve as a missionary-at-large for the Northern Minnesota District. Reverend Shoemaker was assigned to two parishes, one with three congregations and the other with two, with the aim of merging them into one parish, two congregations. This was completed in August of 1966 when he continued on as pastor of this new parish.
In January of 1969 the Shoemakers moved to Detroit where he became assistant pastor at Evergreen Lutheran Church and director of the educational program. During this time he also served as counselor for the zone Walther League and Lutheran High School West.
In the spring of 1971 he was called as pastor to Saint Paul-Millington and served there until July of 1983 (12 years). This was a time of area growth which also translated to the parish. During those years he supervised four vicars and then was joined by an assistant pastor, the Reverend Robert Barker. While serving Millington he was a counselor to the LWML, member of the Millington Lions, chairman off the Tuscola County Mental Health Board, was involved in service committees for the Millington School District, and was chairman of the Social Ministry Board and member of the Board of directors of the Michigan District.
The Shoemakers met while they were students at Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois. They were married on August 26, 1962. His wife Patricia (nee Haase from Napoleon, Ohio) served as a Lutheran teacher organist, and while in Millington, as a public school teacher.
The Shoemaker family has three daughters. Rachel and Gretchen were born in Bemidji, Minnesota. Rachel presently is a high school teacher in the San Jose area and Gretchen is the bookkeeper for a grocery chain located in the Scotts Valley area. Heidi was born in Saginaw, Michigan and is presently a certified, clinical dietitian and is serving medical facilities in the greater Reno, Nevada area.
In 1983 Reverend Shoemaker accepted the call to Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church (SOTV) of San Jose. When he began his ministry at SOTV, their daughters were in grades 12, 10, and 7. He served for 17 years as pastor of SOTV, overseeing a successful vicarage program and the preschool. He also served as circuit counselor and on the California-Nevada-Hawaii District’s convention committee.
Pastor Shoemaker retired from full-time ministry in June of 2000, after serving SOTV for 17 years. They built a home above Sonora, California where he remains active in the ministry, participating in that area’s pastoral circuit.. He also has continued as a law enforcement chaplain. After serving the San Jose Police Department for 15 years, he has now joined the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Chaplaincy squad as a certified member of the International Conference of Police Chaplains.