How We Started
Hillside Church was started by a small group of believers in Antioch, California on May 28, 1961 with Rev. Ralph Chandler as pastor. First known as Antioch Bible Church, the church met in a rented Seventh Day Adventist Church. The home of one of the members was used for additional Sunday School rooms. Soon the church united with a fellowship called the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC). On August 12, 1962, a charter roll was signed with 42 adult members. After land was purchased on Hillside Road, the name of the church was changed to Hillside Baptist Church. In October of 1963 Pastor Chandler resigned to start another work and Pastor Norman Edwards was called. While Pastor Edwards served at Hillside, the building was completed, and the first worship service was held June 6, 1965. Pastor Edwards resigned August 4, 1965, due to health problems and Pastor Clark Mann of Milford, Michigan was called. Pastor Mann remained pastor until he retired on December 23, 1979. Clyde McGee was called and served as pastor from December 30, 1979 to April of 1981. In October 1981, Dr. Clarence Billett of Hawthorne, Nevada came to pastor. Dr. Billett remained pastor until resigning in August of 1989. David Clift came as interim pastor from September to December of 1989. He was asked to take the pastorate and began in January of 1990 and serves as the senior pastor to the present. Since its founding, Hillside Church has always been a non-denominational church. Because of this important distinction, Pastor David Clift and the church membership thought it best to distinguish themselves as “Hillside Church” in 2001 and it remains the church’s name to this date.
We are an independent church. We have no denominational control or hierarchy. Hillside is self-governed and determines its own affairs. For example: We choose our own pastors, own our own buildings and assets, and we determine our own programs.