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.

Meet Our Pastor

David Clift

WHY CHRISTIANITY? As a child, my parents took us to church occasionally. It seemed boring and irrelevant.  A friend invited us to a church where I understood the message and people seemed excited about Jesus. After a few months, on September 24, 1972, I accepted Christ.  I was baptized soon after I made that decision.
WHY MINITSRY?  As a kid, I dreamed of being a lawyer. Then in 1978 during a chapel at Berean Christian High School (now in Walnut Creek, Ca), we were urged to seek how God could best use us. and I began asking that of God on a daily basis. God began bringing ministry opportunities to me that confirmed my gifts and by the end of my junior year,  it was clear God wanted me to serve Him in ministry. It's a decision I have never doubted.

WHY HILLSIDE?  I've lived in the San Francisco Bay Area all my life. I had been an Associate Pastor in Martinez for a few years then an Interim Pastor in Concord for a very short time when in September of 1989 (the month before I got married!), some leaders from Hillside Church asked if I'd consider coming to help them. The church had declined and people were discouraged. After much prayer and discussion, it became obvious that God wanted me to go to Hillside. I originally thought I would be there a short time, but 34 years later, here I am."