HistoryHow it all began...
Hilltop Free Will Baptist Church began August 28, 1966 in the basement of the home of Donnie and Harold McLeod. Four families who had been saved through the ministry of Prospect Church in Dunn N.C. began to pray for God to send someone to this area to begin a mission church. Reverend James Denton was with them that day in August when the first service was held, and souls were saved that day.
Almost immediately God provided a way to purchase 3 acres of land on Highway 401.The pastor and the congregation worked diligently for 3 ½ months, and the first service was held December 25th,1966 in the new building. In February 1967 there were 70 charter members, and the church was named Hilltop Free Will Baptist Church.
In 1979 Billy Bevan became the new pastor of Hilltop Church. The process of Hilltop becoming a multiministry church began under his leadership. Our Bus ministry and Christian School was started by his vision. God used Preacher Bevan as a strong preacher of His Word and honored his faithfulness.
In 1996 Bro. Bevan became the president of Southeastern Free Will Baptist College. The church elected the Assistant Pastor, Jeff Jones, to become only the 3rd pastor in our church's rich heritage. Our general attendance continued to grow, and several of our key staff members were brought on board as we continued going forward in our service to God. In 2000 we brought on an assistant pastor to lead our spanish ministry. Our church really began to concentrate on reaching all of our community for Christ through a Spanish speaking Church. After the spanish ministry grew, we began having combined services four times per year to promote the fact that we are all one church together. Despite the fact that we have two different languages and two different cultures, our church recognized we have but One Lord and One Great Commission. God continues to bless our spanish ministry with the leadership of Tico Alonso.
Our church family grew to the point that we were averaging over 500 per Sunday without room to grow. It then became apparent that we had outgrown our facility. Below is a picture which shows a Sunday before we built at our present location.
In order to accommodate our growth, land was purchased on Highway 401 on September 20, 2003 to build a new facility. After much hard work our new building was completed late in 2006, and we held our first service there on December 24, 2006.
Today we are blessed with a church complex of over 47,000 sq. foot and a second building of over 24,000 sq. foot. We have expanded to two morning worship services with an average attendance of over 750, and our auditorium continues to be full on both Sunday night and Wednesday night. Our church is privileged to see people trust Christ as their Savior regularly and is extremely active in global evangelism. Our pastor emphasizes three things which we still hold to today: We desire to see people saved; see people baptized and taught how the Bible says that they should live.
To God be the glory - Great Things He Hath Done!