Hillcrest Baptist Church

The Church had its beginning on 14 December 1952, when a group of Baptists met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Bauer in order to start the Geneva Mission.  At this meeting, Reverend L. A. Hall was called as pastor.  There were twenty-seven charter members.

For the first six months, the Geneva Mission met in the home of Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Geiger. The services conducted were Sunday School, Morning Worship, Training Union and Evening Worship.  Cottage Prayer Meetings were held every Wednesday night and a W.M.U. was also organized.

A building fund was started at the first meeting with $100 as the first donation.  It was decided that the collections taken every fifth Sunday would go into the building fund. Mr.and Mrs. William G. Kilbee donated an acre of land off of SR 46.  Members bought building materials and constructed the building themselves with several friends donating their services.  Mr. Philip Bauer, a Methodist friend, built the pulpit, pews, communion table, flower stands and banisters.  By June of 1953, the Geneva Mission had completed construction of a church building and started conducting services.

On 12 July 1953 the Mission was organized into Hillcrest Baptist Church with three ministers from the Seminole Association as guest speakers.  The eighteen Articles of Faith and the Church Covenant were adopted.

Reverend Hall resigned in August of 1954 and Reverend C. W. Plank was called in October.  While Reverend Plank was pastor the Church voted to sponsor a mission in Maitland.  The Maitland Mission (later to become the Prairie Lake Baptist Church) called Reverend Leonard Jones as pastor.  It started with twenty-two members.

During November of 1955, a group of Hillcrest members filmed their own Christmas program, complete with sound, and it was shown at Christmas.

In February 1956, Reverend Plank resigned.  Reverend W. S. Mitchell was called as supply pastor in April, and in May was called as pastor for the remainder of the church year.  In November of 1956, Reverend Wesley Hamil was called as pastor Of Hillcrest.  He was ordained to the Gospel Ministry on May 12, 1957 and on Nov. 17 resigned to accept a call to Clewiston, Florida.  In August of 1958, a revival, conducted by Reverend Taylor, Reverend Leonard Jones and a group of Prairie Lake young people, was a great success.

Late in 1959, due to decreasing membership, the church disbanded.


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