CHURCH OF CHRIST in HILLSBORO
Hill County’s first church of Christ began meeting in Walding, near Malone, in 1857. From this beginning, most communities in Hill County had churches of Christ. In 1891 the Central Christian church (Disciples of Christ) began meeting in Hillsboro. Two years later a division occurred over the use of the organ and the missionary society and the church of Christ became a separate group.
This group began meeting in the court room at the court house until a lot at the corner of Smith and North Pleasant was donated. In 1893, a building was erected at the cost of $4500. J.D. Tant, W. G. Ethridge and others were invited to hold Gospel Meetings in order to establish this congregation.
In 1926, Horace W. Busby was invited to hold a meeting there, but the crowds were so large that the court house was again used. J. D Tant returned to Hillsboro for a tent meeting in May-June of that year. The congregation continued to grow over the years.
By 1940, the congregation had outgrown its Pleasanton Street building. Liberty Temple became available as the Presbyterian church moved into their new facility. The building at 220 East Elm was purchased for $10,000 and the church of Christ moved its place of worship. This beautiful building featured Gothic design with a balcony and a basement for classrooms. The auditorium had a high arched ceiling with ornate wooden beams.
Later that same year, the church in the Jessie community disbanded and donated their building to the East Elm congregation. J. C and Chester Yeaman moved the building to the corner of McDonald and Pine Street in Hillsboro, where a congregation was established for the Black members of the church of Christ.
After the appointment of a new eldership in 1954, the East Elm congregation suffered a division and the West Side Congregation was established. This group constructed a building on West Elm in 1956.
After Hill College was reactivated in 1962 and a campus was established, the East Elm eldership elected to build a Bible Chair next to the campus. In 1966, S. L. Gabbert and his wife, dairy farmers, donated land for the construction of the facility. At that time, Bible classes were taught for college credit. The building was also used for other church activities including dinners, social gatherings and weddings. The building was open daily for college students to use as a gathering place and/or a place to study.
Because of the deteriorating condition of the East Elm building, the eldership began planning a new facility in 1970. Two years later, the congregation moved to the College Hill building next to the Bible Chair. They became known as the College Hill church of Christ.
The East Elm building was demolished and the lot was sold for $25,000 to Texas Power and Light. Currently, the city of Hillsboro administrative offices are housed there.
With a fast growing membership through the years, in 1985, another division occurred and the Hillsboro Church of Christ was established. This group bought a store front location on the Interstate 35 frontage road where they met for several years. This younger congregation built a new building in 2006.
In 2002, the West Side congregation dissolved because of dwindling membership. They have reunited with the College Hill congregation. The combined memberships worship at the building at the intersection of Highway 22 and Lamar Drive adjacent to the college campus.
On June 12, 2016 Ted D. Cherry began working full time as the minister of the College Hill Church of Christ..