Editor’s Note – This is the third in a three part series on the history of some Highland County churches.
As Highland County continued to grow, more and more churches were built in the county. Some churches have been in the county for several years and others for only a few years. More churches have been developed due to the separation of churches and the various ideas of what churches should be.
At the end of the 18th century, people from different religious backgrounds began to ask questions. They wanted to know why churches could not return to non-denominational status. They wanted to return to the simplicity and purity of the churches of the first century.
With these questions came the Restoration Movement. The people didn’t see themselves as a denomination, just as a member of the church that Jesus established. Three ministers were influential in this movement. They were Thomas Campbell, his son Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone. Sometimes the restoration movement is called the Stone-Campbell movement.
The Church of Christ emerged from this movement. it is a main Protestant Christian denomination with historical and doctrinal origins in Congregational, Reformed, Lutheran and Anabaptist traditions.
One of these Churches of Christ is the Northside Church of Christ. It started out in 1950, on the third floor of the Farmers and Traders Bank Building in Hillsboro.
The church was known as Park Avenue Church in 1954, when land was purchased at the corner of South West Street and Park Avenue.
By 1976 the congregation had grown and much of Greenfield Pike was purchased. On February 5, 1977, the church moved to Greenfield Pike, its present location, and became known as the Northside Church of Christ.
While the Church of Christ considers itself to be non-denominational, there are other churches in Highland County that are not denominational. These churches have the freedom to direct teaching and ministry without outside interference or control. These churches look to the Bible because the evidence indicates that each church is autonomous and responds directly to God.
There are approximately 14 Churches of Christ in Highland County and five other non-denominational churches.
There are approximately 10 Baptist churches in Highland County. Baptists are members of the Protestant Christian denomination which advocates the baptism of adult believers by total immersion. Some Baptists believe that Baptist churches have existed continuously since John the Baptist and the apostles.
Baptists trace their origins back to the Anabaptists, those who do not believe in the baptism of infants, but who favor the baptism of believers. It comes from the Protestant movement of the 16th century. Most Baptists agree that their religion originated in the 17th century and developed out of Puritanism, a system of Christian doctrines and ecclesiastical government in which each congregation is autonomous and maintains bonds of faith. with other similar local congregations.
One of the largest Baptist churches in Highland County is the Hillsboro Bible Baptist Church. The church began when Dan Lamb, from Saginaw, Michigan, came to Hillsboro.
The first service was held in a rented storefront on Main Street on March 9, 1975. Six months later the church was organized and moved to Grange Hall in the fairgrounds.
Four years later, a property on SR 124 was purchased and the church building was constructed. In 1981, the first auditorium and educational building opened its doors. Then in 1986, a family life center was built.
In 1997 the auditorium was filled to capacity and the congregation moved to the family life center. The old auditorium has been rehabilitated into a chapel and offices.
By 2001, the congregation had grown too large for the family life center and a new auditorium for 1,000 was built.
Sources for this story included the Dictionary of Oxford Languages, Hillsboro Church of Christ website, gotquestions.org, Northside Church of Christ website, Britannica.com, and Christianity.com/church/denominations.
Jackie Wolgamott is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.
The Hillsboro Bible Baptist Church on SR 124 just east of town is shown in this image.
The Northside Church of Christ on Greenfield Pike on the north side of Hillsboro is shown in this image.