By Faye Gaston
The history of the Mount Hillard Missionary Baptist Church was provided to Faye Gaston by Chairman of the Board of Deacons, Danny Jackson. A synopsis follows in the Historical Preservation Report presented at the Union Springs City Council meeting by Faye Gaston on July 1, 2019.
On July 1, 2005, the decision was made to make Mount Hillard a full-time church with services being held every Sunday.
The Mount Hillard Missionary Baptist Church was founded in 1887 by Deacon Henry Hillard. Mount Hillard originated out of the Town Creek Missionary Baptist Church. The first structure was made of brush arbor that was replaced with a log structure set on the corner of County Road 23 and 165 in Bullock County.
The church was moved from this location to a wooden built structure that faced east and west. In the 1950's it was struck by lightning and destroyed. It was replaced with a block structure on the present site facing north and south. Church services were held on second Sundays, once a month. Revivals were held each day of the second week of August with meetings at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., three meetings each day!
In the mid 1980's the church extended its meeting Sundays to include fourth Sunday. In 1998 the church was completed renovated and included a foyer and drive through. On July 1, 2005 the decision was made to make Mount Hillard a full-time church with services being held every Sunday.
There is no record of the name of the first pastor of the church in 1887 but Henry Hillard served as Chairman of the Board of Deacons. The history lists the known pastors and chairmen of Deacons through the years.
In February 2017 Dexter Foreman became the pastor and Deacon Danny Jackson, Sr. was appointed Chairman of the Board of Deacons.
At the present time teams of volunteers are building a new modern church building. They are coming to serve a week at a time until the end of July. Mount Hillard furnished $20,000 that included the slab, a pavilion where 3 meals and snacks would be served, stoves, refrigerators and a place to store their groceries. The volunteers are furnishing all their expenses and labor that saves the church over $200,000.
I am not a carpenter but I donated pictures to Danny Jackson (and the leader of the volunteers) that I made on 4 trips to the church that first week, and a video of the segment shown on WSFA-TV. I attended the worship service on Wednesday night where the 86 volunteers brought in rows of chairs to the framed building.
Volunteers presented a "knock your socks off" sermon, music with a keyboard and guitar, prayers for those coming forward for prayer and a healing prayer for a cancer patient with a laying-on-of-hands.
The climax was the presentation of 3 crosses to the church that were made by a man with Downs Syndrome who has been a volunteer since his teen years and is now in his 30's. He presents 3 crosses to each church that the team helps to build. It was an amazing church service.