History of First Baptist Church of Hillsdale
Our nation was observing its centennial when First Baptist Church of Dallas had its beginning, as a member of Regular Baptist Churches. It was founded December 30, 1876, by a group of Bible believing Baptists who wanted to fellowship with those of like faith. Their desire was to establish a place of worship and to have an organized effort to reach others in the community with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Early members of the church met in the home of C.S. Millard for covenant meetings each Saturday. A covenant meeting included prayer, reading of Scripture and the Articles of Faith and ended with testimonies. Brother Wm. H. Logan was the first preacher of First Baptist Church of Dallas from 1876-1880, although he also preached in Pleasant Creek, Sand Creek and other places where there was a need. In addition to preaching the Gospel, Millard was also a carpenter and wagon maker. There were few settlers, in those days, so he went from place to place and also distributed Christian literature and organized Sunday Schools.
The church continued meeting, despite unsuccessful efforts to obtain a pastor. In 1884, the church had their first Communion. A year later, in 1885, a Wednesday evening prayer service began meeting and deacons were elected. Covenant meetings were changed to one Saturday each month. For a few years attendance was quite small, sometimes with only two present, so in1888, it was decided to hold services on alternate Sundays.
The first pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, G.P. Difsmore, was called in 1893 for one year. He was paid "$80 for his services. Some to be in money and the rest in work." In an entry written in the church minutes during a covenant meeting, it says, "G.P. preaches here tomorrow and at Barron next Sabbath, then goes down home again to look after his haying."
In 1894, the members of First Baptist Church of Dallas wrote letters to organize and form the Maple Grove Baptist Church. A few years later, at a meeting in the spring of 1901, it was decided to begin building a church in Hillsdale and to call a new pastor, Rev. G.A. Wain to preach every other Sunday. The new church, First Baptist Church of Hillsdale, was dedicated November 10, 1901. Fourteen years later, after further building construction, the new church building was dedicated in 1915.
The church building met the needs of the congregation over the years. By 1984, however, the lack of water and indoor plumbing became an issue. One interesting note, is the story of how the women packed the dishes, after church potlucks, over to the parsonage to wash them, then carried the dishes back to the church to put them away. The building was also becoming too expensive to heat in the winter.
Shortly after plans were made to build a new church, an old, empty school across the street from the church became available. First Baptist Church of Hillsdale was the highest bidder, at $61050.99. The old brick school and the property it sat on became the new home for First Baptist Church of Hillsdale.
Due to the generosity of a nearby farmer, Ewald Klein, a loan, which the church was preparing to borrow from the bank, was paid in full, so there would be no church debt. Klein also bought a piano, hymnals, pews, tables, silverware and an abundance of other items for the church. He even purchased a Christmas gift for each person in the congregation. Ewald Klein had attended this church as a child. More recently, he received help from members of the congregation and the pastor when moving from his farm and was impressed that the pastor and the people in the church were so generous with their time and effort. The old school was ready for the first church service before Christmas of 1984.
Over the years, the old brick school building has had many construction and remodeling projects take place. The building serves our church well. We worship the Lord in freedom, 141 years after our founding and we fellowship with those who share our faith. Our desire still remains to have a place to worship together and to reach those in our community with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Core Belief
We believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible, in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Birth, the blood atonement, the bodily resurrection, and the personal, visible, bodily return of Jesus Christ to the earth.