Editor’s note — This is the third of a three-part series on the history of some of the churches in Highland County.
As Highland County continued to grow, more churches were built in the county. Some churches have been in the county for several years and some for only a few. More churches were developed due to the separation of churches and varying ideas of what churches should be.
In the late 18th century, people from different religious backgrounds begin to ask questions. They wanted to know why churches couldn’t go back to being non-denominational. They wanted to go back to the simplicity and purity of the first century churches.
With these questions came the Restoration Movement. People did not consider themselves a denomination, simply members of the church 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 referred to as The Stone-Campbell Movement.
The Church of Christ came from this movement. it is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination with historical and doctrinal origins in congregational, reformed, Lutheran and Anabaptist traditions.
One such Church of Christ is the Northside Church of Christ. It originated in 1950, on the third floor of the Farmers and Traders Bank Building in Hillsboro.
The church was known as the Park Avenue Church in 1954, when a lot was purchased on the the corner of South West Street and Park Avenue.
By 1976, the congregation had grown and a lot on Greenfield Pike was purchased. On Feb. 5, 1977, the church moved to Greenfield Pike, its present location, and became known as Northside Church of Christ.
While Church of Christ considers itself, non-denominational, there are other churches in Highland County that are non-denominational. These churches have the freedom to direct the teaching and ministry without interference or control from without. These churches look to the Bible as evidence points to each church as self-governing and answers 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 baptism of adult believers by total immersion. Some Baptists believe that Baptist churches have been ongoing without any interruption since John the Baptist and the apostles.
Baptists trace their origin back to Anabaptists, those who do not believe in baby baptism, but favor believer’s baptism. This comes from the 16th century Protestant Movement. Most Baptists agree that their religion originated in the 17th century and is developed from Puritanism, of a system of Christian doctrines and ecclesiastical government in which each congregation is self-governing and maintain bonds of faith with other similar local congregations.
One of the biggest Baptist churches in Highland County is the Hillsboro Bible Baptist Church. The church started when Dan Lamb, from Saginaw, Michigan, came to Hillsboro.
The first service was held in a rented store front on Main Street on March 9, 1975. Six months later, the church was organized and moved to the Grange Hall at the fairgrounds.
Four years later, a property on S.R. 124 was purchased and the church building was constructed. In 1981, the first auditorium and educational building opened. 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 was renovated into a chapel and offices.
In 2001, the congregation had outgrown the family life center and a new auditorium for 1,000 people 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.