In 1942, God led a small group of Christians to begin a new church. Their first meetings were in a tent located at the corner of 22nd Street and Walnut Avenue under the direction of Rev. James K. Miller. Evangelist C.C. Wilcutt of Birmingham, Alabama conducted a very successful revival under this tent. By this time, the congregation numbered about 100 and they decided to organize a church. Rev. James K. Miller was called as the first pastor and Rev. Bill Summerlin was called as associate pastor and music director. The first deacons were E.S. Heptinstall, J.A. Tidwell, W.M. Shurbutt, Paul Peace and W.T. New.
The congregation bought a house on 11th Street and under the leadership of Paul Peace, his father-in-law W.A. Tidwell, and Rev. James K. Miller, the house was renovated and they began meeting in the house. The church was known as Eleventh Street Baptist Church. A few months later, the church was renamed to Anniston Baptist Temple.
In 1943, property was purchased at 2200 Moore Avenue and a concrete block building with a saw dust floor was erected. Pews were made from one by four planks with the members doing the work. Some two or three years later the saw dust floor was replaced with concrete, a choir loft was built, a new pulpit was installed and a baptistry was added. The church grew to 203 members during Bro. Miller's pastorate.
In 1947, Bro. Miller resigned as pastor, and the Church extended a call to Rev. Horace E. Homesley in 1948. Under his leadership the name of the Church was changed to Moore Avenue Baptist Church and made much progress. In 1950, a two story educational building was built and brick veneered. In 1954, the auditorium was remodeled completely and a balcony and vestibule were added. In 1960, the church purchased a house next door and made it into a fellowship hall. Central heat and air conditioning were installed in the church in 1964. The church had 456 members when Bro. Homesley resigned in 1965.
Rev. Roy Carpenter was called as interim pastor and in 1966 the church called Rev. Sherman Harper as pastor. During his ministry, the Church installed new carpet in the auditorium and property was purchased at 2517 McKleroy Avenue for a 1700 square foot pastorium.
Bro. Harper resigned in February of 1967 and Rev. Zackie Carpenter was called as interim pastor. He served until April of that same year when the church called Rev. Harvey C. Brown as pastor.
Bro. Brown led the church to grow in many areas. With his burden for young people, he led the church to call a youth director. In July 1977, the church called Rick Reaves as youth director. With these two men working together, great things were accomplished. The church was rapidly growing and with no room at the Moore Avenue location to expand, the church voted in March 1979 to purchase 7.33 acres of land and a house on Post Oak Road in the Saks community for relocation purposes. In May 1980, recreational facilities were built. A parking lot was built on the Saks location in July 1981. In August 1983, a pavilion was built by one of the Sunday School classes. The church voted on September 14, 1983 to change it's name to "Hill Crest Baptist Church". The Moore Avenue property was sold, and the church relocated to 5117 Post Oak Road on December 23, 1984.
Since our relocation, the church has continued to progress. Under Dr. Brown's leadership, church membership grew to approximately 1500. Our youth director, Rick Reaves, announced his call to preach in October 1987, and the church called him as associate pastor/minister of youth in November 1987.
On July 28, 1991 Dr. Brown announced his retirement, to become effective on April 12, 1992 at his 25th anniversary. A pulpit committee, consisting of Larry Howard, Edsell Haynes, Rev. James K. Miller, Hal O'Kelley and Don Pitts, was formed. On September 8, 1991 the church elected Rev. Rick Reaves as the new pastor with a 98% vote. He began his ministry as pastor on April 13, 1992.
Even though the growth of our ministry has caused us to make many changes, Bro. Rick has not allowed the vision, mission, or purpose of Hill Crest to be blurred. Prioritizing spiritual integrity and accountability, God has continued to change lives at Hill Crest.
God has used Hill Crest in the past, but we believe the future is even brighter. Hill Crest Baptist Church is committed to meeting the needs of our community and to allowing the Good News of Jesus Christ to fill our county.