About Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church
- Motto: "Every member of the body of Christ united in witnessing and living in readiness by His Spirit for the Kingdom of God."
- Membership: 1500
- Pastor: C. Melvin Lewis Senior Pastor
- Larry Green Associate Pastor
- Church Office Hours: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m-4:30 p.m.
- Friday 9 a.m-12:30 p.m.
Great things come from humble beginnings. Such is the history of the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church. As far back as 1942, Haddassah Poitier then, a member of the Grant's Town Seventh-day Adventist Church invited all of the children in the neighborhood to Friday evening vespers and Branch Sabbath School classes on the following day. She along with another Grants Town member, Sister Evangeline Rolle who also conducted Branch Sabbath School classes in her home, combined to form one large class of about 100 children. One of these children, Thomassina Bowe, is still a member of the Hillview Church.
Haddassah Poitier, affectionately called "Sister P", was then joined by Brother Jack Dean and met for worship in the old building just south of the present St. Luke's Baptist Church. When this building became unsuitable, the company moved across the street into a two-story building owned by Daniel Varence. He along with his family became an integral part of the growing church. This old lodge hall situated on the corner of East Street and Palmetto Avenue served as a sanctuary for these believers for many years. Some of the young Sabbath School members at that time were Sisters Nora Brown McCalla, Vivian Varence Rahming, Dorothy Varence Cleare, Joyce Poitier, Blanche Ward Spence, Solomon, Cephas and Sam Ward. Most of these persons are members of the Hillview Church today.
In 1952 under the leadership of Elder Mote, Mission President, the company was organized into a church. Charter Members included Haddassah Poitier, Jane Brown, Pearl McMillan and Hamfreth Rahming from the Grant's Town Adventist Church. They were later joined by Cecil Cartwright, Stanley Major and Turpie Newbold.
One of the very first evangelistic crusades launched by the church was conducted by Pastor Melvin G. Nembhard in the Old Sponge Shed on Bay Street out of which a number of new believers were added to this fledging church community. By this time the brethren recognized the need for a more permanent building so they negotiated with Sir Roland Symonette to purchase a small plot on East Street south almost opposite Cordeaux Avenue. On this site Daniel Varence assisted by others, built the old section of the present Englerston Church and dedicated it in 1955. The first pastor to serve the young church was Pastor Neville E. Scavella. After his tenure Pastor Roy M. Fernander assumed the leadership of the flock. The congregation continued to grow and the church soon became too small, expansion was necessary, and in the mid-sixties this was completed.
The late sixties and early seventies witnessed an explosion of evangelism in the Bahamas Conference, that resulted in a dramatic increase in membership. The Englerston Church again was bursting at its seams. Pastor Roy M. Fernander started a special fund to acquire a suitable and affordable site for a new church. However, it was not until the tenure of Pastor Royden I. Hanna, that this comfortable 3.8 acreage was purchased through the assistance of President Silas N. McKinney from the late Sir Roland Symonette.
Shortly thereafter Rufus Bain drew the plans for this edifice, and on January 1, 1976, under the leadership of Pastor Jeremiah Duncombe, the foundation was laid. Assistance came from the Conference under Pastor Leslie V. McMillan in the form of the United Labor Program. The members added works to their faith, refusing to be discouraged even when progress was slow. In August of 1979, Pastor Roy A. Gordon began his tenure at the Englerston Church and under his leadership the building program was reactivated. The Cathedral on the Hill slowly began to take shape, the walls were erected and the roof was pitched by Brother Solomon Lightbourne. It was also during this time that President Hugh A. Roach advised the Englerston brethren to extend the auditorium by an additional forty feet and put in a balcony.
Pastor Keith D. Albury was called to assume leadership of the Englerston Church on February 16. 1985. After consultations with the church board, the stewardship and building committees, a strong Adventure in Faith program was implemented. A countdown was also established for moving into the present building. The members gave significantly and our conference donated generously also. The dream of moving into our new but incomplete church was finally realized in December 1986. From this point on, the building program gained such momentum it could not be stopped.
Each week we witnessed the transformation, installation of the doors and windows, etc. Hugh Rollins assembling the skillfully crafted ceiling; Rudolph Fowler and Rufus Polehmus putting the professional touch in the masonry work; Charles Miller designing and installing electrical fixtures; Keith and Kevin Rollins painting and staining; Godfrey Humes designing the landscaping and parking areas; Eustace Jennings designing and installing the railings for the steps; all ably coordinated by our Pastor Keith D. Albury, the stewardship committee led by James Sands, and our Building Committee led by Brother Hamfreth Rahming and Arnold Burrows, and the entire church family. Our church was dedicated on April 16, 1989 by the then president of the West Indies Union, Dr. Silburn Reid.
In 1990, Pastor Leo C. Rolle was appointed to be the pastor of our church. He, his wife, Terry and three children served Hillview for three years.
Pastor Eric D. Clarke became our pastor in 1993. He, his wife, Patrice and three children, two of which were born during the six years he spent with Hillview.
Pastor Michael A. Smith became our pastor in 1999. He, his wife, Lynn and three children, served Hillview for six years .
Pastor Peter Joseph was appointed as our pastor in 2005. He is married to the former Michelle McKinney and they have two sons, Edmond and Newton and served Hillview for five years.
Pastor Kent Price became our pastor in 2010. He is married to the former Alree Sands and they have four daughters. He served with us for four years.
Our present pastor is Pastor C. Melvin Lewis and is assisted by Pastor Larry Green. Pastor Lewsi is married to the Constance Lewis and they have two children. Pastor Green is married to the former Schkara Hepburn and they have one daughter.
Today our church has a membership of over 1,000. However none can measure the love, the sacrifice and the labor that make this continual faith project a reality.
We at the Hillview Church feel honored to be able to worship and serve God in this fine tabernacle today. It is our hope that the spirit of God will make us a beacon of light reflecting the love of Jesus to the surrounding community.