A Rich History & Roots in Presbyterianism
Chartiers Hill United Presbyterian Church, otherwise known as "Hill Church," takes its name from its location on the hill near Chartiers Creek. Founded in the early 1770's, the first recorded meeting was held on the fourth Sunday of August, 1775. 'At that meeting the Reverend John McMillan, founder of Jefferson College, preached in the home of John McDowell, one mile east of the present church.
Prior to the construction of the first Hill Church building, John McMillan preached in homes and out of doors, weather permitting. Often he used a tree stump as a pulpit near the present Oak Springs Cemetery while sentries stood guard against Indian attacks. The first church was made of logs and was without heat or adornment. Completed in 1778, that church stood slightly south of the present building.
Print by Ray W. Forquer
Around 1800 the log church was replaced with a stone structure. It is said that the stones were taken from a nearby Indian mound. In 1832 heating stoves were added during remodeling.
The present church, constructed in 1841 was completed at a cost of $2500, the bricks being made of clay dug from the church grounds. Eight years later the Reverend Joseph R. Wilson and his wife joined the congregation. They were to become the parents of President Woodrow Wilson.
Here, in 1900, the interior of Hill Church is heated by six coal burning stoves. Lighting is provided by a chandelier in the center of the sanctuary and by two oil lamps on wooden standards. The choir platform is raised four steps from the aisles in the southwest corner.
Hill Church today