Vision  We strive to be the best that we can be in Evangelism, Discipleship, Service, Tithing, Fellowship and Worship. Our goal is to be a church that is driven by the Holy Spirit in what we say, what we do and very importantly what we aspire to do.

Evangelism  is our top priority. We strive to see those who are lost come to the understanding and acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This can only be done through the continuous introduction to, and the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ within and outside of this church.

Discipleship is a major focus. We are dedicated to seeing God’s children continue to grow in Him, learn about Him and love Him more each day. We strive for our members to continue to learn more about Christ and then to mentor and teach others about Christ and living in Him.

Service   was what Christ provided to us all in the highest form. To serve others is to honor Christ and all that He sacrificed for us. We cannot aim to be visionary Christians without including great service to others as part of our vision. Our vision is to eventually provide holistic service to communities including teaching, clothing, feeding and empowering others for survival, living, sustainability and ultimately thriving to be the best that God has made them to be.  We would like to feed the hunger, teach those who do not know how to fish, how to fish for food and to fish for others in need, once they learn how to swim themselves.

Tithing  is a holy act that God requires. We want to become a church  of members that gives at least 10 percent of what God gives us and hopefully grow in our ability to  be generous. We want our members to give out of love, kindness and generosity not dreading or regretting. Our tithes  enable us to serve our members of the church and neighboring communities.

Fellowship Fellowship is a vital component of Christian discipleship. At Hill First we work to establish and nurture relationships that strengthen our mutual faith in Christ our lord. (Proverbs 27:17)

Worship At Hill First we believe that worship is the responsibility of every Christian. (Psalm 150:6)


Joining Hill First Baptist Church

Hill First Baptist Church always welcomes new members. You may join either with Prior Christian Experience or as a new member of the kingdom of Christ.

The Hill First Baptist Church is very welcoming and would love to extend the right hand of Fellowship to you so that you may soon become a member of our family.


In 1830, a group started to worship together in the Presbyterian Church building located on the University of Georgia campus. This church became known as the Athens Baptist Church. The church’s congregation was initially made up of European American parishioners and enslaved Africans. In those days, “slave” religion was taught mainly on a verbal basis, due to slave masters’ fear and prohibition on enslaved Africans’ ability to read.

Oftentimes, European American ministers directed many “slave” Sunday  services in order to maintain control. Through worship, enslaved Africans often found creative ways to learn how to read. In fact, on September 5, 1846, the first African- American minister was ordained to preach the gospel to his people. His name was Brother Glaskow.

In April, 1857, African- American members of Athens Baptist Church had a conference to request permission to build a church of their own. Permission was granted, and on May 5, 1857 all of the church members built the first church in Athens, Georgia specifically for African American parishioners. The two churches then shared their land and their name.

In March, 1867, four years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Hill First Baptist Church emerged from the African- American members of Athens Baptist Church. The church was named in honor of its first minister, Reverend Floyd Hill. Reverend Hill led the church without the ability to read or write. He reported that after one day of prayer in the woods, he emerged with the knowledge and ability to read.

Since the death of Pastor Hill on October 18, 1888, twenty- four devoted ministers have served the congregation of Hill First Baptist Church. In chronological order, those ministers include: Pastors L.T. Smith, Gardner Hall, A.B. Murden, L.H. Mills, J.T. Johnson, Gamble, J.H. Brown, M. L. Fambrough, W. H. Perry, A.W. Williams, McFadden Q.L. Jones, O.M. Collins, Robert M. Hawk, William P. King, Amos J. Jackson, Prathous C. Land, Benjamin K. Willis, J. Sherman Pelt, Ronnie Swoopes, Anthony Hudson, Benjamin G. Rivers and currently, Pastor John D. Menefee, Jr.

Hill First Baptist Church is the oldest African American church in the Athens community. It has been a cornerstone of the Reese Street District. The church is a contributing building to the Reese Street district on the National Register of Historical Places. This illustrious church continues to be a place where praise and honor are given to the glory of God.

Times and location

  •     Sunday Worship @ 11:15am
  •     Wednesday Prayer Call @ 7:30pm  (Call in #:  641.715.3580; 507096)
  •     Thursday Bible Study @ 6pm
  •     Sunday School- Christian Education @ 9:45am
  •     Children Sunday School @ 9:45am