In the 1980’s a group of Christians met together in Hilton as a home group of the Pietermaritzburg Baptist Church. After a while the group felt led to pursue the idea of starting a small church to serve the Hilton area.
With the encouragement of Rev Brian Jardine, Hilton Baptist was constituted with a handful of foundation members into the Baptist Union. By the mid 1990’s Charles de Jong was called as a part-time pastor to help get the young church onto its feet. It soon became independent of its “mother church” in Pietermaritzburg.
Sunday services began at Cowan House school. After about five years, a wild property at 4 Amy Wilson drive, with an incredible slope to it, was bought for the future. After the de Jong’s left, Craig and Cindy Duvel began their ministry in 1997, serving the church until early 2010.
During this time, it was agreed to start an evening service. It was also agreed that once attendance reached twenty, Craig would wear his wife’s rabbit slippers to the service. This took place before the old century passed into history. By this time, the morning service had grown to about fifty. Then it was decided to give a portion of the church’s income for the support and spread of the gospel, starting with a tenth.
The young church of less than seventy agreed to fund a building project for 4 Amy Wilson Drive. Volunteer work contributed significantly to the project which saw God’s blessing on work and gift to such an extent that it was paid for in five years. Then a manse was bought in 2006.
The church continued to see its role in the Christian Mission as an important part of its work. And so the church was led to support Cindy’s brother Grant and his family in a work aimed at reaching, teaching and training pastors in the Mbala area of Zambia. Concern for local needs led to a ministry to AIDS orphans around 2003. This, in turn, led to a burden to serve Christ in the local community of Sweetwaters. And so iThemba Projects was formed, headed up by Stu and Sam Walker. With the support of additional missionaries and outreach workers, the church had the joy of reaching a goal in 2010 of giving 20% of its income to the support of people in Outreach and Mission work.