A History of Hillside Baptist Church*
In the fall of 1953, a small group of believers, seeking fellowship and desiring to see the Gospel spread in the growing Hillside area, met in the home of Harold Carlson at 246 High Ridge Road. With the help of Rev. Victor Sherling and Rev. Ivar Anderson this group canvassed the area and led the services until a regular pastor could be called to this new church in Hillside.
In June of 1954, Herbert Skoglund, a graduate of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Th.), became the first official pastor of the Hillside Baptist Chapel. At that time, Sunday services were held at the Hillside American Legion Hall on Butterfield Road. By October 1954 the Sunday services moved to Hillside School. The first Vacation Bible School already had been held at the school that June.
The church was formally organized and incorporated in 1955 as the Hillside Baptist Church with twenty-seven charter members and was welcomed into the Baptist General Conference, the Midwest Baptist Conference, and the Baptist Mission Union.
Rev. Skoglund and his wife, Jean Skoglund, answered the Lord's call to the mission field in Japan in February 1957. Later that year, Robert D. Erickson was called as the next pastor at Hillside. In August of 1959, the church broke ground for its first building located at the current Butterfield Road site it had purchased earlier and occupied it by April of the following year. In 1966, Rev. Dan Ankerberg became pastor. As the church continued to grow, it broke ground in 1971 for a major addition including a new sanctuary, offices, library, and fellowship room.
The Lord blessed the church and its congregation with a number of pastors and families, including Rev. Phil Engelman (1990-1993), Rev. Bruce Hoppe (1994-1999) and Rev. J. Larry Bresnahan (2000-2004). HBC had helped several of its members, and even pastors, continue their service to the Lord as missionaries throughout the world.
* Part of the above narrative was adapted from James Rentz, ed., What Hath God Wrought? Sixty Years of Christian Worship: 1901-1961 (Chicago: Baptist Mission Union of America, 1961), 49-50. The book was published in commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the Baptist Mission Union of America.
Then Crossroads Church of Hillside was launched...
With the assistance of Baptist General Conference, Hillside Baptist Church underwent a transformative process that culminated in a complete relaunch of the ministry during 2005-2006. Pastor Mike Thompson was called as pastor, and a new chapter began for this local assembly in April 2006 along with a new name: Crossroads Church of Hillside. Charter membership in the new church was instituted in January 2008, and elders and deacons were appointed in March of the following year.
Crossroads continues to be engaged in the local community, acting as a witness for Christ in Hillside and the surrounding area. In addition to our Sunday services, the Word of God is taught in Sunday School classes and in weekly and monthly Bible studies. Several times each year we practice the love of God and preaching the gospel of Christ through servant evangelism and outreach events at venues such as Pacific Garden Mission. We've been a sponsor of Child Evangelism Fellowship which leads 5-Day Clubs during the summer and Bible studies in public schools during the academic year.
Crossroads celebrated its tenth year of ministry in April 2016. We invite everyone to join us as we continue to shine the light of the Lord Jesus Christ and build his kingdom.