History of Meriden Hills Baptist Church
October 24, 1976 - First Service at Meriden, CT YWCA
April 10, 1977 - Charter Member Service – Easter
July 21, 1983 - Purchased land and parsonage at 49 Park Dr., Kensington, CT
April 21, 1992 - Purchased American Heart Association building at 71 Parker Ave., Meriden, CT
July 1, 1992 - First Wednesday Service at 71 Parker Ave., Meriden, CT
August 9, 1992 - Building Dedication Service at 71 Parker Ave., Meriden, CT
March 1997 - Purchased building at 139 Charles St., Meriden, CT
April 5, 1998 - Building Dedication Service at 139 Charles St., Meriden, CT
Pastor Jack Turner founded Meriden Hills Baptist Church in 1976. Pastor Turner and his family moved from Michigan to Connecticut for a purpose, with a plan and directed through prayer to pioneer a fundamental Bible preaching church in the city of Meriden, CT. The first service of the Meriden Hills Baptist Church was held at the YWCA building in Meriden, CT on October 24, 1976 with 12 people in attendance. The following year, the church grew in attendance to 45 members and was officially incorporated, and formed its’ charter membership on Easter Sunday, 1977.
Where did the name “Meriden Hills” come from?
Shortly after Pastor Turner came to Meriden to start the church, he went up to Castle Craig and saw all the mountains surrounding the city of Meriden…hence the name Meriden Hills.
How was Meriden Hills started?
Pastor Turner and his family came to the area on vacation and visited a church in Newington called Emmanuel Gospel (now called Emmanuel Baptist). While standing in the back of the church, a man named Ray Mule introduced himself to Pastor Turner. During the conversation, Pastor Turner mentioned that there were many churches in Michigan but Ray indicated that there were hardly any in the area. Pastor Turner asked Ray where would he suggest starting a church and Ray said that Meriden needs a good church. Ray asked Pastor Turner what would it take for him to come here and Pastor Turner answered that a house and a job would be a good start. A few weeks later after that conversation, Pastor Turner received a call from Ray indicating that he found them a house if they were still serious. God used Ray to help open the door for Pastor Turner to come to Meriden to start a church. Within a couple of weeks, Pastor & Mrs. Turner were able to sell their home. They used the money from the sale of their home to live on and make the move to Meriden from Michigan. For the first year, Pastor Turner worked at the Unemployment Office and Mrs. Turner worked at the YWCA until the church was able to put them on fulltime.
Where did we meet?
For the first 15 years, Meriden Hills Baptist Church met at the YWCA building in Meriden. In 1984, the church purchased 5.2 acres of land just on the outskirts of Meriden with the intent of building a structure to house the church. The neighbors in the area fought having a church and so the town wouldn’t allow the church to be built at that location. God opened a new door and allowed the church to sell this property and purchase the old American Heart Association building located at 71 Parker Ave. The church stayed there for approximately 5 years when the Stop & Shop made an offer to purchase that building. The church was able to sell that building, use the proceeds to purchase our current location (which is almost three times larger) and pay for the needed renovations to move in.
Who has pastored Meriden Hills Baptist Church?
1976 – 1997 * Pastor Jack Turner (went to be with the Lord)
1997 – 1999 * Pastor Ed Cowger
2000 - Present * Dr. Chris Atkinson
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