Who We Are
Hilton Presbyterian Church is a particular church of the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). We are a diverse congregation rooted in our community and unified by our common faith in God. We seek to:
Grow the connected life of the spirit, mind and body through creative worship, education and fellowship.
Serve as the heart, hands and feet of Jesus Christ in our community. As we serve we are transformed.
We worship, singing with joy for God's good news in Jesus Christ!
We are reformed in worship, a blend of hymns and confessions old and new.
We preach the gospel through word and art.
We are a community in Christ.
We love one another.
We share our longings and joys.
We pray to God, for one another, for ourselves and for all the world.
We celebrate the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
We learn and grow.
We have Sunday School and other groups for all ages.
Guided by the Holy Spirit, we study for the Word of God revealed in Holy Scripture, the story of God’s salvation for all.
We pray for God's grace and strength, that we may learn and grow more and more into the image of Christ.
We serve in Jesus' name. God's love is always outreaching. We seek to be agents of God's love through ministries such as PORT (a winter homeless shelter), Serve the City (partnering with others, doing good deeds, loving our neighbors), CROP Walk (a walk for hunger relief), St. Vincent's Soup Kitchen, One City Marathon (cheer and praise station), SPARK (summer school reading program) and many more. We welcome everyone. "No matter where you are from, we're glad you are our neighbor!"
Our church history is intertwined with that of the community of Newport News, itself, where farmers and fishermen witnessed a population surge in the late 1800s as industry came to the area. A railyard, a shipbuilding and dry dock company, coal piers and grain elevators changed the landscape of Newport News, and brought families here who naturally would share God's word and Christian fellowship with one another in years to come.
Those first meetings were held in simple wood-frame structures -- or on the piers, with congregants seated on coils of rope and piles of timber! Of course, without building structures to separate them, many denominations met and worshipped together.
As time went on, the North Newport News Union Sunday School was established, and Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists and Baptists came to teach and learn. This was the very earliest of Hilton Presbyterian's local roots.
1918's Hilton Village: a government-funded effort to house increasing numbers of shipbuilders preparing for the First World War -- brought about the first Hilton Presbyterian church building. Hilton Village was envisioned to balance the difficult work environment of the industrial revolution with a garden city, complete with stores, churches, and schools. Four lots were set aside for the various churches, and Dr. E. T. Wellford, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, chose the site where our church is now located. After a brief interim period in 1919 when Presbyterians and Methodists in Hilton Village met together at the Fireman's Clubhouse (and, in pleasant weather, under open tents by the James River), it was decided that there were enough families in each denomination to support individual churches. With the help of the First Presbyterian Church and the Presbytery in Norfolk, the Hilton Presbyterian Church was commissioned on December 21, 1919, with 49 founding members. The Reverend G. L. Kearns was elected the first pastor.
Our Church Home
An old YMCA building was "cut up" and moved to the corner of Main and River Road. This first church home had bare floors, folding chairs, and a piano. In July of 1921, the cornerstone for a new church building was laid. On October 9, 1921 the building was dedicated. In 1963, an Educational Building was added. In 1977, plans began for a new sanctuary, as the old was structurally deteriorating. Construction began in 1981. The following year, our new sanctuary was completed and dedicated. In 2017, the sanctuary received significant renovations and updates for better light, sound and use of space.