The Hill Church
- Contact: 7485 Orien Ave., La Mesa 619-463-1201 www.thehillsd.org
- Membership: 150
- Pastor: Jimmy Steele
- Age: 35
- Born: Atlanta, GA
- Formation: Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC
- Years Ordained: 1½
San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Jimmy Steele: The doctrine of the church – what is the church and what is its mission in the world? In the church, we have a very peripheral idea of the church and it’s very central to God’s plan of redemption. We think of the church as maybe one important option, when I think it’s central to God’s plan.
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PS: I received two kinds of calls – one international and one local. There was an international call overseas; so I spent some time in the Middle East, in Lebanon and Syria where I realized that CNN/FoxNews doesn’t quite tell the exact narrative of the world, and recognized people all over this globe are worshiping Jesus. Through my local church in NC and seminary experience, I started understanding the beauty of the local church. After two weeks in Lebanon, seeing people come to faith in Christ, I told the Lord, “Yes.” At the time, I didn’t know what it meant, but that was my call to ministry.
SDR: Why Baptist?
PS: My main conviction from the scriptures for being Baptist comes from the scripture-based belief that members of the local church are to be baptized believers only – not that Baptists are the only ones that hold that conviction. Baptists also believe in the authority of the Bible, and believe in advancing the great commission by keeping the gospel proclamation front and center.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PS: The Hill Church recently replanted a previously existing church that has been in the community since 1957 – Windsor Hills Community Church. We exist to glorify God by declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ through our lives together. That last phrase, “through our lives together,” is important for us. The gospel is not something only audible but also visible. While the gospel is always personal, it is never private. So we seek to live out the gospel together as a visible community in our city. Through the work of Jesus Christ, the church is not like family – the church is family. The gospel has made a family to live in mission for Christ in our community.
SDR: What book has had the most impact on your work as a minister?
PS: Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper. The book discusses the advancement of world missions for the glory of God. In the book, the author argues that worship is the fuel for missions. One day we will spend eternity worshiping the Father. Therefore, we were made for worship and God desires worship from all people around the world. We should want to proclaim the gospel so they come to know and worship him. The book does a good job helping us understand how to glorify God by keeping God as the central focus of all we do here at our church, to provide the “why” of everything we do in Christian life.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PS: Heaven means being in the presence of God for eternity, solely because of the work of Jesus upon the cross. Hell is separation from God forever, and everyone who does not accept Christ as savior will spend eternity there.