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About us

Our Beliefs

Lake Hills church is a Southern Baptist church that adheres and abides by the Baptist Faith and message.

The Scriptures

The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

God

There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

A. God the Father

God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.

God the Son

Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.

God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Man

Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

Salvation

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

Regeneration

Regeneration or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

Justification

Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.

Sanctification

Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life.

Glorification

Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.

God's Purpose of Grace

Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

The Church

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.

Baptism and the Lord's Supper

Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper.

The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.

The Lord's Day

The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord's Day should be commensurate with the Christian's conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

The Kingdom

The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God's will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.

Last Things

God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.

Evangelism and Missions

It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man's spirit by God's Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

Education

Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our Christian heritage. The new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Christian education is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ's people.

In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.

Stewardship

God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.

Cooperation

Christ's people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ's Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.

The Christian and the Social Order

All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.

Peace and War

It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to war.

The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the world is the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical application of His law of love. Christian people throughout the world should pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace.

Religious Liberty

God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.

The Family

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.

Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.

We are a people united, embracing the work of the Holy Spirit, striving to see lives transformed in our community, region, nation and world!

5 GUIDING PRINCIPLES WERE ESTABLISHED TO GUIDE US:

1

WE WILL BE A CHURCH KNOWN FOR OUR STRONG STANCE ON THE WORD OF GOD.

  • Sound Bible doctrine
  • Emphasis on Bible teaching
2

WE WILL BE A CHURCH INTENTIONALLY COMMITTED TO A KINGDOM AGENDA

  • Emphasis on the things that are important to God
  • Proper motives for growth/numbers
  • Understanding the urgency of the times
3

WE WILL BE A CHURCH UNITED WITH A COMMON PURPOSE & VISION

  • A vision communicated
  • A vision executed
  • A vision sustained
4

WE WILL BE A CHURCH WILLING TO REACH PEOPLE FOR CHRIST

  • Outward focus
  • Fervent in evangelism
  • Willing to pay the price
5

WE WILL BE A CHURCH THAT INFLUENCES THE SPIRITUAL CULTURE OF OUR COMMUNITY, CITY & WORLD.

  • Effective ministry presence in the community
  • Promoting a Biblical worldview
  • Provider of spiritual healthcare
  • Raising up Christian workers to send out

The Matthew Project

THE CHURCH IS A GROUP OF PEOPLE CALLED OUT OF THEIR WALK OF LIFE TO GLORIFY GOD TOGETHER

This section of our site will walk you through the Matthew project - its conception, its purpose, and its plan. This is a robust plan arrived at jointly by the people of Lake Hills Church as we sought the Lord’s plan.

When God places a burden on His people, He gives them a mental picture of what SHOULD BE, THAT’S VISION. You see… without vision, the burden will always remain. If it’s a God-given vision, it will see God-given success. However, if it is man-made, it will eventually falter. There is a God-sized opportunity that stands before the people of Lake Hills and the vision to pursue that opportunity has become very clear.

In April of 2013, a healthy cross-section of 55 church leaders representing different ages and ministry areas was invited to attend four 3-hour summit sessions. These were perhaps the most important meetings that will be held in this church over the next decade. We sought a God-given vision for the future of Lake Hills. We studied the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from our past and for our future. We established a scriptural foundation as we began building the Dream…



Then we dreamed a dream and laid out a road map for our church to pursue in the days ahead. It’s a dream that gives our emphasis to the things that are important to God; a KINGDOM DREAM. It’s a dream for what ‘SHOULD BE’ fueled by a passion that says it ‘COULD BE.’ It’s a vision for our future called the MATTHEW PROJECT.

The Matthew Project is a reflection of what has been unveiled to our church family with the prayerful ambition that we would all advance into our future together under a common purpose and pursuit.

OUR TEAM

WE ARE CALLED TO SERVE FOR HIS GLORY
Dr. James I. Walker

Dr. James I. Walker

Lead Pastor

Pastor James Walker grew up as the son of a Southern Baptist pastor. The church has always been an important and influential part of his life. His early years, during middle and high school, were lived in Hendersonville, NC, where his father, Dr. Ian H.C. Walker served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Hendersonville.

Pastor James is happily married to Debbie Hilbish Walker, and together have four children; Amy, Ian, Jamie, and Emma. He is a graduate of both Palm Beach Atlantic University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He served on staff at Northway Baptist Church in Dallas, TX and Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia, SC. He has served as Senior Pastor of Azalea City Baptist in Valdosta, GA, Biltmore Baptist Church in Asheville, NC, First Baptist Church, Alpharetta, GA, and serves as Senior Pastor at Lake Hills Church since 2012.

Pastor James’ absolute passion is the life, growth, health and effect of the local church. He believes that every local church should strive to have a significant impact for the Kingdom, beginning in the local community and reaching to the world.



CANDLER CAMPUS

Kim G. Noblitt

Kim G. Noblitt

Executive Pastor of Communications & Operations

John Brown

John Brown

Volunteer Chief Financial Advisor

Lee O’Briant

Lee O’Briant

Candler Pastor of Discipleship & Reaching

Michael West

Michael West

Pastor of Worship & Arts

Debbie Stewart

Debbie Stewart

Minister to Children

Jay Stewart

Jay Stewart

Minister of Connections and Active Adults

Noah Case

Noah Case

Student and College Pastor

Clayton Manche

Clayton Manche

Student and College Ministry Associate

Ian Walker

Ian Walker

Ministry Associate

Lori Fochesato

Lori Fochesato

Executive Assistant to the Lead Pastor

Cindy Ransom

Cindy Ransom

Executive Assistant

Sue Jeralds

Sue Jeralds

Financial Coordinator

Bill Schumacher

Bill Schumacher

Facilities Manager

Mackenzie Kozak

Mackenzie Kozak

Administrative Assistant to Worship Ministry

Andrea Gilliam

Andrea Gilliam

Children’s Ministry Associate



HAYWOOD CAMPUS

Stephen Buys

Stephen Buys

Campus Leader

Chris Pressley

Chris Pressley

Minister of Worship and Communication

Jonathon Eller

Jonathon Eller

Minister of Spiritual Development

Terri Schrot

Terri Schrot

Haywood Administrative Assistant

OUR STORY

WE HAVE A RICH AND BEAUTIFUL HISTORY

In 1889, a small group of believers came together to form the New Morgan Hill Baptist Church, beginning a history that would span over 100 years. “On motion those who intend joining was allowed to vote on the name of the church. On motion we be called New Morgan Hill, motion carried. Articles of Faith read and adopted. Covenant read and adopted on motion.”

This was the beginning of New Morgan Hill Baptist Church as noted in the church minutes recorded on March 16, 1889. Many of the charter members came from Hominy Baptist Church and officers from Bent Creek Baptist met with the church to assist in the organization. During the period from 1889 to 1911, little is known about the church history until its reorganization in 1911. Minutes from July 27, 1911 read: “We the members of different Missionary Baptist churches according to previous appointments met at Morgan Hill Schoolhouse for the purpose of organizing a Missionary Baptist Church … “

On August 19, 1911, the church minutes note that the church “approved on motion the church assume her former name New Morgan Hill and … the third Sunday and Saturday before in each month be the regular time of meeting.” The church also adopted the church covenant and articles of faith as laid down in Pendleton’s Church Manual as the basis of beliefs. It was voted on July 20, 1912 that New Morgan Hill should appoint delegates to the Buncombe Baptist Association. The church reported to the Association of a total membership of 30, 15 baptisms, and a pastor’s salary of $12.50 per year. In October 1914, a committee of five was “appointed to investigate the prospect of building a Baptist church house.” On November 14 of the same year, the committee reported that “we have consulted the people and find them all in favor of a Baptist church house and all seemed to be willing to help build.” In December, the church voted to build on the plot of land donated by Mrs. Hester Barkley.

The original church building was built on the plot of land where the cemetery currently is today; in March 1916, a motion passed that “the church meet and cut and haul timbers to the mill for the benches.” In 1918, as the Flu Epidemic swept the country, New Morgan Hill was impacted and there were no services held from October of 1918 through January of 1919, according to the church minutes. An addition to the church in the 1920s was the purchase of a church bell for $10.00. Cordie Morgan, Annie Morgan Rutherford, and Carrie Lance walked through the community collecting donations, which ranged from $.01 to $.50 to buy it.

A population increase to the area resulted because of the Enka plant, which arrived in 1927 when a Dutch company purchased over two thousand acres in Hominy Valley. The American Enka Company quickly became Buncombe County’s largest employer; New Morgan Hill was directly impacted by this influx. Minutes from an August 5 meeting in 1929 state, “Charles E. Maddery, General Secretary of State Mission Board of N.C. visited our church and purposed to supplement our pastor’s salary $600 a year provided the church raises $200. By motion the church agreed to raise the $200 and extended the call to Rev. J.C. Bennett for half time and the said pastor to give special attention to visiting the Enka Village and surrounding’s in an effort to enlist the incoming people in church activities.” In that era, many preachers would pastor more than one church at a time.

Prior to the construction of Enka Lake baptismal services were held outdoors in a dammed up creek; baptismal services were noted in the church minutes that the church “met at the waters.” Following the construction of Enka Lake, churches in the area would hold baptism services at the lake and use classrooms at the church for changing clothes. As many as 2 to 3 churches would meet at one time on Sunday afternoons for baptism -regardless of the time of year or weather condi­tions. Preacher Charles Sprinkle of Glady Baptist remembers a baptismal service at the lake when the weather was so cold that by the time he walked back to the church, his clothes were frozen.

Another direct effect of America Enka on the church occurred in the early 1930s: “The church met in conference, July 1, 1934. By vote of the church, the proposition made by the American Enka Company for the purchase of a tract of land from the church was accepted.” Eight days later, the trustees were authorized to make a deed to American Enka for the land. On August 5, 1934, the two parties agreed that the .54 acres now belonged to America Enka for the price of three-hundred dollars.

Like many during and following the Great Depression, New Morgan Hill was hit hard. The Treas­urer’s report for October 1935 noted a total debt of $78.62. As a result, it was “recommended [on November 15, 1935] by the group that the entire church membership be asked to tithe for four Sundays, for the purpose of paying off the debts of the church.” At the end of the year, there were a total of 105 church members on the roll.

In the late 1930s, the church undertook a remodeling program and new pews were bought for a cost of $200. These pews are still in use in the church today in the Children’s Church room. In 1939, the church purchased insurance on the building for the first time.

Like many within the United States, the outbreak of World War 11 affected the members of New Morgan Hill: On Sunday, January 17, 1943, the Church voted to send literature to the boys in service. The next month, the church voted to have Rev. A.J. Buckner serve as pastor; the clerk notified Rev. Buckner and “he regretted very much that under the present circumstance of gas rationing he couldn’t [accept].” The rationing would also affect other areas of the church, such as at a February 1945 meeting when it was decided to appoint a committee of one to see the Ration Board about receiving oil for the heaters in the classrooms.

Following the end of World War II, New Morgan Hill began to plan for the future by establishing funds that would enable the church to pursue its vision of providing a parsonage and a new church building. Arrangements were made with the American Enka Company to do payroll deductions from employees’ checks for the parsonage fund. Later during the same year, it was also decided to rebuild the belfry of the church.

In 1949, New Morgan Hill began a special relationship with Zion Baptist Church, an African­American church in Asheville. It was voted on during the January 30 meeting that the church charter a P&L Bus to transport members to a special service being held at Zion Baptist on February 14. On March 8, “A vote was taken as to whether or not we would invite the Negro Church that we visited to our Church. The vote was to the affirmative and the date sat for Tuesday night, March 15.” The churches continued to meet, with Rev. Kirstein preaching at Zion Baptist and Dr. King from Zion preaching at New Morgan Hill with special music at each service.

In the 1940s and 50s, the church continued to make improvements to the building and property. In 1951 the church had a total of 257 members. Beginning in 1952, New Morgan Hill would hold lawn services throughout the summer at the church or at people’s homes. Two years later in March 1954, an issue concerning ownership of the cemetery arose when “a motion was made and carried that pastor and trustees investigate part of cemetery that doesn’t belong to church.” In April of that same year, approximately one acre of land was donated by Mr. S.L. and Mrs. Julia Morgan to New Morgan Hill.

In 1957, the church started planning for the future by combing the building funds for the parsonage and church building. American Enka Company donated 6.9 acres to the church. The first structure built on the new church property was a picnic shed located on the hill above the church building which was given the name the Annex. Men from the church cleared the land, either on Saturdays or in the evening after work. They used crosscut saws and the trees they cut were made into lumber that was used in the Annex. A bulldozer was rented for one week’s work at $8 per hour for some of the grading and earthmovers were used to level the top of the hill for the building site.

In 1961, Pole Creek Baptist in Candler built a new building. The building committee from New Morgan Hill went to view the church and found that a building like Pole Creek’s would meet the needs of New Morgan Hill. The church obtained plans that Pole Creek used at no charge and adopted those as the design for the building. Reverend Wesley Queen from Morganton was the contractor for the building; he was ready to begin construction, but the church could not obtain a bank loan. The church did have several thousand dollars on hand. Upon Rev. Queen’s advice that once construction began a bank would loan the church money to finish the process, the church exercised faith and began building. The Annex was enclosed with walls and bathrooms were added for Rev. Queen and his crew to stay there during the week throughout the construction.

The basement of the new building was completed first and the church met there while construction continued on the second floor and sanctuary. The room they used was referred to as the chapel -today we call it the Children’s Church room. Other rooms in the basement were used for Sunday School classrooms. The reason for relocating to the basement of the new building was because the floors in the old church were in poor condition, making it a safety hazard. The old church building was torn down and the land where it previously stood became part of the pre-existing cemetery; the bell from the church was moved to the new building.

In 1963, the church building consisting of a sanctuary and educational space was completed and dedicated. Some believed that the building was too large and the church would never fill it, but the building committee’s long-range plan was to plan for growth over a fifty-year span. The payment on the building was $367 per month. During this year, New Morgan Hill had 371 members, a Sunday School enrollment of 150, and total receipts of $41,522. In 1970, church membership totaled 438 and the church debt was $52,277. After completion of the sanctuary, the church continued with plans to build a parsonage with much of the grading and construction work being done by the men of the church. On Sunday, September 19, 1971, homecoming was observed, along with a dedication service for the parsonage.

By 1980, membership had increased to 515; in June 1985 the church become completely debt free. Pastor John Wilkins had a vision of a new building to be used for an educational space and fellowship. Due to his untimely death, he was unable to see his dream fulfilled. On May 13, 1987, the church voted to pro­ceed with construction of the Family Life Center. The 9,000 square foot building would cost $354,000, with thechurch borrowing $260,000 for the construc­tion. Groundbreaking was held at 1 :30 on June 7, 1987 for the John Wilkins Family Life Center and on July 13, D.V. Ward Construction Company began construction. The building was com­pleted in early 1988 and a dedication service for the new Family Life Center was held at 3 pm followed by an open house and praise service on February 14.The debt was paid off in 1992.

Improvements to the property did not cease. In 1990, it was approved to build a parking shed for the coach and van at a cost of $3,500; membership at this time was 807. Two years later, the church began a beautification program to make improvements including a new sound system, grand piano, refinishing pews, new carpet, and heat pumps. Plans for the future were also being laid; at a business meeting on October 14, 1998, the church voted to set aside $3500 per month as a future building fund.

Organizational changes were made to the church when the Constitution and By Laws for New Morgan Hill Baptist were approved on May 8, 1996. Further changes were proposed in August 2001, when the church voted to apply for incorporation through the State of North Carolina and

become New Morgan Hill Baptist. Inc. The process was completed on October 10 when the Articles of Incorporation were received.

By 2002, New Morgan Hill was looking at even more expansion -this time, through the addition of a new sanctuary. Church leaders met with a representative from Biltmore Farms concerning the possibility of obtaining land and straightening some of the property lines around the church. It was voted to purchase eight acres of land offered by Biltmore Farms at $10,000 per acre, which was the same price which they paid when purchasing the land from BASF Cor­poration. The property is located on the corner of Case Cove Road and Reeves Cove Road. Biltmore Farms also donated 1.2 acres to the church. The deed for the property transfer was finalized in the spring of 2003.

A special business meeting was held on Sunday, August 1, 2004 for the purpose of voting to build a new sanctuary. During a special business meeting on September 11, 2005 the church voted to accept the building plan for the new sanctuary presented by J.H. Batten, Inc; financing was provided by Wachovia Bank. Groundbreaking for the new sanctuary was held on December 11, 2005. At the end of the Associational church year in 2005, membership had reached 947. On January 20, 2006, a construction crew arrived on site to begin grading the site for the building. Construction was com­pleted in June 2007.

Fast forward to the year 2012, when God led a mighty man, originally from the area to lead his family back, and become the newest pastor of New Morgan Hill Baptist. Dr. James I. Walker took over, to help lead the church into another healthy and prosperous period. In April of 2013, a healthy cross-section of 55 church leaders representing different ages and ministry areas was invited to attend four 3-hour summit sessions. These were perhaps the most important meetings that will be held in this church over the next decade. We sought a God-given vision for the future of the church. We studied the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from our past and for our future. We established a scriptural foundation as we began building the Dream…

Then we dreamed a dream and laid out a road map for our church to pursue in the days ahead. It’s a dream that gives our emphasis to the things that are important to God; a KINGDOM DREAM. It’s a dream for what ‘SHOULD BE’ fueled by a passion that says it ‘COULD BE.’ It’s a vision for our future called the MATTHEW PROJECT.

The Matthew Project is a reflection of what has been unveiled to our church family with the prayerful ambition that we would all advance into our future together under a common purpose and pursuit.

In 2014, God had even more plans for New Morgan Hill Baptist, as he sent to us a church in Waynesville that desired to be brought under the unbrella of the church. After establishing a second campus at Rehoboth in Waynesville, New Morgan Hill changed it's name to Lake Hills Church.

Now, with the Matthew Project as our guide, we begin to dream again, to what God has in store for our future.