The Seven Hills congregation of the Lord’s church first met in the Summer of 1979. We assembled for worship in an outdoor facility owned by a local Ruritan Club off Robin Drive in Lynchburg, Virginia. The first meeting began at 10:00 AM and was attended by around 45 men, women, and children for the purpose of worship. With singing, praying, participating in Bible study, and partaking of the Lord’s Supper, the assembly ended around 3 PM. What a joyous beginning!
The church continued to meet at this facility for several weeks rent-free, but in anticipation of the rigors of Winter weather, we began looking for an indoor facility that could be rented. The building we located had a reasonably large meeting room; it was at the Bedford County Volunteer Fire Department (squad 2) facility located on Rainbow Forest Road just off of Waterlick Road. It consisted of the meeting room, two partially completed bathrooms, a small kitchen area, hallway storage room and bays for several fire engines and an emergency vehicle, all of which were used for classrooms during the Winter months. When Spring arrived, the teen class met under a tree in the side yard. Wednesday evening Bible studies were conducted at the home of Amos Holt on Old Graves Mill Road near the current building.
In the week following the first assembly, a meeting was held at the home of Hal Bowman for the purpose of a discussion with elders of the Jackson Heights congregation in Florence, Alabama. Their offer to provide support for a gospel preacher was rejected for a period of one year, as the church realized a need of self-development for each and every member. During that year, every Christian man and boy accepted responsibility in leading prayers, leading singing, and serving the Lord’s Supper; most men and teenage boys participated in preaching and teaching. Older women taught the younger women in their Christian service and provided instruction for children. It was a tremendous year of Christian growth and service for everyone, the effects of which are still observed in many ways even these many years later.
The following spring, a plot of land at 810 Old Graves Mill Road was purchased, and a 40′ x 100′ classroom building was constructed during the next few months consisting of a large assembly room and five additional classrooms. Funds were provided by issuing and selling church bonds, most of which were purchased by local members and their friends. The church assembled in this facility until an auditorium, classroom, nursery, and office addition was added in 1986, accommodating the growth experienced due to an aggressive local evangelism plan.
At about this same time, the church chose to become fully organized by selecting Hal Bowman, Paul Brown, Amos Holt, and T. George Washington to serve as elders. Within approximately one year of the birth of the congregation, Tom Hodge became our first full time evangelist. His support was provided by the Jackson Heights congregation in Florence, Alabama, as had been promised a year earlier. Tom remained our minister for 13 years, and he was followed by Bill Ross, Bruce DeMoss, Neil Richey, Tom West, Michael Justice, Mike Glenn, and our current minister, Steve Clevenger.
Because the Lynchburg area has been somewhat transient in nature, and due to fluctuating employment opportunities, attendance over the years has been variable. However, the church at Seven Hills looks to the future with new zeal as it continues to glorify God in this community!