Our Story

How it all started...

Hillside Bethel Tabernacle was founded on October 1, 1961 by Pastor Donald E. Horath. However, the church was originally called Bethel Tabernacle #2 as we were birthed from the ministry of Rev. Donald Etnier of Bethel Tabernacle in Decatur, Illinois.

Hillside was self-supporting from our inception and through the years our ministry grew. In 1986, Hillside Tot's Learning Center was formed as a daycare center for children. After a long battle with the state of Illinois, which we won, Hillside changed the name to Hillside Bethel Christian School. The ministry changed from a daycare center to a pre-school and elementary school, which is still in operation today. Our goal is to provide quality education based upon the Word of God.

For years, Hillside has also sponsored an active children and youth ministry. From Sunday School, Children's Church, and Youth Meetings, Hillside strives to teach the Word of God to our children in a safe, fun, and exciting environment.

In 1999, Hillside Bethel Tabernacle completed a new worship facility, which has a multi-purpose function. The church building serves as a sanctuary, classrooms, and gymnasium, complete with a multimedia projection and sound system. We offer a wide variety of services, including Sunday School, Sunday Morning Worship, Sunday Evening Worship, and Wednesday Evening Bible Study. There are also several other various special services and activities scheduled throughout the entire year.

On October 1, 2021, Hillside celebrated 60 years of ministry and pastoral ministry of Bishop Donald E. and Vickie D. Horath.  At that time, Pastor Kevin P. Horath was installed as Lead Pastor.  He and his wife, Kathy, serve the congregation and community in this capacity.

Since our founding in 1961 by Bishop Donald E. Horath, Hillside Bethel Tabernacle has existed for one purpose - to lift up Jesus. Hillside strongly believes in following the charge that Paul gave to Timothy in II Timothy 4:2. "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

To that end, Hillside equips people to help build God's Church. We realize that the Church is not a building, not a denomination, and certainly not a set of rules and regulations. Rather, the Church is an organism - a living Body. It is not just an organization. We are blessed to have many individuals involved in the ministry of Hillside Bethel Tabernacle. This website will introduce you to some of the staff and ministries of Hillside.  By no means is this information exhaustive, but it will help introduce you to the staff, leadership and ministry of Hillside Bethel Tabernacle.

There truly is something for everyone at Hillside. You've read our history - why not become a part of our present and future?  Come and worship with us at Hillside.

Expanding the vision...

Our Founding Pastor and all those who have gone before us have left us a legacy life, knowing that what we do for Christ are the things that will last for eternity.  As we are turning the page to new things, the mission of taking Jesus to the whole world remains our focus.

Where we are headed...

While we are at a turning point in our history, we will stay the course that has been set before us.  Building upon the rich foundations of our past, we are confidently and boldly living in the present and actively working toward the future until Jesus comes.

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together at 9am for breakfast, 9:30am for Bible Study, 10:30am for Morning Worship, and 6:00pm for Small Group sessions.