The Full Story
The history of Hillside Church is one of many families, interwoven, who have become family to each other. The life of the church is relationship - to God, to each other, and to the community. No short written history can capture the richness of the essence of the true life of a church, but it is important to document what we can of it, as well as the faithfulness of the Lord, even though there's even less hope of doing adequate justice to that.
Hillside started out as Tottenham Evangelical Centre in the mid seventies, with a founding pastor, Rev. Ronald F.T. Burston, who was loved by many in the community of Tottenham. He and his family had emigrated to Canada from England in 1969 and God soon led him to Tottenham, where in 1975, he began a church whose first meetings were held in in the Village Hall, over the library.
A man of faith, passion, vision and boldness for God, a gifted writer and speaker, it wasn't long before the land was secured north of the town and a church was being built, with the aid of Rev. Honsinger and the Western Ontario District Church Planting Fund and the Women's Mission of the Western Ontario District.
The late '70's and early ;80's was a time for rapid growth and a strong profile of the church in the community was evident. "Join the crowds finding satisfaction in Jesus Christ', was the church slogan.
A Sunday School bus ministry which picked up children each week and brought them to Sunday School - 110 were bused in on November 4th, 1979, according to the Tottenham Times. he buses bore the slogan, "TEC Cares about Kids" and each Saturday morning, members of the bus ministry team faithfully visited the families of the children.
Through the caring relationships that were formed, many families came to a personal faith of their own. On the 5th anniversary of the church, in 1981, 200 gathered for Sunday morning service. Rev. Burston had a strong friendship with the Anglican minister, Rev. Andy Leroux, in those years and the held many joint healing services where many were healed, including Rev. Leroux's daughter Sarah who was six months old at the time and had a deficient ball joint.
Rev. Ronald Burston passed away in May of 1986.
Hillside Community Church is a stable, healthy, growing church, with people of all ages and several ethnic backgrounds. A strategic planning process was undertaken in 2004, resulting in a sense of excitement and anticipation for the future as Tottenham grows and the church positions itself to meet the spiritual needs of those who make it their home.
The Church is full of activity on all fronts, with our Worship Team, Sunday School, Youth Group, Men's and Women's Fellowship Groups, and a weekly Craft Meet-up. Most important of all are the people whose lives are changed by growing together in community and in Christ.