By Judi Wiegman
Hillside Christian Church—Dalhart Campus, part of the Hillside Church in Amarillo, began meeting for morning worship on Sunday, August 30, 2009.
Signs line Spirit Trail toward the parking lot of the new high school where the church is holding its “Gathering” at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.
The church has been dubbed, “the portable church” for a reason. Two large trailers containing all that is needed to set up the church arrived early with willing workers to set the stage for the morning event.
From the parking lot to the auditorium, I was greeted and welcomed by at least four different people. Once inside, there was a sense of excitement!
Sounds led me in the direction of the cafeteria area where the portable children’s church was getting started. The décor; inviting backdrops, large round carpet pieces, and lively music, assured the children “we are here for you—come on in!” The area was already filling up with children ages 4-5th grade. The leader, Jeffrey Reed from the Amarillo campus, captured the attention of the group with his energy and enthusiasm.
The portable toddler and nursery areas were ready to welcome the little ones with brightly colored toys and loving caregivers.
In the hall, outside the auditorium, one could browse at the portable bookstore, teeming with Bibles and many good books.
The auditorium became a sanctuary, as the gathering was opened in prayer by the Dalhart Campus pastor, Robert Ledbetter. While communion was served, worship leader, Caleb Garison, led the group in the hymn, “Jesus paid it all,” followed by other worship songs.
Tommy Palitz, senior pastor of the Amarillo campus, brought the first message in the series, “Sex, Dating and Marriage—according to God’s plan.”
Jesus gathered the people, often on a hillside, and ministered to their needs. In three short months, Hillside was organized; a ministry launched. The people gathered; 173 for this first service. To God be the glory.