Our History

Fifty Years with Chapel of the Hills


The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the water.

That quote from the second verse in the Bible was how the founders described the planting of a mission in the Lake Buchanan area. Two summer missionaries (Jerry Seals and Mike Greer) joined with 13 dedicated men and women to start a new Southern Baptist Church. 

The Burnet-Llano Association purchased land on Hwy 29 near the Dam, and our State Missions Dept. furnished a mobile building. The first service was held August 6, 1967.

On Nov. 26, 1967, R. V. Rhoads was called as pastor. He served until 1974. A permanent church building was completed and the mission organized into a church on Feb. 1, 1970, with 63 members. One year later, membership had grown to 128, so work began on more Sunday School rooms and a fellowship hall. Work was completed in 1972.

Bro. Rhoads resigned and Tommie Allen was called as pastor on Aug. 1, 1974. A larger sanctuary was completed in 1981.

Tommy Allen retired in 1982 and Carrol Green became the pastor on Jan. 1, 1983. Adjoining properties were purchased to provide for future growth.

Richard Rust became the pastor in 1986, and the church entered a period of rapid growth. A building program was completed in 1988, giving the church an expanded sanctuary along with a two story education and fellowship hall building. Much of the rest of the church was remodeled as well.

Along with other pastors, the Lord sent exceptional ministers and lay-people to Chapel. Among these are:

Dennis Hoover - with an exceptionally long tenure at Chapel, Dennis has been a consistent, steady presence for over 30 years. No one could ever count the hymns he has led, the musicals he has produced and the special activities. Right along with him, his wife Carolhas been on the piano bench, providing music for generations.

Rodney McGee - As a coach at Burnet High School, Rodney’s love for young people impacted Chapel when he became our Youth Minister. During his time here Chapel was “the place” for youth to be, with one of the largest youth groups in the area. It was here that many of the seeds were planted that would eventually see Rodney as pastor of Hill Country Fellowship in Burnet.

Glenn Willis - As one of our longest-tenured living members, Glenn has been in these hallways since he was a kid. Defining the term “lay-minister,” Glenn and Kim have used their business as a way to fund their ministry. As long-time chairman of our Building and Grounds Committee, Glenn worked tirelessly to keep our buildings in top shape.

Over the years Chapel became known as a place of lifelong friendship/fellowship, fervent prayer, enthusiastic worship and sacrificial mission giving. Our church is consistently recognized for high per-capita mission giving.  We have sent our own people into the mission field, with a notable effort in the Ukraine that involved several of our members.  Members have also been active in Romania and South Sudan.

On March 1, 2012, Chapel called Steve Leftwich as pastor. Steve and his wife Glenda have a long history of music and youth ministry, and have enjoyed the new direction Chapel provided. The past eight years have seen new members added to the church, extensive renovations of the property and a new electronic sign on Hwy 29.  

As the Hill Country experiences growth, Chapel of the HIlls continues to prepare for more people. Our vision is to reach and disciple those whom the Lord will send, and always be a “Lighthouse on the Lake!”