About Us

Our History

In 1935 the American Sunday School Union sent Rev. Brown to establish a Sunday school class in the Hayward Hills. That Sunday school class continued until 1945. In that same year two young servicemen were appointed, Phil Christman as superintendent and Clarance “Jimmy” Billett as Assistant superintendent. Christman had just been discharged from the United States Marine Corps and Billett was still in the United States Navy. Whenever Billett’s ship was docked in San Francisco, he would come up to the Highlands to assist with the Sunday school services.

In 1946 the first worship services was added and Rev. G.F. Hoff became the minister of the Highlands Community Church, still under the American Sunday School Union.

In 1953, Rev. Hoff retired. Rev O. I. Bodie of the Union, appointed a new superintendent to take over the work in Hayward. He choose Jimmy Billett, the same man who first assisted in 1946. He along with Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Jordan and Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Austad of First Baptist Church of Hayward, headed up the ministry.

The opportunity came to organize a full-fledged church and the choice was almost unanimous for a Baptist church. So, on July 27th, 1954, a recognition council consisting of fourteen Baptist ministers of the San Francisco Bay Area, met to consider the church’s history of origin; reasons for its separate existence as a separate church; and a statement of faith and constitution. The council unanimously voted to accept the church into the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, and at a recognition service, held that same night, the charge was given the new church and its pastor, Mr. Jimmy Billett.

Soon thereafter the name of the church was changed from Highland Community Baptist Church to the shortened Highland Baptist Church. From 1954 to 2003, eight different pastors have serviced and blessed the ministry of Highland Baptist church. The church is now pastored by Chris Pagniello who has served faithfully in his role since 2003.