A Walk Down Memory Lane at 1393 Austin Ave
Hillside was born out of a calling to a small group of people in the early 1960’s. They knew that there was a need for an active community church in Coquitlam and they were hearing the call from God to work with one another in fellowship to be a community of faith and share the love of Jesus with their neighbours. This group began going door to door in the Austin Heights and Maillardville neighbourhoods, meeting and showing love to this community. First meeting out of their homes, they grew in numbers and began renting a small space in a storefront on the corner of Austin and Marmont. This little church loved children, and neighbours first began sending their children, and eventually came themselves. Many people found Jesus in those early days.
1393 Austin Avenue
As they grew, they began seeking a more permanent home for this little movement. In what would have been a great amount of faith, certainly some nerves and a healthy dose of risk, Austin Avenue Chapel stepped into a great part of their legacy and purchased the 1393 Austin
Avenue site. In the mid-60’s, they built the western half of the current Hillside facility. What we know as the West Hall and Nursery was, at first, the sanctuary where weekly worship services took place.
The church continued to grow, and many more people came to faith in the 1970’s. Bursting at the seams, Austin Avenue Chapel stepped out in faith once again and, in 1977, work began on the construction of an expanded facility, adding what is today our sanctuary and fellowship hall. During the 1980’s, there was a profound move of God among youth in our community, and at Austin Avenue Chapel, weekly youth events often drew more than 100 teens.
Hillside Community Church Began
In 1995, a new season was born when Austin Avenue Chapel merged with the church plant Evergreen to become Hillside Community Church. In 1999, Hillside began a series of smaller interior renovations to update and adapt to the growing congregation. In 2018, Hillside raised funds once again to upgrade our interior with the aim of creating a more welcoming and hospitable space. Then, in 2020, in response to the growing needs of the weekly Food Bank, Hillside, in cooperation with Share and a grant from the Canadian government, rezoned, leveled, and repaved the entire east side of the property.
Like its community, the facility has grown and adapted over time to the needs of the people, and the calling that God had for Hillside. Once again, we are at the point where to be able to continue God’s work at 1393 Austin Avenue, we must invest in our church home that was built in faith by our predecessors. We have prayerfully sought out what this should look like, and we believe that God has called our current community to this work. This is now our chapter in Hillside’s legacy to write.