James Walter Hills II was a native of Columbia, SC, born on March 10th, 1983 to Rev. James Walter II and Minister Wilma Hills.
He was educated in the public schools of Buncombe County, North Carolina and Richland County School District 1, South Carolina. He furthered his studies at Benedict College, Columbia, SC and N. J. Brockman School of Religion, Greenville, SC. He furthered his studies at Benedict College, Columbia, SC.
Pastor Hills was born on his mother’s birthday, March 10th. Growing up, it was evident there was something very special about him. He excelled in school, and could also be a prankster with his brothers and sisters. He was the baby boy and he used that to his advantage. He would proudly proclaim “I’m a momma’s boy”. He loved his whole family equally, but his momma was his favorite person.
His father mentored him in the ministry, and he knew the word and was so strong in the word. He could dive into the word of God and pull out things many of us who had read the bible for years, had not seen before. He would say “it’s mine to offer and yours to receive”, and receive it we did.
Regardless of the time of the day, or even at night, he would always greet you with “good morning”. “Yes sir”, and “Yes mam” he would always respond.
The multi-gifted Pastor Hills began his preaching ministry at the age of 15 at Rock Hill MBC in Asheville, NC. He was licensed to preach in 1998, and ordained by the Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Association in 2002. He served the Gethsemane Baptist Association in the capacity of 2nd Vice President and 1st Vice President of the Gethsemane Congress of Christian Education.
At the age of 19, the God placed the pastoral mantle on Pastor Hills and sent him to serve as under shepherd of the Shady Grove Baptist Church in Batesburg, SC. During his pastorate the church experienced spiritual maturity and tremendous numerical growth. After six years of serving in that vineyard, the Lord transitioned Pastor Hills to Shady Grove Baptist Church in Pelzer, SC, where souls were saved, the lost were reclaimed, members added to the fellowship, ministries were restored and restructured. “The Grove”, as they became known, became a place where lives were changed.
Pastor Hills has preached during sessions for the Baptist E&M State Convention and Great Commission Baptist State Convention both of South Carolina; facilitated numerous workshops, lectures and clinics in North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida and Oregon; Awarded by University of South Carolina’s Upward Bound Program; Advisor for statewide coalition for youth against violence; Class instructor and Vesper’s Preacher for Young People’s Christian Assembly sponsored by Baptist E&M Convention held at Benedict. He was the west coast representative for “So Send I You”, and arm of the Foreign Mission Board, National Baptist Convention Incorporated.
December 11th, 2012, God placed the pastoral mantle on Pastor Hills and sent him to serve as under shepherd of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Portland,Oregon.
Pastor Hills officially assumed the pulpit on January 6th, 2013 where he served faithfully until the Lord called him home. He established the motto “Saving Souls, Developing Disciples, Changing Lives”. Many souls were saved and many lives were forever changed. During the pandemic he remained steadfast as he orchestrated the church back into reopening phase. He was currently in the midst of a major renovation project for the church.
In April 2015 Pastor Hills was elected as the Moderator of the Union District Baptist Association of Oregon, where he served for 4 years. He also served as 1st Vice President of the General Baptist Convention of the Northwest.
Late in the night on April 25th, 2023 the Lord called and Pastor Hills answered, and joined his earthly father Rev. J. Walter Hills I, in the heavenly reign. His last sermon at New Hope was preached on a spirit filled Sunday, April 23rd 2023, from “Jeremiah 18:1-4: “Marred, So He Made It Again”.
Pastor Hills was preceded in death by his father Rev. James Walter Hills I.
Pastor Hills leaves to cherish his memory his children, Jaliyah Cherice Hills, James Walter Hills III aka “Tripp”, his mother Minister Wilma Hills, siblings Renitta Hills and James Wesley Hills II (Gavonia), and a host of family members and friends throughout the United States.
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