A Glimpse of Our Past

Basement Foundation 2
Early Construction of the first floor   c. 1954.

Since 1949, the Chapel of the Hills has been supporting the families of Descanso by providing a place where God’s love can be experienced and shared. Families in Descanso met first in the Town Hall to worship every week, and then in 1954 moved to the present location of Chapel of the Hills Community United Methodist Church.  This triangular shaped parcel was for sale along Viejas Boulevard.  The church members bought the property and began construction in 1953.



Downstairs Sanctuary
Original worship space.

In June of 1954 they had their first worship in the new building.  What eventually became the preschool area was the location of the first worship service in our new church.   Church Services were held there for over 10 years as the church slowly grew in numbers and financial strength.



The Septic Tank Church



Without the Chapel on top the church was jokingly known as the Pill Box church or more often the Septic Tank church, because the building was set below the grade of the road.  You can see that in the picture to the right.


Chapel Framing 3
A view from the Southeast of the construction. c. 1965

Finally, in 1966, the current sanctuary was built as a second floor on top of the original building. This structure was a massive undertaking with it’s high pitched roof and large open interior.  In June of 1966 they held their first worship service in the new sanctuary.


The Steeple



The steeple arrived as a single piece.  The truck holding it is parked where the Prayer Garden is today.  A crane was used to lift the structure into place.


Lee-Faith-Millie-Lyman - Groundbreaking Classroom Building



Twenty years later,on July 25, 1988 groundbreaking of the education wing was started to accommodate the growing programs and ministries of the church.



Today, we support most of the programs in Descanso which help to share God’s love in real and practical ways. The church has a long history of service to the mountain community. That tradition is showing no signs of fading. Today, the needs are just as great, and God’s light abounds in the darkness of difficult times. We continue to celebrate with gratitude all of the blessings God has given to us, and we look forward with a firm hope in God’s purpose for our lives and our church well into the future.

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