Chapel on the Hill, United Church of Christ, is a congregation that teaches and proclaims the gospel, provides meaningful worship, and reaches out to the community and the world to provide love, respect, and acceptance of all.
"The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action. With more than 5,100 churches and 1.1 million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world. The UCC is a church of firsts, a church of extravagant welcome, and a church where "…they may all be one" (John 17:21)."
all about chapel on the hill
Chapel on the Hill has a long history in Seminole. The very first service was held on February 8, 1963 at Oakhurst Elementary School. Within a few weeks, the congregation grew and the church moved to the Ridgewood Community Senior Activity Center on Park Boulevard. As the congregation expanded they decided to affiliate with the United Church of Christ. A charter was granted and the name became Ridgewood Community Church. A short time later, the Rev Boadway and his wife discovered a beautiful piece of land with a house on the property. The church conference approved the land purchase and today, that piece of land still holds our church and the original house is now the administrative office. The name Chapel on the Hill came about during a conversation when a church member used the phrase "the chapel on the hill." The words caught on and the name was changed. In 1966, the old fellowship hall was built to accommodate the Sunday School. In 1971 the congregation voted to build a new sanctuary and on March 9, 1973, the first service was held in the new sanctuary, which is still part of the expanded campus. In 1997 a vision was established for Chapel on the Hill and the church began to grow. With the addition of two organs, a piano, a new fellowship hall, remodeled sanctuary, new pews, carpeting, new sound system and a totally remolded campus, the church prospered. Although Chapel on the Hill has changed dramatically over the years, one thing is certain, the best is yet to come.
Dr. Martin Gwent Lewis was born in South Wales and educated in London, while serving as a youth minister. His plans
of being a medical missionary were changed when he accepted a post as a Lecturer in Pathology at Makerere University
in Kampala, Uganda, Africa. He served as an Academic Professor of Pathology to many prestigious medical schools in
Britain, Canada, and the US. In 1988, he returned to his ministry as a missionary and good will ambassador to
Mt. Selinda Mission Hospital while serving as Visiting Professor to the University of Zimbabwe, Africa. Dr. Lewis has
written several books about his experiences in Africa, but has never forgotten his missionary roots. Martin served the
UCC in many capacities, through his local church and for the Florida Conference. He became a licensed and
commissioned minister in the UCC in 2003. Dr. Lewis has been a member of Chapel on the Hill since 2006, and has
served COTH as an Associate Minister and, now, Senior Pastor. Martin enjoys singing in the choir and as a soloist. His
hobbies include writing, fishing, and long distance walks. Martin is a natural storyteller and teacher, his ministry style
reflecting those qualities. His medical, missionary, and ministry experiences have impressed on him the need for
approaching your faith body, mind, and spirit.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe in the triune God: Creator, resurrected Christ, the sole Head of the church, and the Holy Spirit, who guides and brings about the creative and redemptive work of God in the world.
We believe that each person is unique and valuable. It is the will of God that every person belongs to a family of faith where they have a strong sense of being valued and loved.
We believe that each person is on a spiritual journey and that each of us is at a different stage of that journey. The persistent search for God produces an authentic relationship with God, engendering love, strengthening faith, dissolving guilt, and giving life purpose and direction.
We believe that all of the baptized 'belong body and soul to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.' No matter who, what or where we are on life's journey – notwithstanding race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, class or creed – we all belong to God and to one worldwide community of faith. All persons baptized – past, present and future – are connected to each other and to God through the sacrament of baptism. We baptize during worship when the community is present because baptism includes the community's promise of 'love, support and care' for the baptized.
We believe that all people of faith are invited to join Christ at Christ's table for the sacrament of Communion. Just as many grains of wheat are gathered to make one loaf of bread and many grapes are gathered to make one cup of wine, we, the many people of God, are made one in the body of Christ, the church. The breaking of bread and the pouring of wine reminds us of the costliness of Christ's sacrifice and the discipleship to which we are all called. In the breaking of bread, we remember and celebrate Christ's presence among us along with a 'cloud of witnesses' – our ancestors, family and friends who have gone before us. It is a great mystery; we claim it by faith.
We believe that God calls us to be servants in the service of others and to be good stewards of the earth's resources. 'To believe is to care; to care is to do.'
We believe in the power of peace, and as a community of faith, we work for nonviolent solutions to local, national, and international problems.