We’re glad you found us! (Insert a big Hill City hug here). Below is mostly everything that makes up Hill City’s DNA. You’ll likely hear our story over and over, as we love telling how God continues to unfold it. He revealed a church where there was none, brought people together, and established a vision in us to love and serve our community the best we know how.
Take your time, click around, and get familiar.
Pointing People to Jesus + Purpose
hi, we are zack + Lauren Blair,
and this is our story…
When Lauren and I were newly engaged and pursuing our call in ministry, we visited a church in Colorado where we were divinely inspired by a ministry known for fervent prayer, creative worship, and a culture of 20-somethings passionately pursuing God. There, God spoke to us in the same exact moment with the same message — “I haven’t called you here, I’ve called you to Pittsburgh, because there’s nothing like this there.” We returned to Pittsburgh confident that this is where God has called us. We began to pour out our hearts into youth and young adults at an amazing church in Pittsburgh.
After many years of joyfully serving as Youth and Young Adult Pastors, both of us felt a stirring in our hearts, which lead us to an intense season of prayer to discover what God had for us next. Against all sound judgement, this stirring led us to resign from our comfort and step into the dream we believed God had for us. We began the journey of job searching around the country, but nothing felt quite like Pittsburgh. After receiving a text from a good friend that read, “Pittsburgh still needs you” — Instantly our hearts had confirmation that Pittsburgh was exactly where God called us. God continued to confirm using scripture to fuel the fire. Isaiah 40:3-5 is the scripture God first spoke to us during that time and continues to speak and deepen our desire.
Here’s where our story gets even better…
Shortly after we committed our hearts to starting a church, we met Pastor Jim and Judy Barrett, who were Pastors of Grace & Glory Church in Leetsdale, PA. The connection was divine. As our relationship began to form, Pastor Jim shared a dream that he had in the middle of the night many years ago. This dream was holy. In the dream, he stood with God on acres of land, high on a hill, with a large concrete dam cracking before him. The dam burst, as a multitude of people were released, flooding the land—not with a devastating wall of water, but with endless waves of hope, promise and faith. Years later, Pastor Jim purchased 27.5 acres of land on a hill. He owned this land for 20+ years, and prayed for the day when he would see the dream fulfilled.
As our relationship grew, Pastor Jim was convinced that we were the “Joshua to his Moses” story and gifted Hill City the land. Pastor Jim and Judy and Grace & Glory Church are now linked hand-in-hand with us to see the Glory of God revealed in our city! We believe there is a day right over the horizon, where we all will stand on that hill and watch as waves of hope, promise and faith flood our city!
Zack + Lauren are happily married and have three kiddo’s, Noah, Nora and Judah. They are excited to add another Blair baby to their family through the process of adoption.
@zackblairpgh & @laurenblairpgh
to reveal the love of the father + his glory to our city
Today we look around our city and envision the reality of a hopeful tomorrow, where we celebrate the taking of our hill. We envision a church, high on a hill, blanketing the hills of our city with vibrant, healthy churches and pastors equipped to reach communities in unique ways. This will be accomplished through our church services, our church family, pastors, teachers, small businesses, the arts, outreach, and the relationships we build to empower others.
Everyone who comes to Hill City will be built up and given the tools they need to discover their own identity as sons and daughters of God. Here, we pray that they discover their purpose and commit to their calling. They will find their way and go out into the world to make a difference — To touch lives, to raise up others, to share the word of God and help others take their own hill.
OUR FUTURE HOME — Overlooking the highways of 376 and 79, with views of a Pittsburgh horizon, sits a beautiful piece of land with a great heritage and an incredible future. This land has been dreamt about, prayed about, toiled over, and is ready to be built upon. We will keep you in the loop with the progress as we take the hill. We look forward to where we are going, but we also love where we are today and seeing Gods story unfold all around us.
Our Story with Pastor Jim Barrett
Meet Our Team
the Teams Pastor
the chi alpha coordinator
the operations + missions pastor
the children’s director
the communications director
RELATIONAL > TRANSACTIONAL
Our goal is to bring out purpose in each and every person. To encourage them and care for them. To never objectify or use an individual to attain our goals. To build honest relationships regardless of what someone can do for us.
Hebrews 10:24-25 [ESV]
ABIDING > STRIVING
Knowing the true nature of God gives us the assurance that we can live our lives in ways we know are pleasing to Him. No longer striving for His approval, but strengthened through moments in prayer and time invested in reading God’s Word, we simply accept His love and serve others as Jesus did.
John 4:16 [ESV]
PRESENCE > PROCESS
Only by knowing someone intimately can we truly understand their desires. Only by building a strong relationship with God, can we understand the desires He has for our lives. Through this relationship, we come to trust His will and allow His presence to guide us toward our purpose.
Psalm 37:4 [ESV]
EXCELLENCE > EXTRAVAGANCE
God delights in the consistency of the heartfelt efforts each of us put forth and our desire to serve His kingdom with our hands, hearts and soul. It is not extravagance, indulgence, or excess that pleases God, but rather, faith. Our faith propels us into consistent heartfelt efforts to serve His kingdom with our hands, hearts, and soul. It is in this the Lord delights.
Colossians 3:17 [ESV]
BIG PEOPLE > BIG CHURCH
We believe that small gardens, tended carefully and nurtured daily produce far healthier fruit than large fields left unattended. By caring for our people, strengthening them as individuals and developing their faith, we seek to provide the world with healthy sons and daughters of God, ready to go forth to make a positive and lasting impact.
Matthew 28:19-20 [ESV]
1 - ThE HOLY BIBLE
We Believe the Holy Bible, and only the Bible, is the authoritative Word of God. It alone is the final authority in determining all doctrinal truths. In its original writing, it is inspired, infallible and inerrant (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20-21; Proverbs 30:5; Romans 16:25-26).
2 - THE TRINITY
We Believe there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three are coequal and co-eternal (I John 5:7; Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; Luke 1:35; Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 3:7-11).
3 - Jesus Christ
We Believe Jesus Christ is God the Son, the second person of the Trinity. On earth, Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. He is the only man ever to have lived a sinless life. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracles, died on the cross for mankind and, atoned for our sins through the shedding of His blood. He rose from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and will return again in power and glory. (John 1:1,14, 20:28; I Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 2:5-6; I Timothy 2:5).
4 - THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We Believe Jesus Christ was conceived by God the Father, through the Holy Spirit (the third person of the Trinity) in the virgin Mary's womb; therefore, He is the Son of God (Matthew 1:18, 25; Luke 1:35; Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:27-35).
5 - redemption
We Believe man was created good and upright, but by voluntary transgression he fell; his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Gen. 1:26-31, 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-21).
6 - REGENERATION
We Believe that for anyone to know God, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential (John 6:44, 65; Matthew 19:28; Titus 3:5).
7 - SALVATION
We Believe we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ: His death, burial, and resurrection. Salvation is a gift from God, not a result of our good works or of any human efforts (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 2:16, 3:8; Titus 3:5; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:31; Hebrews 9:22).
8 - REPENTANCE
We Believe that repentance is the commitment to turn away from sin in every area of our lives and to follow Christ, which allows us to receive His redemption and to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Thus, through repentance we receive forgiveness of sins and appropriate salvation (Acts 2:21, 3:19; I John 1:9).
9 - SANCTIFICATION
We Believe sanctification is the ongoing process of yielding to God’s Word and His Spirit in order to complete the development of Christ's character in us. It is through the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that the Christian is enabled to live a Godly life (I Thessalonians 4:3, 5:23; II Corinthians 3:18, 6:14-18, II Thessalonians 2:1-3, Romans 8:29, 12:1-2, Hebrews 2:11).
10 - JESUS’ BLOOD
We Believe the Blood that Jesus Christ shed on the Cross of Calvary was sinless and is 100% sufficient to cleanse mankind of all sin. Jesus allowed Himself to be punished for both our sinfulness and our sins, enabling all those who believe to be free from the penalty of sin, which is death (I John 1:7; Revelation 1:5, 5:9; Colossians 1:20; Romans 3:10-12, 23, 5:9; John 1:29).
11 - Jesus INDWELLS ALL BELIEVERS
We Believe Christians are people who have invited the Lord Jesus Christ to come and live inside them by His Holy Spirit. They relinquish the authority of their lives over to him, making Jesus the Lord of their life as well as their Savior. They put their trust in what Jesus accomplished for them when He died, was buried, and rose again from the dead (John 1:12; John 14:17, 23; John 15:4; Romans 8:11; Revelation 3:20).
12 - BAPTISM OF THE Holy Spirit
We Believe that given at Pentecost, it is the promise of the Father, sent by Jesus after His Ascension, to empower the Church to preach the Gospel throughout the whole earth (Joel 2:28-29; Matthew 3:11; Mark 16:17; Acts 1:5,2:1-4, 17, 38-39, 8:14-17, 10:38, 44-47, 11:15-17, 19:1-6).
13 - THE GIFTS OF THE Holy Spirit
We Believe the Holy Spirit is manifested through a variety of spiritual gifts to build and sanctify the church, demonstrate the validity of the resurrection, and confirm the power of the Gospel. The Bible’s lists of these gifts are not necessarily exhaustive, and the gifts may occur in various combinations. All believers are commanded to earnestly desire the manifestation of the gifts in their lives. These gifts always operate in harmony with the Scriptures and should never be used in violation of Biblical parameters. (Hebrews 2:4; Romans 1:11, 12 :4-8; Ephesians 4:16; I Timothy 4:14; II Timothy 1:6-7; I Corinthians 12:1-31, 14:1-40; I Peter 4:10).
14 - ThE CHURCH
We Believe the church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of Jesus' Great Commission. Every person who is born of the Spirit is an integral part of the church as a member of the body of believers. There is a spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:22, 2:19-22; Hebrews 12:23; John 17:11, 20-23).
15 - WATER BAPTISM
We Believe that Following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the new believer is commanded by the Word of God to be baptized in water in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12, 36-38; 10:47-48).
16 - ThE LORDS SUPPER
We Believe the Lord’s Supper was a unique time of communion in the presence of God when the elements of bread and grape juice (the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ) are taken in remembrance of Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross (Matthew 26:26-29; I Corinthians 10:16, 11:23-25).
17 - marriage
We believe marriage is defined in the Bible as a covenant, a sacred bond between one man and one woman instituted by and publicly entered into before God (“Biblical Definition of Marriage”). God has ordained that marriage be between one man and one woman, as clearly conveyed in God’s inerrant scriptures. This is made apparent in Matthew 19:4-6. When speaking about marriage, Jesus referred to the fact that “he which made them at the beginning made them male and female.”
18 - healing of the sick
We Believe the healing of the sick is illustrated in the life and ministry of Jesus, and included in the commission of Jesus to His disciples. It is given as a sign, which is to follow believers. It is also a part of Jesus' work on the Cross and one of the gifts of the Spirit. (Psalm 103:2-3; Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 16:17-18; Acts 8:6-7; James 5:14-16; I Corinthians 12:9, 28; Romans 11:29).
19 - the resurrection
We Believe Jesus Christ was physically resurrected from the dead in a glorified body three days after His death on the cross. In addition, both the saved and the lost will be resurrected; they that are saved to the resurrection of life and they that are lost to the resurrection of eternal damnation (Luke 24:16, 36, 39; John 2:19-21, 20:26-28, 21:4; Acts 24:15; I Corinthians 15:42, 44; Philippians 1:21-23, 3:21).
20 - heaven
We Believe Heaven is the eternal dwelling place for all believers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:3, 12, 20, 6:20, 19:21, 25:34; John 17:24; II Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 11:16; I Peter 1:4).
21 - hell
We Believe after living one life on earth, the unbelievers will be judged by God and sent to Hell where they will be eternally tormented with the Devil and the Fallen Angels (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:43-48; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 14:9-11, 20:12-15, 21:8).
22 - The second coming
We Believe Jesus Christ will physically and visibly return to earth for the second time to establish His Kingdom. This will occur at a date undisclosed by the Scriptures (Matthew 24:30, 26:63-64; Acts 1:9-11; I Thessalonians 4:15-17; II Thessalonians 1:7-8; Revelation 1:7)
23 - GOD’S WILL FOR PROVISION
We Believe it is the Father's will for believers to become whole, healthy and successful in all areas of life. But because of the fall, many may not receive the full benefits of God’s will while on Earth. That fact, though, should never prevent all believers from seeking the full benefits of Christ’s provision in order to better serve others.
Spiritual (John 3:3-11; II Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 10:9-10)
Mental and Emotional (II Timothy 1:7, 2:11; Philippians 4:7-8; Romans 12:2; Isaiah 26:3).
Physical (Isaiah 53:4,5; Matthew 8:17; I Peter 2:24).
Financial (Joshua 1:8; Malachi 3:10-11; Luke 6:38; II Corinthians 9:6-10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 34:10, 84:11; Philippians 4:19).