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Joe Hildreth


Elder Hildreth was born October 18, 1931 in Birmingham, Ala. At the age of seven months he was adopted by Johnnie and Birmer Hildreth of Opelika. His adoptive father died on May 17, 1933. His mother then married Jesse B. Hildreth, the younger brother of her first husband. They, like their forebears, were members of Pleasant Grove Church at Paul, Ala. Elder Hildreth lost his second adoptive father as a result of a brain tumor, and his mother was left with six children ranging in age from six to seventeen. She took them regularly to Hopewell Church near Opelika and surrounding churches.
As a boy of about ten, Elder Hildreth felt very strongly that he was a sinner. He dreamed he was in a deep pit and a heavy stone was about to be dropped on him from the opening; there was no escape. Suddenly, the stone was taken away by a great power, nd he was delivered from the pit. From that time he knew, as never before, the reality f that Great Deliverer, Jesus Christ. He was baptized in August 1947 at Hopewell by Elder L. O. Walker.

He began speaking in the worship service in 1950 and was ordained at Hopewell on October 20, 1055. Two churches, Griffin and Shoal Creek, had called for his ordination. There were 28 elders and 33 deacons in the presbytery.Elder Hildreth was called to serve his home church immediately after his ordination. However, soon after his graduation from Auburn Univ., he accepted employment in Atlanta, and felt impressed that his field of labor would be in that area. One very blessed time was with Shoal Creek. The church had only six members, and had not received a member for baptism in 26 years. What a day of rejoicing it was when one Sunday in 1956 when seven came forward for baptism.

Elder Hildreth served these churches in the Atlanta area Liberty, Collins Spring, Nancy’s Creek, Ebenezer and Utoy. In 1971 he relocated to Chattanooga and has served churches in that area Sweeten’s Cove, Friendship, and Chattanooga. He continues to pastor Chattanooga Church where he is now in his 29th year. Virginia Ruth Huffman, daughter of Lester and Ruth Mann Huffman, became Elder Hildreth’s wife on June 12, 1965 at Utoy Church.
Elders Roland Green and E. D. Speir, Sr., performed the ceremony. They have been favored with three children Joanna, Ethan, and Jonathan, and six grandchildren.

In 1954 at the age of 22, Elder Hildreth was instrumental in the beginning of The Christian Pathway and was editor until 1974. In 1957 he became associated with Elder J. A. Monsees in the publication of the Old School Hymnal and with several others organized the Old School Hymnal Co., Inc., which has published the tenth and eleventh editions of this hymnal, as well as Elder Wilson Thompson’s autobiography and Hassell’s History. Elder Hildreth now serves as the president of the company. For nearly fifty years, banking was his secular occupation. In 1998 he retired as Senior Vice President and Trust Officer of First Tennessee Bank in Chattanooga.

OBITUARY- Elder Joe F. Hildreth passed from this life and joined his heavenly Father on the afternoon of November 29, 2017 in Ringold, Georgia in the company of family and friends.

larry heldman  

Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)
Elder James Compton was the original founder of the 'Gospel of Grace Tape Supply.' His collection of tapes began as he traveled to Church meetings and Associations recording sermons on Reel to Reel. He has maintained this library of sermons faithfully over the years and are now the foundation of PB Sermons. org. This web site is dedicated to Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)