Our Story

How it all started ...

Bay Hills Community Church initially started as an offshoot of a summer Vacation Bible School for kids in 1939. Shortly thereafter, property was purchased on Appian Way in El Sobrante and the church was off and running. In 1956 the merging of two Evangelical Free Churches resulted in stability but not in sustainable growth. The next 30 years saw a roller coaster of growth, with membership ranging anywhere from 30 to 200. In 1985, church leadership decided to make intentional community outreach its primary goal.

Over the last 25 years the church has experienced exponential and consistent growth which has resulted in some rather significant facility challenges. Adding services, meeting in a school, moving to a shutdown Circuit City, and then a Barnes & Noble have all been part of this exciting journey. While a permanent facility is still an “issue,” we choose to be guided by mission instead of handicapped by facility. God knows what He is doing and with prayerful consideration we're working to resolve it. In the meantime, we keep pushing forward trying to reach this community for Christ.

Pictured: Ground breaking service in 1940 at newly purchased property, 4950 Appian Way. The Evangelical Free church of El Sobrante is created.

where we are headed ...

No matter where a church is located around the world, we should all be guided by the commission and directive that Jesus gives His followers in Matthew 28. While each church will have obvious distinctives, each should also always be guided by the call to reach people for Christ with the good news of the Gospel (evangelism), and help people grow in their commitment and life for Jesus (discipleship). The challenge and privilege for Bay Hills is that we are consistently on the front lines when it comes to spiritual engagement with the community. Traditionally and statistically the Bay Area has been near or at the bottom when it comes to desire and willingness to engage with the Bible and consider Jesus as Savior and Lord. Instead of being discouraged, we feel privileged that God has given us the responsibility to reach a community that seems to be very far from God.

Our goal as we look to the future is to be creative and willing to do near anything to reach our friends, classmates, family members, and co-workers living in the East Bay.  By choosing to be relevant to our surrounding community, while also being fully committed to the truth of Scripture, we cannot wait to see what doors God opens for us.  When He does, we will strategically and confidently leverage whatever opportunities God brings our way to further the mission of the church.  We hope you will consider joining us for the ride!

Be a part of our story

We would love for you to be a part of the Bay Hills story. For a quick overview of who we are, visit our I'm New page. Want to see what your next step may be? Visit our Next Steps page for information on getting connected to Bay Hills. Are you looking for a place to get your kids or youth involved? Visit our Kids and Youth pages to learn about our programming and for parenting resources. Visit our Messages page to watch our service recordings.
Want to experience what it's like to be part of Bay Hills? Join us online on Facebook or our Watch Now page or join us in person every Sunday at 9am and 11am.
Ready to start getting involved? Fill out our Digital Connection Card and let us know who you are and how we can help you get connected.