The unique story of a unique church began in 1931 with several area families creating a Sunday school in a private home for neighboring children. A few years later, this evolved to include regular services at a local chapel. A decade later in 1952, this group of Presbyterians and Episcopalians worshiping together, decided to form the Indian Hill Church.
The Indian Hill Church is one of only a few successful dual denominations in our country. Our church began as a fully constituted dual denomination under the auspices of our two regional governing bodies: The Southern Ohio Diocese of the Episcopal Church and the Presbytery of Cincinnati. However, our informal roots go back even further. The primary foundational concept was this: to provide a local church that would meet the needs of Episcopalians and Presbyterians living in the Indian Hill area, and to do so intentionally as an experiment in ecumenicity. There were risks involved in this experiment owing mostly to denominational differences. And yet Episcopalians and Presbyterians here were prepared to make this gesture because the rewards so clearly seemed to outweigh those risks.
Now, after almost 75 years we can safely say that our church is no longer an experiment in ecumenicity. It works! We have shown here that we can accept those denominational differences, be enriched by them, and use them in the creation of new traditions. As a dual denominational church, we have been ahead of our time in terms of concept. The faith practices of those attending the church are those of tolerance. Services are seamless, meaning Presbyterians and Episcopalians attend each other’s services without any hesitation. Presbyterians sit next to Episcopalians in church without any idea who is practicing which tradition. Our heritage at the church is one of the future. We would like to see ourselves as an example of acceptance.
The Indian Hill Church vision is a set of statements describing what people will see when they visit the church. It was developed from an assessment of our history, our current strengths, and the hopes and dreams of the members of the church and its leaders.
As statements of who we aspire to be, we see ourselves:
- CELEBRATING GOD’S PRESENCE IN OUR LIVES
- Growing spiritually together in an open dialogue
- Living our dual denominational traditions and making new traditions
- Energizing with a variety of dynamic worship services
- Welcoming and including all, and actively involving inter-generational members
- Engaging our youth and growing side-by-side with them
- Leveraging our talents to benefit others
Each year, the Vestry-Session uses this Vision to set goals and make specific plans to improve on the current state of the church.
I am so glad that you have scrolled through to check us out. I want to introduce you to our unique dual denomination congregation. We seek unity in the thing that matters most, Jesus Christ and diversity in how we carry out our rich traditions of worship. Even so, we are a group of ordinary people gathered together to worship an extraordinary God. We seek to testify to and reflect the light found in our Lord Jesus Christ. “But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)