The Hebron Baptist Story

1954 - 2004

Written for the dedication of the new Limaburg Road sanctuary,

September 19, 2004.

John Steinbeck once asked, “How will we know us without our past?” This is an ex-cellent question, and one we are wise to consider. As a church, we cannot rightly understand who we are today without first understanding who we were yesterday. Likewise, we cannot correctly steer a course for the future without first considering and learning from our past experiences. As we look back on the history of Hebron Baptist Church, we will trace a pattern of God’s faithfulness to Himself and to us as He has worked out (and is working out) His purposes for His covenant people.


     We begin in the year 1954. With the New Year (1955) on the horizon, God in His wisdom planted a desire deep into the heart of Chase Jennings. The Director of Missions for the North Bend Baptist Association, Brother Jennings longed to see a new work of ministry begun in Hebron, KY. Brother Jennings quickly went about the task of sharing his vision with the Erlanger, Burlington, Bullittsburg and Sand Run Baptist churches. The reaction was mixed. Some were very much in favor of a new mission while others were adamantly opposed to the idea.

     It was not until the calling of Howard Alexander in 1956 to the pastorate of Sand Run Baptist Church that Bro. Jennings’ vision finally gained momentum. By 1958, meeting space was located, rent free, at the old store property of Mrs. Bessie Ernst, and Robert Cave was elected as Sunday School Superintendent for the new Hebron Baptist Mission.

     After a successful Vacation Bible School and revival meetings the week of Aug. 4, 1958, the new mission began meeting for Sunday School on Aug. 10. After only a few short months in the old Ernst store, roof leaks, a burst water pump, and a broken furnace forced the mission to relocate.

     In Jan., 1959, new meeting facilities were secured as the Hebron mission began renting the nearby Masonic Lodge for its weekly meetings. Rev. Wright, of Sand Run Baptist Church, would preach on Sunday mornings at Hebron prior to Sunday School and then preach at Sand Run as part of the regular worship hour. As the mission continued to grow and time demands increased for Rev. Wright, it was apparent that the Hebron mission needed a shepherd of its own.

A Church is Planted

     On Dec. 6, 1959, the Rev. Gene A. Phillips was called by Sand Run Baptist Church to be the full-time pastor of the Hebron Baptist Mission. Training Union was also organized at this time under the directorship of Edward Mavity. The young mission was growing.

      In response to the continued growth of the mission work in Hebron, two acres of land were acquired on Aug. 30, 1961, for the purpose of constructing a permanent gathering place. After a meeting with the Sand Run church council, it was decided that the “mother church” did not possess the financial resources to support the building of a new facility; and the Hebron mission would have to build on her own.

As a result, the Hebron Baptist Mission was led to constitute as the Hebron Baptist Church on Dec. 3, 1961. Shortly thereafter, Hebron was accepted in Sept. of 1962 into the North Bend Baptist Association. The fledgling mission had now spread her wings and was learning to fly as a self-supporting congregation.

     Additional property was purchased on Aug. 30, 1963, in response to a recommendation presented to the congregation on Oct. 3, 1962. The trustees quickly secured a loan in the amount of $26,000 to finance the construction of a new basement. The first services on the Route 20 campus were held on Feb. 2, 1964. The building was later dedicated to the glory of God on March 15, 1964.

Establishing Roots

     The physical landscape was not the only thing that had changed. Reverend Phillips resigned in July, 1962, to serve as a missionary in France. In Aug., 1962, Reverend Leo Drake was called as interim pastor and was later accepted as the second pastor of Hebron Baptist Church in May, 1963. After a brief tenure,

Rev. Drake resigned in 1965 to serve as superintendent of the Baptist Convalescent Center in Newport, KY.

     Rev. Gayle Toole was called as the third pastor in Jan., 1966. Under his leadership a loan was secured in 1967 to build a new sanctuary, phase two. The new sanctuary was dedicated to God’s service and for His glory on August 27, 1967

     After a successful seven years of ministry at Hebron, Brother Toole accepted the call to serve as pastor of Edgewood Baptist Church in Nicholasville, KY. Dr. George Redding of Georgetown College was called upon to serve as interim minister until a new pastor was located. The new pastor was Robert Kiper, who served from Jan. 23, 1974, to Feb. 8, 1977. He was succeeded by Ronald Chastain, who was called to serve as pastor on June 12, l977. After six years of devoted leadership that witnessed much growth in the membership, Bro. Ron resigned on Oct. 30, 1983

       The sixth pastor was Bro. Mark Keith. Mark began his tenure, the longest of any pastor at Hebron, on Jan. 22, 1984. Under his leadership, the church completed a renovation of the sanctuary and the third phase of the Route 20 campus by adding a much-needed education wing. Bro. Mark resigned from the pastorate on August 18, 1996.

Expanding Vision

     Shortly after Bro. Mark’s departure, the Jo Crigler property was purchased for the relocation of the church to Limaburg Road. This property was purchased in response to the prospect of losing the Rt. 20 campus to the Greater Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky Airport runway expansion.

     On June 22, 1997, Bro. Ryan Wagers was called to serve as the seventh pastor. After a brief stay, Bro. Ryan resigned on April 23, 2000. One month later, Dr. Gayle Toole, former pastor of Hebron Baptist Church, was asked to return as the interim minister.

Less than a year later, Dr. Toole was called to be the eighth pastor, the only pastor to have served twice at Hebron. Under his guidance, Hebron Baptist Church was once again led through the process of building a new facility. 

A New Home

     In June 2003, the process of moving to Limaburg Rd. took Hebron Baptist Church to 3340 Logan Road, a temporary home that would suffice until the completion of construction on a new home. The Logan location was a profitable one in which 29 new additions were made, and the church family was drawn closer together.

     On Aug. 29, 2004, Hebron Baptist Church opened its doors for the first Sunday worship gathering at the new Limaburg Road campus.