Hillside Evangelical Free Church had its humble beginnings in a fruit shed on Lincoln Avenue. A hand full of people started meeting in the San Jose Salvation Army Hall, but when the Salvation Army needed the room, the Fellowship moved to the fruit shed in early 1953. The Evangelical Free Church of San Jose was organized on February 18, 1953, with 23 charter members. When the owner required use of the fruit shed during harvest season, the church rented space and moved to a Seventh Day Adventist church on Minnesota Avenue. During this time, a lot was purchased and a temporary Worship Center and Sunday School wing were erected at 2116 Newport Avenue. Our first worship service was held at this location on March 28, 1954. A Worship Center was erected at this site a few years later. As growth occurred, we purchased property at our current location at 545 Hillsdale Avenue. An Education Wing and a multi-purpose Worship Center were built at this location and we moved in on October 7, 1977. Our present Worship Center was dedicated on September 27, 1987. During the 1989 earthquake, we suffered some damage, but 6 months later, we were back in our Worship Center.
In 1996, our name was officially changed to Hillside Evangelical Free Church. Since then, the ministry of Hillside Church has continued to grow and expand both here in San Jose, and around the world! A commitment to effective teaching of the scriptures and heartfelt worship, as well as our ministries to adults, youth, and children, remains the foundation of the ministry here at Hillside. Over the past twenty years, we have developed and grown ministries in San Jose such as Farm Drive Neighborhood Center, an outreach ministry to a local urban neighborhood; and Iglesia Libre en Cristo, our Spanish speaking congregation. We continue to expand our ministry to the world through a comprehensive Global Outreach program, which includes supporting numerous missionary families and sending out short-term teams. The blessing of God continues to rest on the multiple ministries of Hillside Church.