Albert Ross Hill, Jr.
Albert Hill, North Alabama minister for nearly 50 years, died on January 29, 2001 after a brave fight against cancer. His funeral service, which he planned in detail was conducted in the Darby Drive church building where he preached from 1965 to 1977. The participants in the Tuesday evening service were friends, co-workers and family members. He planned his funeral and instructed that it be a celebration of his life and not a mourning of his death.
Albert will be remembered as a preacher with exceptional ability and dedication. He was a good Bible student, raised in a strong Christian home and trained in three of our Christian colleges. He attended high school at Mars Hill Bible School where he was graduated in 1954. He preached for churches in Alabama, Mississippi and Texas. Most of his work was in the Shoals area of Northwest Alabama.
In recent years Albert served as an elder of the East Colbert Church of Christ. He never lost his evangelistic fervor. Up to the very end he was active in mission work, most recently in Mexico. Albert was a common man's preacher. He did not plan his ministry around the rich and famous, but approached his work without regard for social or economic position.
It was in the summer of 1953 that I became acquainted with Albert. A friendship was begun that lasted for nearly half a century. We were together at Freed-Hardeman College and commuted to Harding Graduate School together. In our early years there were few days that we did not talk, sharing the joys and concerns of our work. He was a fun person to know, with a positive nature and a wonderful sense of humor. He had the ability to mimic most of the great Southern preachers of the 50's and 60's including Gus Nichols, G. K. Wallace and Guy N. Woods. He would entertain his friends, including the mentioned preachers with excerpts from the Freed-Hardeman open forum with mock discussions between the above mentioned men.
As a preacher, Albert Hill saw the big picture and went about his ministry from that perspective. He was one of the founders of Southeastern Institute of the Bible, the forerunner of International Bible College, which is now Heritage Christian University. He promoted medical missions, bus evangelism, and was instrumental in the beginning of the workshop movement, which has been so popular among churches of Christ. He approached local work with the same creativity and enthusiasm.
Albert loved his wife Reba Gargis Hill; his daughter, Dee Wear and her husband Brent; his son, Tim; and his grandchildren very much. His life was devoted to their happiness and well being. He loved his friends, the church and his Lord. All who knew him are confident and at peace about his eternal life.
—Ellis Coats, Evangelist 1170 County Road 321 Florence, AL 35634 <
(Editor's comment: When I asked Ellis to write about our mutual friend, Albert Hill, he was already thinking about doing so. He did a good job. My Margie and I loved Albert for many reasons, one of which was that he read a poem at our beloved Timothy's funeral, January 5, 1974, which I wrote. Ellis spoke at the funeral and so did Charles Coil. I spoke at Albert's parents funerals. Albert had a very good sense of humor, but he was very serious and earnest about his preaching the gospel and love for the lost.) <
—As appeared in the pages of The World Evangelist, ed. Basil Overton, Vol. 29, No. 12, July, 1991, page 4
Directions To The Grave Of Albert Hill, Jr.
Albert Hill, Jr. is buried in the Tri Cities Memorial Gardens in Florence, Alabama. It is located at 2601 Florence Blvd., Florence, Alabama. The office number is 256.764.7542. The family plot is in the Garden Of The Apostles, at the front-center of the cemetery. In the same plot is Albert's parents, A.R., Sr. & Ferrell K. Hill. Also nearby is the graves of other gospel preachers, Jimmy R. Vest and Gilbert Kretzer.
N34º 49.767’ x WO87º 38.080’
or D.d. 34.829417,-87.634643
Acc. 13’; Facing S.