History of the Restoration Movement

Malcolm Lansden Hill


The Life Of Malcolm L. Hill

Malcolm Hill was born January 12, 1934 at Willow Grove, Tenn. He was the fourth child of a family of nine born to Milton Lansden "Doc" and Cecil Hill. Malcolm was named after two doctors, Dr. Lansden & Dr. Malcolm Clark. He was educated in the schools of Overton County, Tennessee, graduating from Livingston Academy in 1954. He attended Freed-Hardeman College when it was a two-year school, where he served as president of the Student Council and graduated from there in 1956. Then he transferred to David Lipscomb College, and was graduated from there in 1960 with the B.A. degree. He did graduate work at the University of Tennessee, and at Atlanta University. Later he received the LL.D. from National Christian University. Finally he was awarded the D.C.M. from American Christian Bible College and Graduate School of Religion.

He was married to the former Billie Ruth Bilyeu, December 13, 1956. Billie was a cousin to the late brother B.C. Goodpasture, her maternal grandfather being the brother of B.C.'s father. Malcolm and Billie had three children, David, Victor, and Tammi.

He was a Christian, being born again of the “water and the Spirit” in 1953 at the hands of Robert Manasco. He long desired to serve God in the role of a minister of the gospel. He served as the regular minister for congregations: Collinwood, Tennessee from 1955 to 1957; the Adamsville church in the Birmingham area, Alabama, from 1957 to 1958; the Christiana, Tennessee church from 1958-1960; the Forest Park church in south metro Atlanta, Georgia for 8 years, from 1960-1968; and the Eastwood congregation in Florence, Alabama for 5 years, 1968-1973. Upon moving to Cookeville, he entered into evangelist work, preaching for churches by appointment. He also led large campaigns during this period to the Carribean. During that time the family attended the Broad Street church of Christ (Jefferson Avenue). He then preached for the Sycamore church of Christ as their regular preacher for a time. He and several others established the Northeast church of Christ on the campus of Tennessee Bible College, and worshipped with this congregation the remainder of his life, serving as a long-time elder and preacher in that congregation.

He spoke several years on lectureships and evangelistic forums. He served for a time as a staff writer for the Gospel Advocate. He also wrote for The Spiritual Sword, Firm Foundation, Minister’s Monthly, and Personal Evangelism. He was author for a book on personal work, “My God and My Neighbor.”

For several years he was involved in daily radio work. For two years he was on the radio in Birmingham, Alabama. For two years he was on WEAD in Atlanta, and for four years on WGUN in Atlanta. For a time he served as a moderator on a Florence, Alabama based television program called, “Bible Questions and Answers.” While living in the Cookeville area he did radio spots called, “One Gospel Minute,” and for several years conducted a biblical “Questions and Answers” column for the local newspaper. He served for several years as editor of a paper called, Living Oracles, the official journal of Tennessee Bible College.

In 1968, when moving to Florence, Alabama, he, Albert Hill, Gus Nichols, and several other brethren, established Southeastern Institute of the Bible. Upon his departure from the area in 1973, the school was reinstituted under the name, International Bible College, and is today known as Heritage Christian University.

Upon his departure from the Shoals areas, he moved to Cookeville, Tennessee where in 1975 founded and served as president of Tennessee Bible College. When the leadership of the college was transferred to his son, David Hill, in May 2010, he became Chancellor of the college, and held this position until his death.

Malcolm Hill was diagnosed with Diabetes in the early '90s. In later years, the disease brought about other complications leading to his death, June 26, 2012, in the 78th year of his life. His body was laid to rest in the Cookeville City Cemetery. Thus, a life was lived, the body perished, but his soul lives forever. He was a colorful individual in life. He preached the gospel of Jesus over 60 years, was an elder of the Lord's church for over 30 years, college president for 37 years, and married for over 55 years. He was a husband, father, grandfather, prominent church leader, college president and chancellor. Of all these, his greatest desire was to be a servant of Christ.

-Sources: 1975 Freed-Hardeman College Lectures, page 391. Preachers Of Today, Volume 4; Publications from Tennessee Bible College & Northeast Church of Christ

Obituary of Malcolm L. Hill

HILL, Malcolm L. Age 78 of Cookeville. Died June 26, 2012. He was a gospel preacher for over 60 years in the Church of Christ, a Christian educator and an elder in the Lord's church for 34 years. He was founding president of Southeastern Institute of the Bible (Heritage Christian University) in Florence, AL and founding President of Tennessee Bible College in Cookeville serving as Chancellor at the time of his death. He was preceded in death by two brothers Robert and Danny, and two sisters Winell Terry and Kate Lankford. Survivors include his wife of 55 1/2 years, Billie Ruth Bilyeu Hill; children, David (Lisa) Hill, Tammie Hill of Cookeville, Victor (Tonya) Hill of Livingston; grandchildren, Mallory (Jonathan) Huddleston, Pate Hill, Tyler Hill of Cookeville and Lane Hill, of Livingston; brothers, Joe (Reilly) Hill, Jerry (Linda) Hill of Livingston; sisters, Ruth Maynard of Livingston, and Betty (Bill) Barnes of Rickman. Funeral services Thursday, June 28th, 7 p.m. at Northeast Church of Christ, Glenn B. Ramsey, Kerry Duke, and Paul Wilmoth officiating. Interment Friday, Cookeville City Cemetery. Visitation Thursday from 4 p.m. until service time at the church. Memorials: Malcolm Hill Living Memorial at Tennessee Bible College, P.O. Box 865, Cookeville, TN 38503 or Northeast Church of Christ Mission Fund, 450 Grandview Drive, Cookeville, TN 38501.

Source - http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tennessean/obituary.aspx?pid=158258898; Published in The Tennessean on June 28, 2012.

My God And My Neighbor
From Two Different Printings

Personal Perspective

It has been the privilege of your web editor to have known the Hill family for the better portion of my life. When Malcolm Hill left the Forest Park congregation in Atlanta in 1968, he suggested my father, Richard Harp, for the position. Malcolm and my dad had been school mates at Lipscomb, and had kept up with one another over the years since. Before I ever met Malcolm Hill, I was impressed with his feet—yes, his feet. As a ten year old boy, when the Harps went to Forest Park, it was the biggest church building I had ever entered. The pinnacle of the ceiling in the auditorium went almost completely out of sight in my thinking. I remember well walking around the auditorium. When I got to the pulpit, I recall walking up behind to see where my dad was going to be standing to preach. When I looked down, I was shocked to see the size of indentations and wear in the carpet where Malcolm Hill had been preaching those years before. The foot-shaped indentations were huge! I remember thinking, "How will dad ever fill the shoes of that preacher?!" It was not long after, that I saw why the indentations in the floor were the way they were. Malcolm Hill came back to Forest Park to preach not too long after we moved there. He was bigger than life to me. And, when he got into the pulpit and began preaching, he was like a race horse stomping to get out of the gate. When he preached, he needed no microphone. He would get so lathered up in his preaching that he would continue looking straight ahead, but his mouth would protrude to the right and then to the left in a dramatic way as he spouted forth the word of God with passion. As a boy, I was rivited to my seat by his presence in the pulpit, every time I had the opportunity to hear him. Through the years, the Hills and the Harps maintained a friendship from afar. Dad and Malcolm stayed life-long friends until Malcolm's death.

I never knew Malcolm intimately like my dad did, having never worked with him in a personal way. Through the years, I recall hearing things from people about him that served to cast a shadow over the man, things I never personally experienced with him. It seemed that some, over the years, formed strong opinions one way or the other about him. Some people did not like him, and others loved him to death. What I know is that when he was in Florence, Alabama, and later in Cookeville, Tennessee, he made valiant efforts to begin colleges that have truly blessed the lives of many. I am a recipient of a B.A. degree from what is now Heritage Christian University, an institution he started. I will always appreciate his contributions to make that school possible in its earliest days. Thus, his life's works were foundational, and others have built upon those foundations. He was not a perfect man, nor did he claim to be. It is not my place to accuse or excuse, but just from a historian's standpoint, to observe. What was apparent is that Malcolm Hilll was earnest in his beliefs, right or wrong, and was open with all as to his deepest concerns for the purity of the church Jesus built. These shared concerns in the public arena offended some, undoubtedly. However, my knowledge of the man was that he loved the Lord, and desired deeply to stay true to His cause. He also wanted others to do so as well. I know that in the last years of his life he worked diligently to mend fences, and to build unity among the brethren, but not at the expense of the truth. When I heard of his passing, my heart was saddened at the world's loss. Malcolm Hill is missed by his friends and loved ones, a group of which I am very much a part. I am thankful to have had Malcolm Hill as a part of my life's experience. I appreciate his family. Sister Billie Hill has always been such a precious, sweet, and graceful Christian lady. She worked long at his side to raised their children to love the Lord. Their son, David and his wife Lisa, are life-long friends, and I am thankful for their continued work for the Lord and his Kingdom. David continues as President of Tennessee Bible College, and is building upon on his father's legacy. To this day, when I see him in public or hear him preach, I can see and hear his daddy in him. May God richly bless the legacy of Malcolm L. Hill.

-Scott Harp, 07.23.2014

Audio Lecture By Malcolm Hill
Mastin Lake Road Church of Christ

Acapella Congregational Singing

Directions To The Grave of Malcolm L. Hill

Malcolm L. Hill is buried in the Cookeville City Cemetery. In East Tennessee take I-40 to Cookeville. Take exit 286, and head north into town on S. Willow St. (Hwy. 135). Turn right in town on W. Spring Street (Hwy. 70N/24). The cemetery should be on your right. Enter the second entrance to the cemetery and proceed down the drive to the bottom of the hill. You will pass the third drive on your right, and then look to the new section of graves being added on your left. The Hill family plot will be in the front row facing the drive. See map below for the exact GPS location of the grave in the cemetery. While here be sure and visit the other preachers buried here, W. Clarence Cooke, J. S. Holloway, and J. D. Walling.

GPS Location
36.160051, -85.508966

Note the Hill plot as well as the plots of other Gospel Preachers buried in Cookeville Cemetery

Victor was the second son of Malcolm and Billie Hill

Victor M. Hill
US Navy
March 17, 1964
March 24, 2015

Tammi Ruth Hill
June 6, 1967
August 10, 2014
Beloved Daughter

David Hill (President Of Tennessee Bible College) at the grave of his father

Church of Christ Preacher Over 60 Years
Founder Of Tennessee Bible College
Parents of David, Victor & Tammi
Grandparents of Mallory, Pate, Tyler & Lane
Faithful Wife
Loyal Co-Worker
Loving Mother And Grandmother

Billie Ruth Bilyeu - March 27, 1936 -
Malcolm Lansden - January 12, 1934 - June 26, 2012
Married December 13, 1956

Photos Taken 24 February 2014
Web page produced: 23 July 2014
Courtesy of Scott Harp

Special thanks to C. Wayne Kilpatrick for the assistance in procuring location and photos of the grave of Malcolm Hill. Wayne traveled with me in late February, 2014 while making our way to Knoxville for a lectureship program.

Recollections: In August, 2016, It was my privilege to visit the grave of Malcolm Hill with his son, David. He followed his father as President of Tennessee Bible College. Our friendship spreads over many decades, having known him when we both were children.

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