Hilltop United Brethren church in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., has withdrawn from the denomination. A letter from the Leadership Council, dated January 22 and signed by senior pastor Michael Tucker and three other men, says:
“Hilltop Community Church wishes to withdraw from the United Brethren in Christ denomination, effective immediately. We have been granted our own 401(c)(3) tax exempt status with the IRS….We are not upset about any issue, and we hold no ill will toward the denomination. the decision was put to the congregation for a vote, and it was unanimously approved. We feel this move is the best for our church.”
Hilltop began in the mid-1960s as First United Brethren Church under the leadership of Rev. Marvin Price. Using property donated by the McCulloch Corporation, First UB grew to become the largest church in what was then called Pacific Conference (later Arizona Conference). The most recent year for which we have statistics, 2005, shows an average attendance of 116. The only other churches remaining in Arizona are in Fountain Hills and Phoenix (the latter a Hispanic church).
Among the UB people with roots in Lake Havasu are missionaries Ruth Ann Price and Debbie Osberg; pastors Don Dennie, Stu Dennie, and Steve Gilbertson; Communications Director Steve Dennie; and Huntington University’s Rich McConnell.