2024 FPC Directory Updates

In Memory of Jerry Hilton

Posted by First Presbyterian on

Memorials may be given in memory of Jerry Hilton to First Presbyterian and designated to Water Wells or Dr. Bartha's Cross Clinic.

Jerry Hilton, beloved FPC pastor from 1993-2004, passed away earlier this week in Lees Summit, Missouri. As we were remembering Jerry's legacy and looking through church files, we found this biography that was shared with the FPC congregation when Jerry was first being called to the position of Pastor and Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church. 

Many members of the FPC family have wonderful memories of their time under Pastor Hilton's pastoral care. In honor of the impact Jerry made on so many here in Midland. Glenn Rogers and Sally Green share theirs reflections below: 

JERRY HILTON (1939 - 2021)

I was deeply saddened when I heard the news that Jerry had passed away. Louan was on the search committee that brought Jerry and Mary to Midland and we became good friends from the start. I have fond memories of the times we spent together and listening to his stories. We had good times serving together on the Presbytery Committee on Ministry, traveling together, sharing meals and simply enjoying each other’s company. Jerry loved life, the church, people and above all, he loved the Lord. He had the unique ability to see the good in everyone and treated all persons equally. Jerry had no favorites and neither wealth nor position made him think any more or less of you.

When considering what was his best sermon, I would have to say it was the way he lived his life. I deeply respect, admire and appreciate all of the depths of his faith. He has been a blessing through the years to so very many and I find myself at the top of that list. Jerry wrote me at the time of Louan’s death, ”The one thing that I have become absolutely convinced of as time moves along is that whatever happens, God is fully prepared to take care of things.”

When my grandson was about two years old Jerry introduced me to the term “marveling.” There is nothing like walking through the pasture or the woods with a two year old, watching him marvel at all the wonderful things he finds -- rocks, golf balls, interesting sticks and so forth. Jerry was a “marveler” all of his life -- marveling at the beauty of the earth, people, fishing, the basic goodness of people and the miracle of the resurrection. Always the optimist and with a great sense of humor, Jerry wrote to me a couple of weeks ago, “I look forward to seeing you on the other side in God’s good time. You bring the steaks.”

May he even now be “marveling” at the glory of being in the presence of the Lord.


I was also on that search committee and going through the process of choosing a candidate, I recall the Spirit speaking to my inner being as members of the search committee heard his “trial” sermon in Enid, Oklahoma, “I will speak thru him.” I knew from that moment on that he was to be our choice.

God’s whisper to my heart kept washing over me as we continued the process of the search. Originally, the committee of nine thought the final vote would never be unanimous. However, as we met week after week, using the book In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen as a guide to our devotions and following the Presbyterian pattern of doing our duty “in decency and in order,” his name kept rising to the top of the list.

At the end when we gathered to vote, all hands of the committee rose in resounding confirmation when his name was presented! It was indeed a unanimous decision!

Jerry Max Hilton would lead FPC into some of the best years of our lives, in church and out! The word that best described him to me is “authentic.” He used to say, “What you see is what you get.” We got the best of him. Never presumptuous, always listening, always ready with a story, discipling the flock as he walked in their midst, like a good shepherd of the sheep God had given him to watch over. He used to say, “My job is to equip and bring out the gifts God has given to His people.” He did that well as many would ascribe.

We love you and will miss your earthly presence, Pastor and friend. God bless your rest as you await the great sounding of the last trumpet!