Untitled Document

REV. JACK DUER HILL




Jack Duer Hill was born in Tarentun, PA on December 18, 1920. He graduated from Taventum High School, and then, he attended Gettysburg College, like his grandfather, to major in English. During his years in college, he also enrolled in ROTC to become an officer of the U.S. Army. At the end of his junior year, he dropped out of college for economic reasons. Later in Spring 1941, his friend from high school, Oakley Moser, got him a job as a saw man helper in the Seamless Tub Mill at the Allegheny Steel Co.


After President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared war against the axis powers, Germany, Italy and Japan, Hill enlisted in the U.S. Army without waiting to be drafted. He was shipped by troop-train to the Army Air Force Basic Training Center at Miami Beach. Within a few weeks, he was ordered to appear at their headquarters office. Later, he was offered to go to the Officer Candidate School after he was ordered to prepare a platoon for inspection by an officer who asked him about his three years of ROTC infantry training in college.

After accepting the offer to become an officer, Hill was sent to the Anti-Aircraft Officer Candidate School at Camp Davis, North Carolina. He completed the officer course on January 21, 1943, and then, he was ordered to Fort Lewis, Washington. He was there only for a few days until he received orders to the 218th Anti-Aircraft Regiment (Later Group) located in and around Mare Island, California, Naval Repair Base.


During his tour of duty in California, his fiancé, Mari Jane Chamberlain came to the West Coast from Philadelphia to marry him at the Marine Chapel on Mare Island on June 23, 1942. After he married Mari Jane, he requested to transfer to the Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Upon arrival at Fort Benning, he was placed in a Basic Training Infantry Officer School, which he considered easier than his infantry training in ROTC at Gettysburg College. After he finished the transition course, he entered the parachute school. Upon graduation from Jump School, he was appointed an officer instructor in Parachute Packing in Hanger Number One on Lawson Field at Fort Benning until he was sent overseas to fight the Japanese in World War II with the 11th Airborne Division.

Hill spent four years in active duty from 1942 to 1946. In 1945, he enrolled back in college to become a chiropractic doctor. After being discharged from active duty, he joined the National Guard and completed his chiropractic studies. He worked as a chiropractor until 1965 when he decided to work for the Internal Revenue Service as a revenue officer in New Jersey.

He worked for the IRS from 1965 to 1979. Then, his life changed significantly when he became a pastor of the United Methodist Church. In 1985 he retired from the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Later in 1986, he moved to Florida after the United Methodist Church district superintendent of Zephyrhills called him to build a new church in Lakeland. He started building the church with 35 people - now the same church has over 4,000 followers.


In 1990, Hill moved to Sebastian, Florida after the Melbourne district superintendent of the United Methodist Church called him to build a congregation or closing a church in Fellsmere. Unfortunately, He had to close the church because most of the prospective followers did not speak English.

Currently, Hill and his wife Carol continue to live in Sebastian. They have six children, thirteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He is a distinguished member of the United Methodist Church of Sebastian and the Space Coast All Airborne Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association. He also likes to sail with his wife. As a matter of fact, they are thinking about living on a boat.



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