Rev. Dr. Derrick Hills Appointed District Superintendent
February 15, 2018
Rev. Dr. Derrick D. Hills has been appointed as a District Superintendent of the Louisiana Annual Conference, assigned to the Acadiana District, starting this July.
"I am excited and can't wait to get to work," Hills says. "I feel called to help our Conference in this new role and I am specifically looking forward to the opportunity to bring a sense of renewal to our local churches."
Rev. Hills is familiar with the local church as he has served in ministry since 1977 when he preached his first sermon. Currently, Hills serves as the senior pastor of historic Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, having served there for the past ten years. Prior to Saint Mark, Hills served as the senior pastor of Alexandria, Louisiana's oldest African American church and oldest African American United Methodist Church, Newman United Methodist Church.
"I am delighted Dr. Hills has responded with a resounding and confident 'yes!' to serve as a district superintendent for the Louisiana Annual Conference," says Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey. "Dr. Hills' strong and steady leadership will be a great asset to the Cabinet. He has many gifts that will serve the Conference and the District well."
In a career that has spanned 40-plus years, Hills brings a wealth of experience to the cabinet, specifically that of pastoring local churches. "I feel a call to help churches nurture and grow their own identities."
Hills says there is great irony in today's cultural landscape. "As many tools as we have in today's world to stay connected," he says, "I've found that more and more people are finding it difficult to connect on a deep and spiritual level."
When asked how that can change, Hills says it as simple as knowing people's names.
"To know someone's name is to build a relationship with that person," he says. "We can discuss ways to ignite the church, but oftentimes it's as simple as knowing one another by name. When you call me by name, you are invited to share a level of trust and empathy with that person."
In fact, Hills remembers the day he received a phone call from Bishop Harvey, inviting him to serve as District Superintendent.
"I answered the phone," he recalls. "And she said, "Hello Derrick Hills!' and there was just something about how she called me by name. I immediately felt a deep call and ever since that moment, I have been praying for the days ahead."
The days ahead include a larger discussion on the future of the United Methodist Church as a whole and it's not a subject that Hills hasn't thought about.
"I have great confidence in the future of the church!" says Hills. "There is great hope for our church and I firmly believe that. It's a hope that rests in my unwavering expectation that God is with us, for us and not against us. I am reminded often of the lines from a James Cleveland song, 'I don't believe God has brought us this far to leave us'."
Hills is married to his childhood sweetheart, Mrs. Sharron Ann Robinson Hills since May 30, 1981. He is the father of two adult children, Dr. Darrius Dwayne Hills (Whitney Dian Bell) and Miss Brittany Camille Hills. Derrick and his family are natives of North Louisiana, born and raised in Shreveport.