Sequence of pictures from the 1880s to 2007.


                         The original building, built in the 1880s                                             Mary Barton Chapel, built in 1956

New Church Front 2002

The current building was finished in 2007.

3 buildings, one purpose: to share the love and freedom of Christ with all who walk through the doors. 


The first picture is of the original Tollhouse Church which stood where Mary Barton Chapel does today, and it all started with a generous offer. In the 1880s, the Yancey family donated a plot of land for the church to be built on, adjacent is a cemetery used by the community. The church thrived for a little over thirty years. Sadly, in 1931, a fire rapidly devoured the church building as it was made of wood and wood shake. As far as is known, following the fire, the congregation dispersed. 

However, the Lord wasn’t done yet. In 1956, the Cemetery District built the facility known as Mary Barton Chapel to provide for funerals. At the same time, Ruth Gibbs ran a Sunday School out of her home in Tollhouse. The Trustees, who built the chapel, knew of Ruth Gibbs’ work and invited her and others to use the chapel for church services. 

Soon after, a congregation formed and has continued through the years into the present. Later, as the congregation grew, they built an auxiliary building and named it Gibbs Hall. The building included Sunday School rooms, a kitchen, and a children’s nursery. 

In the beginning, the Council of Churches brought retired pastors to teach every Sunday. This resulted in a different minister each week. There have been many backgrounds that came through for several years from Reverend Eisenbeis to Jake Falks from the Mennonite Seminary in Fresno. However, none of them were a full-time pastor for the church.       

One of those was Lloyd Gardner who ministered on Sundays in 1975. Lloyd became the first full-time pastor of the Church of Tollhouse a year later in 1976. During his tenure, the church was formally organized into a community church in the early 1980s. The Church of Tollhouse was formed around the biblical pattern given in the New Testament. They are governed by a group of spiritual elders, under the direction of the Holy Spirit. During this time, the church purchased a 14-acre plot just to the south of the Chapel with plans to one day erect a building of their own, but this dream wouldn’t come to fruition until much later. When Lloyd Gardner left, the church endured another period of having various ministers and church members share on Sundays. 

In 1987, Pastor Doug Ainley came along and served as the lead pastor for 9 years. Eleven years later, on March 17, 1996, Pastor Ainley and the majority of the congregation left to form a Four Square church, meeting at the High School. 

We were battered and bruised after that, but again the Lord was not done with this humble church. The vision given to the founding members was for this church to be a light on the hill for the community, and they were not about to let that go. So, they banded together to survive and eventually invited Pastor David Tolladay to join them on a full-time ministerial basis. 

With Pastor Tolladay at the helm, the congregation began work on a new building on the adjacent property in 2002. This building is a testimony to God's faithfulness, as it was built primarily with volunteer labor and without any debt. God miraculously supplied the funds needed. The new church was officially dedicated on October 7, 2007, and seats up to 300 people. 

Pastor Tolladay served for just about 17 years, until he retired on December 31, 2012. At that time the Holy Spirit led the church elders to invite Pastor Rob Morton to minister to the church full-time and he continues to lead our church today. 

To this day, many descendants of Ruth, through her son-in-law and daughter, Jack and Grace Rose, attend the Church of Tollhouse. The Rose family has been instrumental in the growth of our church for many years. 

The Church of Tollhouse will continue to be the "light on the hill", ministering to the local community and bringing the message of God's love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.