It is impossible to separate the history of Holly Tree Bible Church from the history of Holly Lake Ranch. The developers of Holly Lake Ranch, Bill McKenzie and Jack Wilson, always intended for a place of worship to be part of the Holly Lake Ranch community. Jack Wilson has said, “When the church was founded, it was formed to be an evangelical, Bible-believing, Bible-teaching, Christ-centered fellowship. Denomination and tradition were not emphasized, and all were invited to attend.”
From the very beginning, services were held in various homes and other buildings. As the population grew, an outdoor chapel was constructed south of the Holly Lake dam with the first services held there in August of 1972. That outdoor chapel was near a large, beautiful holly tree causing Nance Wilson to suggest the name Holly Tree Chapel.
The current site at 1620 South FM 2869 was obtained in 1976 followed by reconstruction of another outdoor chapel on the new grounds and the purchase of a three bedroom house that was then moved to the property as the first phase of growth. Easter services in 1977 were held in the outdoor chapel and the services at Christmastime were held in the remodeled house. As Holly Lake Ranch continued to grow, the church also grew. Soon more room was needed and plans for Phase 2, a fellowship hall, began. On December 30, 1979 a service was held to dedicate the new addition and give thanks for God’s blessings. As various ministries such as Sunday school, the library, Men’s Bible Study, Women’s Fellowship, and an outreach program started and grew, planning began for a new sanctuary. Phase 3, the sanctuary still in use today, was completed in time for the Easter Sunday service of 1989. Additional growth prompted the planning and construction of Phase 4 in 2001, providing the ministry of the chapel with new office space, additional meeting rooms, a large fellowship hall and a large fully-equipped kitchen.
In 2017, the congregation voted to adopt a new constitution and a new set of bylaws that changed governance of the church from a Board of Trustees to an Elder Board supported by a Board of Deacons. For more information, visit the "Our Governing Documents" pages of the website. In 2019 the church also voted by a margin of 85% to change the name of Holly Tree Chapel to Holly Tree Bible Church. The purpose of the change was to more accurately reflect the fact that we are a church versus just a wedding/funeral chapel and that our focus is on the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:2). Our corporate name will remain Holly Tree Chapel, and we realize that, in spite of the change, we will likely continue to be known in the community as "the Chapel."
Over the years the church has been well served by men God has called to lead the congregation in worship and to provide teaching from God’s word. Those men are Jackie Deere, Tex Williams, Bob Northcutt, Luther Schliesser, Jewell Smoot, Charles Reece, Louis Gant and Paul Myers. Paul Myers who came to the church as pastor in 2000 retired at the end of 2010, and our current pastor, Dr. Timothy Mink, began his ministry at Holly Lake Bible Church on October 2, 2011.