It is impossible to separate the history of Holly Tree Chapel 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 Holly Tree Chapel 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 chapel 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 chapel 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.
Over the years Holly Tree Chapel 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 chapel as pastor in 2000 retired at the end of 2010 and our new pastor, Dr. Timothy Mink, began his ministry at Holly Lake Chapel on October 2, 2011.