Rueben Hill was born in a humble Kentucky home in 1808. Disciplining himself, he studied hard to become a physician. When he was twenty-five, two momentous blessings fell upon him: he was born again and he married. He joined the Knob Creek Baptist Church in Maury County, Tennessee, where he had gone to practice medicine, and where the Lord met him. He could have spent the rest of his life in ease and wealth, but he and the Lord had other plans.
At the age of thirty-six, Brother Hill was ordained and began to serve the Lord in full time ministry. He left his medical practice and moved to Missouri, where he served in several churches. When men began passing through his neighborhood on their way to the gold fields of California, Brother and Mrs. Hill joined one of the wagon trains, preaching Christ to the hopeful miners along the way. They settled in Mud Springs, California, holding services under the shade of a large tree, until the gold ran out and the miners moved on. The Hills then moved to Oregon where he was privileged to preach the first gospel message in that territory. Then on this day in 1851 a Baptist church was organized at Corvallis, and there the preacher served for the next sixteen years.
Rueben Hill was a strong, tireless worker. As well as pastoring and assisting in the founding of several churches, he wrote the charter the McMinnville College and served in the Oregon legislature. As happens to everyone, gradually his health began to fail. He passed away four months after his wife, during his eighty-second year. Whereas he could have lived the life of a rich southern gentleman, he left us all a wonderful testimony, choosing to spend his life in the service of the Saviour, trying to reach lost settlers in a distant territory.