The Rev. J. Hillman Hollister, 96, who was pastor of the Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church for 26 years, died of kidney failure Monday at the Rockville Nursing Home.
A native of Troy, N.Y., he began his ministerial career in 1908 in New York state. He came to the Chevy Chase church in 1926 and served as its pastor until his retirement in 1952.
Dr. Hollister believed that his parishoners should have the opportunity to put the teachings of the church into practice and he involved his congregation in missionary work here and abroad.
Prior to World War II, the Chevy Chase church, in conjunction with the Temple Baptist Church of Washington, sponsored a community center project to help the needy.
After World War II, he led his parishoners in helping to restore the war-torn cities of Darmstadt, Germany, and Hedel, Holland. The Chevy Chase church sent 113 parcels of food, clothing and machinery to Hedel and helped through private donations to rebuild its bomb-out church. The church subsequently was rewarded with a gift of 2,000 tulip bulbs as a thank-you gesture from town residents and, in 1947 the Dutch government presented Dr. Hollister with a silver medal of gratutide.
In addition, Dr. Hollister organized a number of church-sponsored youth groups and, during the late 1930s, helped establish the first Protestant chaplaincy at the old Gallinger Hospital here.
After his retirement from the church in 1952, he served as chaplain at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, retiring a second time in 1968.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., and, in 1907, earned a divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Williams College in 1929.
During World War I, he served as an Army chaplain in France.
Dr. Hollister was married in 1917 to the former Dora Katharine Lawder, who died in 1966. They had lived in Chevy Chase, Md., until moving to Bethesda in 1953.
He participated in the first meeting of the World Council of Churchs at Amsterdam, Holland, in 1948.
Survivors include three children, Elizabeth Hayden, also of Bethesda; Mary Holliday, of Chattanooga, Tenn., and the Rev. William H. Hollister, of Burlington, Vt; 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church or to the Hollister Chaplains Fund at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.