Church History – From our Ten Year Anniversary Celebration in 2008
New Highland Baptist Church began in 1945 as East Highland Park Baptist Church and was the first Baptist church organized in Richmond in 25 years. The church was located in the East Highland Park neighborhood in Henrico County. In 1997, after much prayer, thought, study, input, and guidance from many, including the Dover Baptist Association, the congregation felt the Lord leading them to Hanover County.
In the spring of 1998, the church entered into a covenant with Dover Association to purchase from them a beautiful wooded ten-acre tract on New Ashcake Road and to grow a neighborhood church.
The church called Bob Lee as pastor in July 1998. The former facilities were sold and the congregation began to meet at Pearson’s Corner Elementary School. The church grew in spirit and number, broke ground for a building in 1999, and held the first worship service in the new facility on October 1, 2000. By 2001, increasing Sunday School growth led to the need for expansion of the educational wing which was completed in January 2002.
God continued to bless the ministry of New Highland and continued growth resulted in the need for additional space within the facility. The church undertook a capital stewardship campaign with the theme “People of Hope” to raise the capital and pledge of funding for construction of Phase 2. The facilities were enlarged by over 13,000 square feet including the Christian Life Center, a large kitchen, and additional classrooms. Dedication of the new addition was held on September 11, 2005. In January 2008, the church held a note burning service to burn the 15 year note for $600,000 on phase 1 of the church only 7 years after building was completed. In 2008, a bell tower was erected in front of the church.
Mission outreach at the community, state, national, and even international level has been a priority of the church and individual members. Adults and youth have made several mission trips to Mississippi and Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region. The church participated in bible school in Roanoke, Virginia and in Mission to Hanover Day. Individuals (including the Pastor) went on missions to Panama, Indonesia, and Honduras. Local mission work included Upward Basketball, Vacation Bible School, CARITAS, and sponsorship for Scouting programs and food drives for Central Virginia Food Bank. In September 2006, the Church began a Day School for children 2 ½ – 4 years with a Christian ministry to children of church members and in the community.
The growth of the congregation and mission resulted in staff growth as well. In the past 10 years, the Church staff has grown from one Pastor, part-time administrative assistant, and accompanist to include a Minister of Church and Family Life, Worship Leader and Director of Choirs, part-time Minister to Children, and additional part-time administrative staff.
New Highland has both contemporary and blended worship services, Sunday School, a large music ministry with an adult praise team choir and band, adult worship choir, youth praise team and band, and children’s choirs for ages preschool through grade 5. A Wednesday night mid week encounter gives families an opportunity to gather for a meal and youth and adults to attend classes on varied topics while children attend mission groups and choirs.
For the past 10 years, the Church has faithfully sought to serve The Lord and He has in turn truly blessed New Highland Baptist Church. We look forward to serving God in increasingly greater measure.
Church History Update – From our Fifteen Year Anniversary Celebration in 2013
As New Highland Baptist Church celebrates fifteen years in this location we praise God for His leadership in the past five years of growth and ministry.
Staff includes a Senior Pastor, Pastor of Family Ministries (youth), Pastor of Visitation and Senior Adults, Minister of Worship (music), Minister to Children, Accompanist, Day School Director, Administrative Assistant, Financial Administrative Assistant and two office volunteers.
The contemporary and blended worship services continue with a large music ministry of choirs, praise team, praise band for all ages and a Men’s Chorus has been added.
New Highland has a strong Missions heart. Members made trips to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake to help and provided shoes for the children at the Haiti Mission Orphanage. Volunteers and funds have gone to Camp Hope, a local inner-city one week camp for children, maintain a booth at the Hanover Tomato Festival, provide cookies and volunteers to the Central Virginia Fellowship of Raceway Ministries and give support to the Gospel Jail Ministry, donate large numbers of gift- filled shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, donate food monthly to the Central Virginia Food Bank, sponsor Upward Basketball, Scouting programs, a weekly Bible study at a residential facility, host a Wednesday Farmers Market on the church grounds, and CARITAS, and hold Vacation Bible School. The youth went to Myrtle Beach, SC and witnessed to people along the beach and in the area. The children’s Wednesday night missions program offers them the opportunity to visit local residential facilities and sing and visit. The church supports mission causes in the association, state, nationally and internationally with prayer and finances.
The Deacon-led Servant Ministry Teams are an approach to care for the congregation and enable members to join a team of either Bereavement, Homebound Visitation, Hospital Visitation, Guest Outreach and New Members, Meals, Prayer and Intercession, and Fix-it and Clean-up and serve others.
Over the past five years Sunday School attendance has averaged 190 and the two worship services average 306. We believe God has great plans for this community and is calling us to reach out. This led the church to begin 100 Days of Prayer. Prayer triplets were formed, met, prayed and shared as they sought God’s vision and wisdom for where He is leading New Highland in the next ten years. This led the church on a “Spiritual Strategic Journey” with a map of items to be complete in three-five years.
As the church enters its sixteenth year, it is beginning the “Experiencing God” course by Henry and Richard Blackaby. This study was brought to the congregation by the Deacons, church staff and key leaders to help individuals and congregations understand how to know and do the will of God. Multiple small groups will meet weekly through the fall of 2013 and are open to members, non-members, family and friends.
We the body of Christ at New Highland Baptist Church continue to praise and honor Him and seek as disciples to Know, Grow and Serve Christ now and in the years ahead.