Church HistoryIt was seen in a vision…
It was conceived in their hearts…
It was manifested through their faith…
Two touched and agreed…
And the ministry of Highview Park Christ Church Holiness was born.
More than a century ago…
Although the records state that the church was established in 1900, the church really began its ministry before then, because a church usually begins in the hearts and minds of some people with a vision. At some point, a group led by that vision established a church in what was then a segregated neighborhood known as Ballston Heights in Arlington, Virginia. Originally named Highview Park Christ Church Holiness, the church was established on a plot of land donated by Sister Margaret Daman, one of the founding members. A former member said that the building was no more than a bush shack. But we believe it was a cathedral to those who worshiped within its sanctified walls. “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, and it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” – Matthew 18:19.
The membership grew slowly through the efforts of a faithful few and the church continued to develop during those early years, as men and women went about God’s business of establishing procedures on how the church should function. Although the membership was small, there was never any reason to be slothful or disorderly. “Let us behave decently…” – Romans 13:13
Church of Christ Holiness
The church joined the Church of Christ Holiness USA (COCHUSA) organization and served under its leadership for many years. Assigned to the Eastern Diocese of the Northern District in Hampton, Virginia, delegates from the Sunday school and the Christian Willing Women Workers regularly attended conferences and National conventions. “Hitherto hath the Lord help us” – 1 Samuel 7:12
In the 1930s, the leaders established a higher calling that did not tolerate deviations from the Word of God. Leaders and members alike were held accountable through church discipline and discipleship. During his tenure, Pastor Isaiah H. Coleman made constant house calls to ensure that members were not derelict in attendance and duty. “They are steadfast forever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness” – Psalms 111:8
There were many lean years in terms of membership and funds. Yet, a parsonage was built for the pastor’s residence and plots were purchased for the members in a Washington, D.C. cemetery. A bell was also purchased for the church tower and was a familiar sound to which the young and the old responded. “But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4:19
1940′s Highview Park Holiness
During the 1940s, the name was changed to Highview Park Holiness and the church discontinued its affiliation with COCHUSA and has remained independent ever since. Pastor Coleman later relocated to Lynchburg, Virginia where he served as pastor of Diamond Hill Baptist Church.
1980′s Highview Park Christian Assembly
After Pastor Paul Moore’s departure in the mid-fifties, Elder James A. Reid took the helm in June 1959. Under his leadership, the church continued to develop leaders that proved to be essential to the ministry. The 1980’s were especially a productive period for the church. In 1986, the name was again changed to Highview Park Christian Assembly to accommodate the progressive thinking of the church. A groundbreaking ceremony opened the way for a new edifice to be built, which doubled the seating capacity and provided a fully functional lower auditorium. Adjacent property was purchased for expansion and the financial tracking system was automated. A radio broadcast aired on Saturday; eight ministers were ordained; and two churches formed from the loins of his ministry – Tree of Life Bible Church and New Hope Trinity Bible Church. It was an exciting time in the history of the church. However, sadly a year after retiring, Elder Reid was called home to be with the Lord on July 13, 1998.
2005: Highview Christian Fellowship moves to Fairfax
On October 17, 1997, Bishop Phillip O. Thomas was elected to serve as the next Under Shepherd. Bishop Thomas developed thirty-five ministries; a Ministers Training Institute, and the Mark of Excellence Community Outreach Center. He designed a website, church logo and slogan; new member manual which includes 10-week orientation; mandatory leadership training, "Hightimes," a bimonthly newsletter; annual conferences and retreats for men, women and youth; and children’s church.
After 100 years in Arlington, under his watchful leadership, a new multi-million dollar facility was purchased and the membership relocated to Fairfax, Virginia. The new facility doubled the seating capacity, includes an adjacent transformational home for women, and the Mark of Excellence preschool. The name of the church was changed to Highview Christian Fellowship to accommodate the move. And a farewell service in Arlington included testimonies by neighbors and a final walk of blessing through the neighborhood.
The church is a member of several alliances: the Praise Covenant Interdenominational Fellowship (PCIF); the Northern Virginia Black Pastors Council, and the Collective Bankers Group.
For 100 years, the church has truly been blessed with people who have had a vision of reaching people for Christ. Our church is a family and we are bound together through our mutual commitment to Christ and love for each other. Though God has added many, we still sense that we are more part of a family than we are members of a church.
Therefore, we shall continue to
Embrace and Keep the faith…
Pray for guidance and direction…
Lead the lost to Christ…
Moreover, the vision continues – “the days are
near when every vision will be fulfilled” – Ezekiel 12:23
To our knowledge, the following have served at various times as pastor.
Reverend Isaiah H. Coleman
Reverend Paul Moore
Reverend James A. Reid
Bishop Phillip O. Thomas.