A Brief History of Highland Heights Presbyterian Church

member-infoHighland Heights Presbyterian Church was organized on December 11, 1921. The 21 charter members met in the home of Mr. and Mrs. R. F. Heaton until a frame church was erected at the corner of Summer and Holmes in 1922. Supply ministers served the church until Dr. Turney B. Roddy graduated from Seminary. He was ordained on June 8, 1924, and served the church as minister until November 1, 1956.

In 1926 construction began on a Sunday School building. A brick building was erected to replace the original frame building, and the congregation worshipped in the new Sanctuary for the first time in February 1940. A fellowship building with additional educational space was completed in 1955.

The church grew rapidly in those early years, peaking at 950 members in 1952. For a number of years, membership leveled out and then began a gradual decline. The disappearance of neighborhood schools hastened the decline of the Highland Heights area, and the church also suffered. By 1992, the membership had declined to 250, with an average worship attendance of 110.

In 1994 the congregation, under the leadership of the pastor, Dr. James Quillin, voted to move east of Memphis to Cordova but to keep the Highland Heights name. Ground was broken for the new church at the corner of Highway 64 and Morning Sun Road on August 20, 1995. The congregation worshipped at Evergreen Presbyterian Church from December 1994 until the new church was completed. The first service in the new Sanctuary was held on July 21, 1996. The congregation had around 150 active members when they moved to Cordova. As of January 1, 2008, the congregation has grown to over 325 active members.

On January 1, 2001, the Rev. Tim Foster came to Highland Heights as Dr. Quillin’s Co-Pastor. Rev. Foster is the grandson of the late Rev. L. K. Foster, who was minister at the church from June 1957 through May 1964.

Throughout her history, Highland Heights has had strong men’s and women’s organizations and an active Presbyterian Youth Fellowship. The church has an outstanding music ministry, which includes an adult choir, an ensemble, a children’s hand bell choir, and an adult hand bell choir. In recent years the church began four new programs: a senior adults ministry, a youth recreation ministry, a chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous, and a Parents’ Day Out.

In 2002 the congregation held Sunday School classes for the first time in a new educational building named in honor of Dr. Quillin. On Sunday, August 27, 2006, the congregation celebrated both the 10th anniversary of the church being in Cordova and the 20th anniversary of Dr. Quillin’s pastorate.

On December 5, 2008, following a unanimous vote of its Session and of its congregation, Highland Heights Presbyterian Church changed its denominational affiliation to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), leaving the Presbyterian Church (USA) [PC(USA)] after an association of 25 years. Prior to that, Highland Heights had been associated for 62 years with the former Presbyterian Church in the United States, commonly referred to as the Southern Presbyterian Church in the United States, before that denomination had been united with the Northern Church to form the present PC(USA). With this new change of denominational affiliation, Highland Heights has now become a member of the Central-South Presbytery of the EPC and will continue its lifelong commitment to teaching, preaching, living, and sharing the Word of God in this community and to the fulfillment of the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

The Ministers of Highland Heights

Rev. Dr. Turney B. Roddy 6/8/1924 – 11/1/1956
Rev. Lewis Knox Foster 6/1957 – 5/1964
Rev. Allan C. Anderson 5/2/1965 – 2/6/1969
Rev. William T. Grimstead 8/31/1969 – 12/31/1984
Rev. Paul Y. Harlan (Interim)   4/1/1985 – 3/31/1986
Rev. Dr. James H. Quillin 8/27/1986 – 12/31/2008
Rev. Dr. Timothy S. Foster 1/1/2001 – Present
Rev. Jerry Brundle 9/8/2014 – Present