In the 18th century Scotch Presbyterian settlers of lower York County and northern Harford gathered at a small church near Muddy Creek known as “Log Church in the Barrens.” Presbyterians from this area traveled the long and rough roadways to this rustic church because there were no other Presbyterian churches until the mid‐1800s when Slate Ridge and North Bend churches were built.
By 1885 the prosperous farming families of Highland began to consider pooling their resources to build a new church at Highland. In just two years enough people were committed to the project that adequate funds were raised and a charter was secured. James P. Street, John W. Galbreath, George A. Davis, and Hugh T. Heaps were appointed as trustees, serving as the building committee.
The name of Drucilla Streett should be familiar to everyone who attends Highland – her name is honored by her family in the beautiful round “rose window” above the pulpit. Drucilla donated the land directly across from the church building, known as the grove. This property was used in the early years as a place to hitch and shelter horses. Although she gave the land for the building of the church, the property where the church building stands today was deemed more suitable, likely because of its greater size.
The construction of our beautiful Gothic sanctuary, including the stained-glass windows that many agree are among the loveliest in the county, the roof made of Peach Bottom slate cut into a pleasing pattern, and the 65‐foot bell tower was begun in 1888 and finished the following year. The first service was held in January 1890.
By 1932 Highland’s congregation had grown and more Sunday School space and a social hall were needed. The congregation worked hard to raise the money to build the addition that includes our assembly room where we meet after worship, two classrooms that are now offices, and a small stage. On the basement level a kitchen, social hall and nursery were added. About 20 years later, in 1954, an office and study for the pastor, with its own entrance, was added.
By 1969, the congregation had grown even larger and more space was needed for social events and for classroom space, as well as new restrooms. The addition that was planned was ambitious and would double the size of the church, but the congregation took on the project and raised the funds needed to accomplish its goal.
Continuing to grow, in 2013 the congregation once again mounted another successful Capital Campaign to raise funds for another addition that would expand existing kitchen
space, provide new handicapped accessible restrooms on the upper and lower levels and install an elevator that would provide much needed mobility throughout the entire building.
In 2014 our fellowship hall underwent a major facelift and was named in honor of our Pastor Emeritus, Rev. Dr. William J. Netting in January 2015 as we celebrated our 125th Anniversary. With all of these improvements we are able to fully enjoy gathering in Netting Hall for times of fellowship during luncheons, dinners, and other events, as well as allowing us to better serve the community.