A century ago, a small group of dedicated Christians living in the southwest section of the rural Battle Hill Community began their long and rugged journey on life’s “Highway to Heaven.” These were the saints who continued to water the seeds sown by their forefathers during the dark dreary years of slavery. They organizeda “Prayer Band” in 1896 to worship and praise God through their prayers and testimonies, sometimes gathering in homes or outside under a huge oak tree in worship.
A ministry evolved lead by Mr. Boston Lamar and came to meet in a prayer hall built over his country store. In 1898, Mrs. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Lamar, Boston’s mother and devoted member of the group, donated a plot of land for a church and a small white church was built on Greensferry Road (subsequently renamed Gordon Road and presently Martin Luther King, Drive). The structure was a one room frame building with a vestibule and sanctuary, heated by a pot-bellied, coal burning stove and lit with kerosene lamps. The main attraction of this little church was its steeple bell that could be heard for miles on Sunday mornings.
The church was called “Lamar’s Chapel” and in later years, after becoming affiliated with the Methodist Conference, it came to be known as “Battle Hill Methodist Church.” The cornerstone was laid bearing the names of the first pastor, Reverend G.W. Harp and three trustees: Boston Lamar, L.R. Hill and I. E. McGuire. Membership increased as the years passed and many pastors made outstanding contributions to the sacred heritage.
By 1952 time had deteriorated the old structure and more modern facilities were needed to meet the needs of a growing institution. Under the dynamic leadership of Reverend C. I. Smith and with the cooperation of the congregation, sufficient funds were raised to by land. The church was also able to qualify for a supplement from the Methodist Conference. Two lots were acquired at cost of $2200.00 and deeds were presented to the church on September 29, 1955. The church’s name was changed to Gordon Road Methodist Church.
With the acquisition of additional land, the cooperation of the increasing membership, supplement from the Methodist Conference and by the Grace of God, the members and friends along with the pastor, Rev. C. I. Smith, marched into the new structure in August 1956. After many years of growth, the church rechartered in 1984, and under the leadership of Reverend Warren L. Henry, Sr., the congregation assembled in its new church home in East Point, Georgia, as Headland Heights United Methodist Church on June 23, 1984.
Currently under the dynamic leadership of Pastor Matt A. Murphy, descendants of the Lamar, Hill and McGuire families continue to worship and provide lay leadership to our congregation. We still believe in the power of prayer and a commitment to discipleship, evangelism and witness as we minister to one another through worship and small group study.