Heritage History

Heritage Baptist Church was founded on November 7, 1993. The church met initially in the Whitley-Garner Funeral Home until it moved to the present location on Rose Avenue in Douglasville, Georgia.
During September of 1993, the founding members met three times at the old Douglas County Courthouse to discuss whether they would establish a new Southern Baptist church in Douglasville. Forty or so of the eventual charter members came together, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, they decided to found the church.
They decided to begin services during October. David Emerson asked Paul Cochran if the church could meet in the chapel of the Whitley-Garner Funeral Home on Highway 78. Wayne Garner, owner of Whitley-Garner, former state senator, immediately agreed to make almost the entire facility available for use for as long as needed.
On the urging of his wife, Carol, Judge Emerson contacted Reverend Bob Wiley of the Baptist Home Mission Board for his assistance. The membership called Reverend Wiley to serve as its initial pastor. He continued to serve the newly formed church until the church called Reverend John Hughes, the first full-time pastor.
The church outgrew the funeral home rapidly. It expanded to use the Cultural Arts Center for Sunday school space and the home of Dan and Barbara Phillips for children’s activities, as well as other homes though-out the community.
With the help of Charles L. Dodson, the church’s Building Committee chaired by Ray Hill, purchased from Wink Colley, the land at 8800 Rose Avenue on which the church is now located.
The name of the church occurred to one of the charter members as he drove along Rose Avenue to its intersection with Selman Drive; almost at the exact location of the land that the church would purchase more than a year later for its permanent home. The reason for the name “Heritage” is to reflect the Church’s devout adherence of the Baptist tradition of the priesthood of the Believer.
Eventually the church completed the construction of the present facility. In order to symbolize the importance of the role of each church member when the church moved, the believers carried the hand-made cross that now hangs in the foyer, by passing it from person to person from the funeral home to the sanctuary of the new building. Church members sang hymns of praise as they walked along with the cross as they made their way to the place of service where the members continue to this day to serve their Lord and Savior as a traditional Southern Baptist Church.