In 1997, three Presbyterian congregations located in the Lake Highlands/Casa Linda areas of Dallas [Colonial Presbyterian Church (USA); Northminster Presbyterian Church (USA) and Lake Park Presbyterian Church (Cumberland)] began to explore the concept of becoming one church. These three congregations had an accumulative history of over 200 years of ministry in the city.
The Vision: The vision was that the three congregations could unite as a single, stronger Presbyterian community of God located in the Lake Highlands community and that the ministries and programming associated with the single, stronger Presbyterian community of God would be more than any of the three could do alone. After almost three years of exploration, study, and prayer the three congregations requested their presbyteries to turn the concept into reality.
The Vision Becomes Reality: On January 17, 1999, as the result of a merger between Colonial Presbyterian Church (USA), Northminster Presbyterian Church (USA) and Lake Park Presbyterian Church (Cumberland), Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church (CPC/PCUSA) was formed. Each of the three former congregations brought their special programs to Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church, and we began the process of evolving into the single, stronger Presbyterian community of God with the vision of providing a strong witness of God's grace to the Lake Highlands community and beyond. Lake Highlands Presbyterian is the only Presbyterian Church within an area bounded by Central Expressway (US-75) on the west, Northwest Highway on the south and inside the LBJ Freeway (IH-635).
Organizing Service: Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church was formally organized as a Union Congregation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA) on January 17, 1999. Participating in the service were the Commissions of the Grace Presbytery, Presbyterian Church (USA) and Red River Presbytery, Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The Commission of the Grace Presbytery consisted of Richard Miller, Marshall Ziemann, John M. Purcell, Robert E. Shelton, G. Wilson Gunn, Ida Hassler, Robin Taylor, and Beth Wells. The Commission of the Red River Presbytery consisted of Betty Youngman, Randall McGee, Roosevelt Baugh, Judy Keith, Van McElroy, James Peabody, and Duane Dougherty. Robert M. Shelton, President of the Austin Presbyterian Seminary, delivered the sermon titled "Behold, I Am Doing A New Thing". The organist for the service was Barbara Merry, and the Choir Director was Terry Tosch. The hymns for the service were "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken" and "God of Grace and God of Glory". The choir sang the anthems, "First Song of Isaiah" and "Here I Am, Lord". Robert E. Shelton and John M. Purcell were installed as the pastors of the church. The session of the church was elected and installed, and trustees of the church elected. A copy of the Order of Service for the Organizing service may be found in the display case in the narthex of the sanctuary.