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Highland Park Baptist Church and Lead Pastor Kevin Myers dedicate new campus with prayer and song

Jul 31, 2022
Large lit cross on the new Highland Park Baptist Church building in Texarkana.
A large, backlit Cross glows in the night sky at the dedication of the new building of Texarkana's Highland Park Baptist Church.

Even though heavy rain greeted members and guests of Texarkana's Highland Park Baptist Church early Saturday evening, it didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits for the dedication of the church's beautiful new campus.

In fact, Lead Pastor Kevin Myers said he was thrilled with the badly needed rain and joked that the dedication should have happened a month ago since rain would inevitably have come to the big event.

Kevin Myers welcomes guest to the New Building Dedication Service for Highland Park Baptist Church in Texarkana
Lead Pastor Kevin Myers welcomes members and guests to the new campus of HPBC.

In the run-up to the new campus, Highland Park has been focusing on winning people to Christ. And the church has had near-constant baptisms each Sunday that Kevin Myers promised will continue at the new campus.

Worship Pastor and University of Arkansas graduate Eric Beechem excitedly told the crowd about his two-year anniversary at Highland Park as he marveled at the new building and celebrated in song.

Eric Beechem of Highland Park Baptist Church at New Building Dedication Service
Worship Director Eric Beechem thanks the church with Don Howren.

With Texarkana Symphony Orchestra Singers Conductor Don Howren looking on, Eric Beechem praised the sound quality in the new building. He said Jeff White and the soon-to-be-married Caleb Coleman deserved particular praise for the building's custom lighting, sound, and video. 

Beechem said White and Coleman wanted to do all of the work for the church to perfectly fit the needs of the new campus. And Beechem was pleased: "Isn't it beautiful! And doesn't it sound great?" he asked the crowd - who then clapped in appreciation.

However, much of the heavy lifting on the building project was done by local developer Gary Strickland.  Pastor Kevin Myers singled Strickland out for his hard work on the new Highland Park campus and promised that one day soon, he would surprise him with something special. 

Strickland has spent countless hours working on the Highland Park Baptist Church project over many years, and the pastor wanted Strickland and his wife to know that he and the congregation were thankful.

Lead Pastor Kevin Myers speaks with Gary Strickland and his wife at the new building dedication in Texarkana
Pastor Kevin Myers congratulates Mr. and Mrs. Gary Strickland for the hard work on the new building.

In a lighthearted moment, the pastor insinuated that Mrs. Strickland was her husband's secret to success, and Gary Strickland didn't disagree. 

Highland Park Baptist Church, affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, has a long history in Texarkana, Texas, at 2401 Hazel St. in the historic Highland Park area. And Highland Park Baptist Church will be keeping its name as it moves across the city.

Weeks ago, Lead Pastor Kevin Myers had cheerfully announced that the former HPBC campus had been sold to the Texarkana non-denominational church Transformation Center International - Kingdom Embassy - which was already located on Hazel Street.

Later in the service, Highland Park's newest staff member, Steven Mathias, who recently returned from Glorieta with the church's youth, offered a thoughtful prayer. Mathias is in charge of the youth, and Children's Ministry Director Leah McMunn is the talented caretaker of all children's activities at Highland Park.

Steven Mathias of Highland Park Baptist Church Texarkana prays at the New Building Deidcation Ceremony in Texarkana
Youth Pastor Steven Mathias offers a heartfelt prayer.

Even though the rain was heavy, the turnout was significant. And the crowd included missionaries, local dignitaries, and former members. Highland Park luminaries like Joe Lane and Thelma Barrett also attended on Saturday evening.

Worship Director Eric Beechem offered a substantial music program, including a stirring solo by Cathy Burgess of Hillsong's "What A Beautiful Name." 

Kevin Myers and wife Lisa Myers stand at the front of the church as they are thanked by Highland Park Baptist Church
Kevin and Lisa Myers are thanked by HPBC-Texarkana for their unwavering support.

Kevin Myers and his wife, Lisa Myers, were called to the stage. Pastor Kevin, who grew up attending Beech Street First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Arkansas, was chosen as Highland Park's leader in December 2003. Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of his pastoral administration at Highland Park Baptist Church.

Current deacons and some former deacons of Highland Park Baptist Church "laid hands" on Lead Pastor Kevin Myers in a compelling moment during the new building dedication ceremony.

Highland Park Baptist Church deacons lay hands on Pastor Kevin Myers at the New Building Dedication Service in Texarkana
Deacons gather around Lead Pastor Kevin Myers.

The new campus is being built in phases - with Phase One now complete. The project's next step will include a new sanctuary for the growing church, and it appears that builder Gary Strickland will continue his lead role on the project. 

The evening ended with Associate Pastor and Minister of Education Danny Simmons offering inspiring words and essential information about the church's first Sunday in the new building.

Danny Simmons, Minister of Education at Highland Park Baptist Church, offers words of thanks to the congregation in Texarkana
Words of wisdom from Associate Pastor Danny Simmons end the dedication service.

After almost a decade of work and prayer, the dedication of Lead Pastor Kevin Myers and the Highland Park Baptist Church family has paid off mightily, as the feeling of accomplishment was palpable during the new building dedication service.

However, the work of Highland Park Baptist Church is not done.

Pastor Kevin Myers of Highland Park Baptist Church thanks the design team
Lead Pastor Kevin Myers thanks the interior design team for the new campus.

Phase Two of the building program is already in the works. And the HPBC leadership team (Kevin, Eric, Danny, Steven, and Leah) have already begun winning lost souls in the Texarkana area at the new building as the church preps for today - the first Sunday morning at the new campus.

While the pastor profusely thanked the congregation, contributors, design team, and the builder, there was absolutely no doubt in the audience that he gave all the glory to God for the past, present, and future of Highland Park Baptist Church.

Editor's note: Highland Park Baptist Church is located at 1000 S. Bishop Road in Texarkana, Texas. Bible Study classes begin at 9:15 a.m., and the Worship Service starts at 10:30 a.m. The new building dedication was held on July 30, 2022, and the first Sunday in the new building is today, July 31, 2022.

Do you see the Cross in the early construction photo of the HPBC campus? 

Early construction photo of dirt and building progress for Highland Park Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas.
Now that's a firm foundation: The HPBC building site appears to show a flat Cross in this image at the start of construction.

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