Rev. Jerry Couch stands in the sanctuary of Highland Park Baptist Church, where he and his congregation will celebrate the church's 60th anniversary on Sunday.


It is said that it’s the people who are the church and not the building itself, so when a church celebrates a milestone, it is the people who rejoice over how long the place that brought them together has been there.
The congregation of Highland Park Baptist Church will celebrate the church’s 60th anniversary Sunday. Lunch will be served after the morning services and following the meal, they will host a Remembrance Service to honor the memory of members who have passed away during the last 10 years. 
Members will also get to share their experiences in the church and the Highlanders Quartet will perform.
“Anniversaries are always exciting and I want to invite anyone out to enjoy the day with us and eat with us,” said Jerry Couch, pastor since 2010. “Everyone is looking forward to it and are excited.”
Couch said it has been nice seeing members coming by to spruce up the church with small repairs. People have been stopping by when they notice something that needs to be done and do it so the church looks its best for the event.
In 1950, Duncan First Baptist Church had the church constructed and called it Southside Mission Church because they wanted to have a church on that side of town for the many Halliburton executives who lived there during that time. It was in 1953 that the church became Highland Park Baptist.
Because of congregation growth in the late 1970s, the Highland Center was constructed in 1980. It now holds a gym and all of the church offices.
“Some of the people who started the church went back to First Baptist, while others stayed and helped it continue to grow” said Couch. “We have several ex-members coming back for the anniversary and my son, who was the music director here in the late 90s is coming back and will be doing the music.”
Now, Couch said the congregation is on average in the 70s to 80s during Sunday morning services. Although the church has had its ups and downs like many other churches, he believes Highland is on the upward swing.
All of the previous pastors who are still living have been invited to the big event as well. Although there are three charter members still living that they know of, Couch said they would not be able to make it.
“There are still several members who started here as children and still go here as adults that will be there,” he said.

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