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Church reflects on past with vision for the future

For Mona Paige, the process of exploring the history of Washington Heights Church of God began with a simple message. Reflecting on the church’s mission of “living the vision for church growth,” the past seemed an obvious avenue to help shape the church’s future.

“We have to see the vision within the church, so I prayed and asked God to give me something to do to help with the vision,” Paige said.

While the current sanctuary is tucked away in a wooded area on Hodges Avenue, the history of the church dates back to 1914, when a couple named Henry B. and Mary B. Moore started a church at a storefront in the Washington Heights neighborhood, near the property where Eastern Elementary School stands today.

Researching records at the Beaufort County Courthouse and the Brown Library, Paige was able to learn more about the construction of the church building, which occurred sometime around 1947, under the guidance of trustees Martha Stokes, Bertha Cobb and Isaac Cobb.

“It also went to our national headquarters, which is in Cleveland, Tennessee,” Paige said. “It started from a storefront in 1914, and it had to go on and become a part of the International Church of God.”

From the storefront to the sanctuary it is today, the church is continuing to make improvements. Clearing woods around the building, the congregation hopes to grow its visibility.

According to the church’s pastor, Bishop James Boston, a generation of influential Washington pastors has come through the church. On Sept. 29, the Assembly of God will host a reunion for all former members at the church.

“A lot of people migrated out of this place, so this is a real hub of greater things to come,” Boston said.

A historic site for Washington, the church is continuing to thrive to this day. While Boston says that it is important to reflect on the congregation’s rich past, he hopes to see the church continue to grow and prosper in the years to come.

“Looking back at the past, you have to recognize that you live in the present and then you have to go into the future,” Boston said. “Vision is the future. You have to see greater than where you are. If we only see where we are in these four walls, then this is all we want to do. There has to be a greater vision.”

To learn more about Washington Heights Church of God, find the church on Facebook or call 252-975-2551.