Washington Heights Baptist Church

Our History

Washington Heights Baptist Church began in 1957 with a small group meeting in the Christian Activities Center in downtown Dayton under the name “Grace Baptist Fellowship.” Rev. Robert McCarthy, the first pastor, served in that position for over ten years.

In 1962, the church broke ground for construction of a new building, changing the name to Washington Heights Baptist Church. The new name was chosen because of the location – the highest hill on Far Hills Avenue and in Washington Township. The first service was held in the new building on April 15, 1964.

In September 1965, eleven members of our congregation left to birth a daughter church, Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Fairborn.

Rev. Larry Fetzer was called to serve as pastor in 1968. During the next several years, the church showed a pattern of consistent and healthy growth during which the membership nearly tripled. In 1970 two classroom wings were added, providing eleven additional classrooms.

The church continued to grow, and in 1976 two worship services were initiated. Five acres of land and a parsonage were purchased that year. A September ground-breaking for the next building phase included plans for our present 750-seat auditorium, eleven new classrooms, offices, a choir room, and library. In 1984, the first floor of a two-story educational building was completed, with the second story being finished in 1988.

Again in 1985 Washington Heights gave birth to a daughter church when 42 people from our congregation formed the Clearcreek Chapel Baptist Church in Springboro.

In the spring of 1989, Pastor Fetzer resigned from Washington Heights after over 20 years of ministry here. Dr. Dan Gelatt was called as pastor in November 1989 and served until January 1995. 

Dr. David Drullinger filled the pulpit as interim pastor until Pastor David Kisner was called in February 1996.

June 28, 2007 marked the ground-breaking for the Community Life Center. In October of 2009 Washington Heights opened the doors of our new Community Life Center. The Community Life Center houses the Activity Center (gymnasium), an industrial kitchen, a suite of offices, a youth center and choir rooms, It allowed for the expansion of our AWANA program, Young at Heart Luncheons, and the addition of outreach such as Upward Basketball, Men's basketball leagues, and summer basketball and volleyball camps. 

Join us this Sunday for worship – 9:00am and 10:30am