The church today, known as Stratford Heights Church of God, began as a prayer meeting in a Middletown home on Auburn Street in 1915. The prayer meetings expanded the need for a building which was constructed in 1917. By 1920, the church joined the Church of God Denomination. The church on Clayton Ave, named “Clayton Street Church of God” continued to grow in numbers and added many additions to the building to accommodate such growth. In 1973, the church outgrew Clayton Street necessitating the move to a larger building, formerly owned by Grace Baptist, was renamed to Harlan Park Church of God. The church purchased the ground Stratford Heights sits on today in 1965 but ground-breaking for our current building didn’t happen until March of 1991. That first phase was completed January 26,1992 including a 1000 seat sanctuary, offices, & class rooms. The second phase, included the gym, kitchen, and additional classrooms was completed in May 1994. In 2015, Stratford Heights celebrated 100 years and continuing the heritage of growth as we broke ground on July 12, 2015 for our newest building addition containing a youth and children’s facility. The newest addition will be dedicated and ready for use in October 2016.
Our current Pastor Ray Phillips attended Harlan Park as a teenager and fell in love with the church and its people. After graduating Lee College, now Lee University, he was hired by, our then senior pastor, W.D. Watkins to become our youth pastor. Under his leadership, the youth group thrived. On May 6, 2007, after an eighteen-year tenure as youth pastor, Pastor Ray became our Lead Pastor, upon Pastor Watkins’ retirement.