Our History

In May of 1999, a small group of believers gathered together to reflect and pray at a small suburban home in Needham on a street called High Rock. While their ages and backgrounds varied, their visions were unified: together, they believed God was showing them something new - that He could reach a new generation of believers and non-believers alike with a new kind of church. Words like community, seeker-sensitivity, and multi-ethnicity were discussed and named as key values for this group of believers; core convictions of their common calling.

By June, these believers, now numbering twenty, began meeting in the common room of a house in Cambridge, with seminarian Peter Sung preaching the first sermon. Later that summer, after establishing its first public meeting place at the YWCA in Central Square, the members decided on the name "Highrock" for their church, a reminder of the street where they first met to pray and dream.

The first Easter service provided the year's highlight, with over one hundred people in attendance and a dozen accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior. Following that exciting first year, Highrock found itself at a crossroads, with too few small groups and not enough active partners in ministry to adequately sustain it. This led to the hiring of Pastor Dave Swaim in July 2000 as Highrock's first senior pastor, whose energy and experience were and continue to be gifts from God.

At the end of the year, having outgrown the space at the YWCA, anticipating future growth, and desiring a more permanent location to serve, Highrock moved into a church in Davis Square. In 2003, Highrock joined the Evangelical Covenant Church, an active, growing denomination of more than 700 churches. Five years later, with a solid core of committed members invested in the church, Highrock took a step of faith and purchased a church in Arlington, its first permanent home.

In 2006, Highrock begins a new chapter in its history. We who call Highrock our home look forward to the ways in which God will work through us to minister to the town of Arlington, where we can be a reflection of and point others towards Christ. The original vision of the church has remained strong over the years, from Needham to Somerville and now in Arlington, and is encapsulated in a single, simple statement: Transformation through Connecting with God Personally, God's People, and God's Purposes. We believe that God still has many more exciting chapters in store for Highrock, as we as a church body continue to follow His leading with obedience and boldness. Your prayers, energy, love, gifts, and talents will be a part of building this church - which we hope is a pleasing offering to our Lord.

Please read more about our vision and values here.