History of College Heights


Breaking ground


College Heights began its ministry in 1912, when a wood-framed chapel was built in a single day on the corner of Finney Street and South Boulevard, where the present church stands.  It was known as Dixieland Methodist Episcopal Church, South.



 A parsonage was built across Finney Street in 1923, and in 1924 the present building, with its beautiful stained glass windows, was completed.



 In 1926 the name of the church was changed to College Heights, reflecting the close ties to Florida Southern College, which had moved to Lakeland in 1922. Students and faculty worshiped at College Heights, and the pastors of the church served for many years as chaplains at the college.

The educational wings were built in the 1950s, a new parsonage was constructed on West Oak Drive in 1963, and Success House, which hosts many community groups, was built in 1995.  An Hispanic ministry was begun in 1968, and after being located elsewhere for three years, it returned to College Heights in 2011.  A preschool was established in 1977, and a Boy Scout troop was sponsored by the church for more than 60 years.


2017 (photo credit: Randy Johnson)

 College Heights has always been a mission-minded church.  From support of missionaries in the Belgian Congo in the 1930s and 1940s to the many outreaches of today, the church has answered the call to serve.


Church organ

We are fortunate enough to have a custom built pipe organ with chimes.  This marvelous instrument was built by the A.E. Schlueter Pipe Organ Company.