“New Hebron Baptist Church”

   On or about the latter part of 1883, Richard Lee Hightower, for and on behalf of the
Hightower Community, deeded one acre of land from his estate on the Shreveport-Grand Bluff
Road, one mile west of Hightower Homestead to the School Board for the purpose of erecting a
building to serve as a school building, church and community center. He made two requests,
upon signing the deed:
         1. That if the church was organized that it bear the name Hebron Baptist Church
         2. That in the event of abandonment of the property for use as a school or church,
             the property reverts to his estate
   The nearest Baptist church was in Bethany, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, known as the
Boggy Bayou Baptist Church of Christ, a wagon road distance of approximately six miles.
Members of the Hightower family, their kin and friends residing in their homesteads attended
this church. In order to accommodate this community, Boggy Bayou Baptist Church consented
and their pastor held services i the first Sunday of each month in the Hightower School House.
This recommendation was entered in the minutes of the church in September 1886. These
minutes also reflect that R. L. Hightower (after years of prodding) was elected a deacon on the
third Sunday in April 1887 and ordained the first Sunday in June of the same year.
   The building served as a school for grades one through ten, and on the fourth Sunday in
September of 1887, the Hebron Baptist Church was organized. It flourished until 1918. People
moving to the cities and the First World War had taken many from this area causing the church
to be abandoned and the school consolidated with Elysian Fields School.
   Richard Lee Hightower died in 1890, only three years after the organization of the
church. His estate was divided among his children. Richard L. (Dee) Hightower, only surviving
son of his second marriage, received that portion of the estate form when the one acre of land
had originally been taken, therefore, upon the abandonment of the property, he came into full
ownership of the land.
   In 1955, Mary Hightower Fortson, oldest daughter of Richard Lee, and sister to Richard
L. (Dee), saw her dread for 38 years start taking on reality. She, being the only surviving charter
member of the old church, alone with a few fellow Baptists of this community, was successful in
reviving the church. Within a year, this group, by an uphill struggle, moved into the new small
but neat sanctuary. This church bears the name, “New Hebron Baptist Church,” and is built on
the same acre of grounds the old church was – Richard L. (Dee) had gladly deeded it back to the
group to be used as a church ground. The membership has grown slowly but steadily, with
people now migrating from the cities back to the rural areas.
The reviving of the church was due to a split in the Bethany Baptist Church.