High Ridge Missionary Baptist Church was founded and organized by a small group of concerned brothers and sisters in 1936. The group assembled in an area of Henry County then known as Chigger Ridge (the name Chigger Ridge originated because the area was infested with chiggers during the berry season).
The late Patrick Dillard was instrumental in bringing the late Reverend Ben R. Finney to the area, which resulted in the establishment of organized spiritual guidance to the members of the Chigger Ridge community. Reverend Ben R. Finney subsquently served as the first Pastor for this group.
Reverend Finney uplifted the spirits of this small group of members by emphasizing the virtures of praying, singing, and exalting the goodness of God.
In 1936, the late Clara Scales donated land for the construction of a permanent church towards providing for the spiritual needs of the community. The edifice was christened High Ridge Missionary Baptist Church (the name High Ridge was chosen because of the location of the church on a high elevation).
After the church was constructed, Reverend Finney preceded to organize the first missionary circle, the first Sunday School, and the first deacon board. In addition to his accomplishments as a leader of this fledging church, Reverend Finney ordained the late Reverend Richard Earnest Hairston.
II. Late 1940's - 1967
Beginning in the late 1940's through 1967, Reverend Jacob Dillard of Eden, North Carolina served as pastor. Under the dynamic leadership of Reverend Dillard, a board of trustees was established, pastor's aid organized, and a church program committee was formed. In addition, Reverend Dillard supported the development and implementation of a strong youth department that resulted in the rapid growth of the church tothe extent that in 1958 a new church was erected. His forsight leadership contributed to the growth of the church during this period.
III.1968 - 1970
From 1968 to 1970, the late Reverend Willie James Robinson of Winston-Salem, North Carolina administered to the spiritual needs of the congregation and emphasized the observance of anniversaries of the organizations within the church. Also, Reverend Robinson was instrumental in improving the youth department and officiated in the laying of the church cornerstone.
IV. 1971 - 1978
From 1971 to 1978, Reverend Edker Whipple of Danville, Virginia supported and improved the established organizations of the church including the reorganization of Pastor's Aide. Reverend Whipple was instumental in establishing a building fund for future church expansion and growth.
V. 1978 - 1997
In 1978, Reverend Johnsey Franklin Reynolds was installed as pastor. While under the leadership of Reverend Reynolds, the church underwent extensive renovations: the expansion of Sunday school department (addition of four classrooms), a room for the choir and Pastor's study, and modernization of the sanctuary and vestibule. These improvements greatly enhanced the mission of the church.
VI. 1998 - Present
Reverend Ray T. Arrington was installed as the 6th Pastor of the High Ridge Baptist Church on September 27, 1998. Reverend Arrington's dedication to his religious life flourished at Pilgrim Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend Dwight O. Steele, Sr. Pastor Arrington also managed and sung with the Disciple Gospel Singers. He also was a deacon, Sunday school instructor and junior deacon's coordinator. He was called to ministry in June of 1989 and later became pastor of Green Spring Missionary Baptist Church in Goodview, Virginia, where he lead the congregation for seven years.
He is a native of Bedford County, Virginia, and now resides in Roanoke. He is also a graduate of Susie Gibson High School, in Bedford Virginia and he also attended Virginia Western Community College and Seminary in Roanoke, Virginia. He also graduated from the Richmond Seminary with a Masters in Theology in 2007. As of October 2009, he is a candidate for Doctorates of Ministry at Virginia University of Lynchburg. As a Vietnam veteran (U.S. Marine corps), Reverend Arrington is a former member of the Ministerial Alliance in Roanoke and of Martinsville and Henry County; Vinton, and Salem, Virginia as well as the NAACP, Peaks of Otter Baptist Association. Currently Reverend Arrington is a member of the Smith River Missionary Baptist Association and the Minister's Alliance of Martinsville/Henry County.
Reverend Arrington is married to Rosa Noell Arrington of Forest, Virginia and together they have three daughters: Valerie, Nicole, and Sonja. They are blessed with six grandchildren: Charles, Kevin, LaQuan, Brandi, Melanie, and Koran' and 3 great-grandchildren.Under Reverend Arrington's leadership, High Ridge has established a newsletter (High Times At High Ridge), a technology committee, a media room with wireless internet access, a church webpage, a reading committee (C.A.R.E.), and extensive renovation has been done to the sanctuary and fellowship hall with much more to come.
Reverend Arrington is a person who never meets a stranger and stands on the Holy Word. His favorite scripture is Phillippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me".