The Highland Lake Community Church is an old community church on the west side of Dulles International Airport. The airport's ILS landing conduit lines run underground near the church. It was where a group of rogue ex-Special Forces commandos, led by Colonel Stuart, used their base of operations for their makeshift airport communication and intrusment landing systems during their takeover of the Dulles Airport.
On Christmas Eve on 1990, two of Colonel Stuart's men, Baker and Thompson, arrived in the church posing as airport construction workers. Then they knocked on the door and the church's sole custodian (possibly a pastor too) opens the door. They are saying are going to check their conduit lines near their church. The custodian lets them in. As they we're inside, the custodian admits it doesn't feel right since the church is on the verge of being closed down and feels like a piece of him is dying. Then Baker kills the custodian as he and Thompson cleared the church's pews to make room for a larger space in the middle.
At the snowy night, Miller returned alone after Cochrane was killed in the airport's luggage handling room. Stuart and his mercenaries set up their makeshift control center in the church. One of the men setup the radar in the church's bell tower while Burke breaks up the conduit box to power up their systems. Once that was done, the mercenaries power up their systems while Burke and Kahn destroy the conduit lines connected to Dulles Tower, rendering the tower control systems offline. They set up trip wires outside the church.
The church remained in mercenary control all through the operation, which includes Stuart having Thompson re-calibrate the sea level to minus 200 feet, which allows Stuart to crash Windsor 114 plane and helping Esperanza find another runway after Foreign Military One lost cabin pressure. Then John McClane and IAD chief engineer Leslie Barnes arrived in the church and see Baker patrolling the church trying to act casual. Then McClane's beeper went off and Baker attacked him near the detached garage near the church. McClane grabbed an icicle near the detached garage and kills Baker with it. Then Major Grant and his men arrive. Then the shootout occurs in the church between Stuar's men and Grant's unit. Then Stuart escapes, along with General Esperanza, Garber, Kahn, Miller and Burke as they take snowmoblies as the back of the church. McClane follows them and kills Burke and Garber as he pursued them on Garber's snowmobile. Then Grant and his men went inside the church find that Stuart and his remaining men planted C4 at the equipment. The church was sealed off afterwards.