March 26, 1948
A general meeting of the community to which all members of the Methodist and Baptist Churches and friends of the community were united, was held in the school house, 30 members being present. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of forming a community church to take place of the two churches now organized and having part time pastors. They felt they could best support one church with combined efforts and have a full time pastor. The plan presented was to use the Baptist Church building for the Community Church and use the Methodist Church for a Community Hall, both buildings to be under jurisdiction of one central Board of Trustees. Mr. Maurice Bowen was elected chairman of the meeting. Three committees were appointed, one to represent the Methodist Church, one to represent the Baptist Church, the other to make study and obtain information about Community Churches and how they are organized. Methodist members were to contact their members and see what their desire was and how much financial support could be raised for this endeavor. The Methodist Conference had to be contacted also to see what their reaction would be to the proposed change and what procedure to take to leave the conference. Baptist Church members were to contact their members in the same fashion and they were to contact the Baptist Church of Boyce with whom they jointly owned a parsonage, to determine their share.
Both church committees reported favorable on financial status as well as the finding of no difficulties of withdrawel from either present church affiliation with the Methodist Conference or the Boyce Parsonage Association. There was some reservation expressed, but with the committee reporting about the method of organizing a Community Church and being advised it was not unusual and there are many in the country, the members attending the meeting voted unanimously to form a Community Church. Mr. Melton Wright was serving the Methodist Church at this time and was asked to fill the pulpit for the Community Church.
September 16, 1948, at a general meeting final plans were discussed for organization of the Rockland Community Church. The constitution wording, order of service, and the nominating of officers for the year beginning November 1, 1948 were decided. Believing the same basic Christian doctrines and desiring to strengthen the Christian church in the community, the members decided, under the leadership of God, to form a nondenominational community church that would welcome into membership anyone who believed in Jesus Christ as Savior and who belonged to a Protestant denomination. Signs were placed at Nineveh and Cedarville intersections announcing the new church. The church moved forward very steadily and in August 1949 began to improve their holdings and branch out into other areas of ministry.
The list of dates and happenings that follow were very significant in the ministry of our church.
September 1893: Church acquired first organ.
Church was burned in 1922--Most of records lost at this time. It was rebuilt in 1923 at a cost of $7000.
Pastors of Rockland Baptist Church from:
Jan 18, 1874 - April 20, 1890
June 14, 1890 -
Nov. 1, 1948
Rev. G.B. Shepherd|
Rev. W.S. Dorset
Rev. G.B. Shepherd
Rev. J.B. Williams
Rev. C.V. Van Der Linden
Rev. Gordon Mason ($300 a year)
Rev. Dorgan B. Lucas
An active membership drive on September 25, 1938 was 34.
Dec. 19, 1943: Rockland and Boyce churches bought Bethel's share of the parsonage paying $250 as their 1/3 share each.
Yard parties and oyster suppers served by the women of the church seemed to be the means by which the repairs and needs of the church were met as well as the pastor's salary if it wasn't met. Records show proceeds from an oyster supper in September 18, 1891 as $23.26.
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