"A Brief History Of The Rockport Baptist Church"
The following is a historical record of the history of the Rockport Baptist Church. The author or authors are unknown to me and I will be glad to update this sentence to give them proper credit if and when I am made aware of to whom to give the credit. To the best of my knowledge, the following was written and used in a Church pamphlet, maybe at a "Note Burning Ceremony" in 1988. I have tried to use their text in its' entirety and to the best of my knowledge, all is factual. Not knowing the author(s), I am not only, not aware of being able to give them the proper credit, I also do not have their permission to use the material. I will make any needed corrections if further information becomes available. Thanks for your interest.
Rockport Baptist Church.
The Rockport Baptist Church was organized on March 10, 1876. The Church was first called the Baptist Church at Rockport, Ohio County, Ky. With 33 women and 18 men members. On March 25, 1876 the business voted to change the name to Rockport Baptist Church.
Reverend J. T. Casebier was called as first pastor in 1876.
On April 22, 1876, the Church voted to build the first house of worship. The ground for the Church was given by the Benton's. With the most of the timber donated by the members themselves. The building was completed in September of 1877. The formal dedication of the Church took place on September 22, 1877. The Reverend W. C. Taylor preached the dedicatory sermon using as his text Matthew 6:20.
On October 27, 1877 the Church elected three ladies as a special committee to raise money for the purchase of a Church bell. The ladies raised about thirty-six dollars and the remainder was raised by Br. H. J. Young in the City of Louisville.
The Church building was repaired throughout, in the fall of 1898. It was repaired and painted again in November of 1916. Electric lights were installed in January of 1920. The first organ was bought March 1892 and was used until March 12, 1921 when a piano was purchased. Early in 1938 the Church realized that need for Sunday School rooms and the twelve years all gifts and birthday offerings were added to the building fund. Early in 1950 the Church saw the great need for a new building. On February 11, 1950 the Church voted to build a new Church and to continue soliciting funds to meet that purpose. The new Church was used the first time on November 26, 1950. Sixty people were there in spite of a blinding snowstorm.
Through the years numerous additions and improvements on the church and grounds, such as bricking the Church, building a parsonage, restrooms, baptistery, carpeting, and seat cushions, library and parking lot. Until March 28, 1981 when fire destroyed the building. Bro. Recie Young was Pastor at the time the Church burned. The Church met the next day at the Western Elementary School and plans were made to rebuild immediately. The Presbyterian Church of Rockport graciously allowed the Church to meet in their building at an early hour until August 30, 1981. Five months and two days after the fire, enlarged modernized and beautified, by a labor of love. There the Church stood to the amazement and wonder of the congregation. A beautiful natural rock wall stands behind the baptistery, build by David Heltsley whose mother, Mrs. Goldie Heltsley was a charter member of the Church. A rugged cross was made of charred beams from the old Church and hangs on the natural rock wall. A reminder of the old and new and the suffering and victory of the Church and her Savior.
Dedication Service of the new Church was November 22, 1981. Dedication messages by our former Pastor Bro. Edgar Taylor.
The Church started a change offering soon after the new Church was built. The response to the change offering has been great.
The Lord has truly blessed us with offering and gifts and we have been able to pay off two small notes. We will have a note burning of these notes Sunday May 15, 1988.
The Following men have served the Church as pastors through the years.
To lose a Church building by fire and to be able to hold services in a rebuild Church in a time frame of five months is truly amazing. That can not happen unless there is a leader and a group of people that have a "Can Do" attitude that are willing to work with the leader. Instead of holding meeting after meeting and hashing over the problems, this group went to work. James Eddie Curtis took the problem in his hands and led by attitude, leadership, and hard work. Plans were made and the construction started. As Betty Sublett stated, "The volunteer work was unreal." James Eddie organized the volunteers into "Craft Sections" and a leader for each craft was selected. The electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and other crafts jobs were all done by volunteers. Some of the heavy equipment that was needed was furnished by Peabody Coal Company. The "Church Ladies" even got into the act by staining the woodwork, painting and some wallpaper work. There was so many volunteers, that did so much for the church project, that most of them will only be rewarded by self-satisfaction and of course, the Spiritual Blessing will always be with each and everyone. I will not attempt to name all of the volunteers. In doing so, I am sure that I would leave out countless helpers and probably give credit in an unfair manner. After all, the volunteers did not work for name recognition, but for the betterment of their community and for the self-satisfaction that comes from being able to look at a completed project and think; "I helped build that Church."
The Rockport Baptist Church has served the town of Rockport for over one hundred and thirty years. In that time frame the church has seen a multitude of Pastors enter her front doors. Some stayed for a short duration, while others served for a decade or more. Probably each preacher left some type of imprint on most people. The current Rockport Baptist Preacher is Robert Milburn. Robert and his wife presently live in Calhoun, KY. May he serve the town of Rockport well.
Sunday School----------------10:00 AM
Sunday Morning Worship-----11:00 AM
Sunday Evening Church-------6:00 PM
Wednesday Prayer Service----6:00 PM