The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner
The Rozetta Baptist Church had an unusal problem Sunday, the overflow room of the sanctuary had overflowed as members and several who had moved away, returned to celebrate the 175th year of their church. Squeezing another row of chairs across the back, guaranteed all a seat as the 10:00 service began with praise, worship, and thanksgiving.
Gary Meyer rang the church bell to call people to worship.
Everyone was welcomed and Bill Allaman gave a brief history of the birth of the church beginning in 1837 which coincided with the birth of well-known evangelist Dwight L. Moody.
B.C. Coghill and W.C. Ellett and their families settled within 4 miles of the present church and were instrumental in getting other families interested in starting a church. In 1849 a new meeting house was nearly complete but within ten years, trustees voted to build a new and larger church. The church was to cost $1800 at 15%.
In 1902, it was resolved to either remodel or rebuild and soon improvements were made including pews, stained glass windows and a new belfry.
Eighty-two years later in 1984, a major remodeling project included new heating, air conditioning, lighting, replacing the foundation and building a basement and adding an overflow room to the sanctuary. A new kitchen, restrooms and Sunday school rooms were added to the lower level.
A new parsonage was built in 1999.
Many pastors have served the church that was first named Fall Creek Baptist Church of Christ and then changed to the Rozetta Baptist Church in 1879. Today, the church is served by Pastor Jim Bennett who came in 2004.
"God watched over us in good times and in bad," Allaman said.
Two of the past ministers shared their memories with the congregation. The first, a young seminary graduate who said the congregation was very patient with him was Rev. David Yeiser who served from 1981-1987 and the other was Rev. Rodger Cowser who served from 1992-94.
Cowser said he remembered his Frank Brokaw keeping time to one of Cowser's favorite songs, "There's victory In Jesus," as they sang that lively tune.
The congregation sang several songs throughout the program: As We Gather, This Is The Day, Faith of Our Fathers, The Church's One Foundation, The Family Of God, Meet Us Here, and ended with Victory in Jesus.
Pastor Jim Bennett Sermon was on "Salt and Light" from Mathew 5:13-16.
He mentioned of one of the founding father's tombstones with the emblem of a hand, pointing up toward God.
Bennett talked of a world going after "rubish without Christ". "Our world is spoiling.... there's no stopping it until Jesus returns," he said.
"Believers are called to be like salt....our words are to be ...upholding righteousness."
He said many of us are crushed down by criticism, but a ship is safe in the harbor. "We must not shut down, give up, or shut-up, but we must press on."
"Let your conversation always be filled with grace flavored with salt."
His thoughts ended with "Trust Christ-Be Saved," before all joining in the song, "There's Victory In Jesus."
The congregation enjoyed a delicious potluck, looking through the history that was laid out for view, and visiting.