The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

History of the Rozetta Baptist Church


In 1836, B.C. Coghill and W.C. Ellett and their families settled in central Illinois, about 4 miles north of our present church building. The two families were Baptists from Virginia and were instrumental in getting other families interested in starting a church.

By May 4, 1837 they arranged for a Reverend Townsend to come and organize a church. The seven charter members were: Benjamin Coghill, Kazia Coghill, Mary Coghill, William Ellett, Susan Ellett, Mary Ellett, and William Tolar.

Over a period of time Rev. Townsend and Rev. Clark served as pastors to the congregation. A small cemetery marks the place where the Coghill cabin stood. Benjamin Coghill and his mother are buried there.

The church was first known as the Fall Creek Baptist Church of Christ. The name was changed to the Rozetta Baptist Church in July, 1879. Meetings were held at the homes of various members; Coghill's, Ellett's and Tolar's being most frequently mentioned, until 1841, when mention is made of meeting in a schoolhouse.

In December, 1849, the trustees reported that a new meeting house was nearly completed, with the exception of seats and a stove, and that funds were wanted in order to proceed with the finishing of the building.

In June, 1859, a motion was made to build a new and larger church. The size was to be 36x56 feet with sixteen feet clear between floor and ceiling. The old church was to be converted into a parsonage as soon as funds could be raised for the purpose. The cost of the new church was to be $1,800, much of which had to be raised. The balance was borrowed at 15% per annum.

In 1902, it was resolved to either remodel or rebuild the meeting house. Within the year, $2,825.45 was spent on improvements. This included $106.00 for the bell in the belfry, $400.00 for pews and $272.85 for the stained glass windows which still grace our sanctuary.

Eighty-two years later, in 1984 the congregation was again faced with either remodeling or replacing the church building. A major remodeling project began that included replacing the entire foundation and basement floor of the church.

New heating, air conditioning, carpeting, and lighting were installed. An overflow room was added to the sanctuary. A new kitchen, several classrooms, and restrooms were added to the lower level. The total cost of the project, including interest on loans amounted to $150,898.93

In 1998, the congregation realizing that our parsonage was less than ideal voted to build a new parsonage for our minister and his family. Work began in the spring of 1999 under the direction of Jay Ballard. We now have beautiful ranch style home on the church grounds which will provide adequate housing for our pastor for many years to come.

Jim Bennett has been our pastor since September 5, 2004. Jim, his wife Missy, and their family love the Lord and have been a tremendous asset to our community.

The introduction to the 100th anniversary edition of the history of our church describes it best "This book is dedicated to the All Provident God, and the people past, present, and future who have and will preserve this church." May its light always shine.