Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas

All credit for these articles go to
Susie Sansom-Piper and
the Rockdale Reporter
Milam County Historical Commission - Milam County, TX
Statue of Ben Milam at Milam County, TX Courthouse
Old Junior High School Building, Rockdale, TX
Milam County Courthouse - Cameron, TX
Preserve America
New Hope congregation dates back to 1891
by Susie Sansom-Piper
Rockdale Reporter - February 11, 2010
New Hope Baptist Church had its humble beginning on Rice Street in 1891.

It began under a tent at the site called “Down in the Bottom” on the former J. L. Banks
home site.

Rev. Jessie Herron, founder, began with a membership of six adults and seven children.
The church was at first given the name “Herron Chapel.”

The church was later moved to Grassburr Hill to a location in the Henry Smith home on
Fifth Street.

Retaining the name of Herron Chapel, Rev. L. O. Proctor of Franklin became the new

First building

He reorganized the church and was instrumental in getting a building erected.

Later, when Rev. C. B. Sparks became pastor, the present church site was purchased and
the name was changed to New Hope Baptist.

The present edifice was erected and dedicated in 1972, under the leadership of Rev. I. M.
Murray, and new pews and furniture were installed by Rev. J. E. Lang.

Rev. Weldon Jackson began full-time ministry (every Sunday) and began the addition of the
educational building.

This building was completed and dedicated under the leadership of Rev. Colister Dickson.

During the 118 years, 29 pastors have served the New Hope congregation. Each made
significant contributions in conducting worthy projects, such as office equipment, choir
robes, visual aid equipment, various renovations and general improvements.

Members still maintain their original aims, goals and desires “to praise the Lord and
love the brethren.”

Rev. Roderick D Jackson Sr., continues the major aim, “to promote spiritual growth and
give back to the Rockdale community.”

Holy Temple

Holy Temple of Jesus Christ Church Pentecostal Inc. was organized in December 1972 “by
the Holy Spirit working in the heart of Evangelist G. T. Alexander of Rockdale at 11 Plum

Alexander was called to Houston to hear Pastor Anita Manuel. She then got in touch with
Sister Della M. Gray at Caldwell, who helped with a revival.

The building was provided by Alexander. It was purchased from Mrs. Esther Phillips for
$100 and moved to Second Street.

More churches

Three other Pentecostal churches once existed in the city but all are defunct.

The second one was on Crockett Street. The church building still remains unoccupied.

This was pastored by the late Clarence Alonzo.

The third church was formerly located in a house on Seventh Street.

And the fourth establishment was built by Rev. B. F. Alonzo and is still standing on
First Street but is not in use.
The first New Hope
Baptist Church was a
two-story building
complete with bell
Holy Temple of Jesus Christ Church Pentecostal - Rockdale, TX
Holy Temple of Jesus Christ
Church Pentecostal was located
on Second Street in Rockdale.

Early New Hope Baptist Church, Rockdale, TX