First Baptist Church of Rockdale
The community of Rockdale sprang up around a railroad
camp in 1873. The Rev. B. B. Baxter arrived in 1874
and established a Baptist Church with 18 Charter
Members. The Rev. Mr. Baxter conducted services in a
room above a Dry Goods store shared with other
denominations. He was succeeded by the Rev.
Vandevere, one of the 18 Charter Members, in 1876. At
the urging of Revival leader W. E. Penn and the Rev.
Dr. J. M. Stripling, a simple structure was erected
for worship services in 1881. A new building was
erected on this site in 1919. The Church grew
steadily; a Latin American Mission established in the
1950s, became a Full Southern Baptist Church in 1966.
A new First Baptist Church complex was built in 1972.
The Congregation remains active in community service
and Missionary work.