Springfield Missionary Baptist Church
Members established this church in 1872, under the
guidance of the Rev. Riley Williams. Though
buildings have changed, the congregation still
gathers on the same land they met on that year.
Members have emphasized Outreach through both local
programs and more encompassing Missions work. They
have also contributed to the community by working
with various churches and associations and by
producing annual programs. Additionally, the
Church has served as a focal point for social and
religious gatherings in the African American
community. Founded shortly after the town of
Rockdale, the Church continues to be a positive
force in the community.
Springfield Baptist to receive historical marker on Sunday
Dedication at 3 p.m. will precede 134th annual homecoming
November 16, 2006
Springfield Baptist Church, 232 East Third Street in Rockdale, will dedicate a Texas
Historical Commission marker at 3 p.m. Sunday, prior to the church's 134 annual
homecoming and church anniversary.
Rev. S. L. Ross, pastor, said the public is invited. Theme for the celebration will be:
"A house built by the Lord is built on the Rock. Except the Lord build the house, they
labour in vain that build it." (Psalm 127:1)
The homecoming hour at 4 p.m. Will feature Rev. Dr. Robert L. Jemerson Sr, pastor of
Second Baptist Church fo San Antonio. He will be introduced by Rev. Ross.
Others on the program are deacons, the Springfield choirs, Vincent Banks, master of
ceremonies; Jessie Johnson, Elizabeth McQuitter, Donald Miller, Rhonda Hopkins and
Willow Robinson who will sing a solo.
Over 134 years, Springfield has had 22 pastors: Revs. Riley Williams, Joe Robins, Ike
Tolliver, LS. Campbell, San Smith, J. S. Adair, Andrew Tolliver, A. L. Boone, F. R.
Ruffin, I. W. Mackey, T. C. George, R. H. Littleton, W. M. Andersosn, D. B. Burrows, B.
M. Moss, P. Phillips, R. B. Bradley, W. C. Daniels, A. W. Chew, T. R. Simmons, A. L.
Bradley, D. L. Brooks and the current pastor, Rev. Ross.
Springfield Baptist Church, origianlly organized in 1872, ministers mainly to the needs
of the Eastside Community. It originally met in members' homes, halls, under trees or
in fields. In 1874, under the leadership of Rev. Riley Williams, the congregation
applied for membership in the La Grange Area Association. At the same time, the first
church building was located on land purchased by D. Tucker and J. Kendall, acting as
trustees of the church, on March 12, 1872.
The congregation has worshipped in three separate buildings. The first was a wooden
structure with one room for worship. The second building, also wood, had spaces for
classrooms and fellowship. The current brick building was erected in 1974 under the
leadership of Rev. T. R. Simmons.
All three buildings have occupied the same site, meaning the congregation has worshipped
at the same site since 1874. The church supports both a junior and senior choir and is
active in both home and foreign missions. It has both a junior and senior usher board
and a strong Sunday School program.
In addition to Rev. Ross, pastor, church officers are Larry Jackson St., secretary;
Sandra Jackson, Xerox secretary; Margaret Green, clerk; James Banks Jr., treasurer;
Johnnie Banks, assistant treasurer; and Lois Moody, pianist. Deacons are Billy Ray
Locklin, James Banks Jr. and Larry Jackson Sr. Trustees are Jessie Johnson, Booker T.
Turner, Henry Miller, Danny Mitchell and Rudolph Hemmitt.
Historian: Margaret Green, who compiled the
history of Springfield Baptist Church, speaks
Sunday during the dedication of an official Texas
Historical Commission marker at the church.
Springfield celebrates 134th anniversary, dedicates historical marker
Springfield Baptist church, established in 1874, celebrated its 134th anniversary and
homecoming Sunday afternoon, highlighted by the dedication of this Texas Historical
Commission marker commemorating the church history. Margaret Green, church historian
who wrote the THC marker application, served as master of ceremonies. Taking part in
the marker ceremony were; (L-R) Elizabeth McQuitter, Rhonda Cook Hopkins, Margaret
Green, Rev. Chester Harrison of Orange, Rev. Dennis Brooks (former Springfield pastor),
Rev. C. C. Jones, general secretary of the State Convention BM&E, Charles Embra, Rev. S.
L Ross, current pastor, Devante Burgess, Ezekiel Mitchell, Larry Jackson Sr., Henry
Miller, James Banks Jr., Booker T. Turner, Matthew Cook and Sandra Jackson Richards.
Springfield's congregation met in homes, tents and under trees until erecting its first
building in 1882. The current building is its third, and all three have been at the
same location, the corner of Third and MLK streets.