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Rockwall Churches

Rockwall Churches

First Baptist Church of Rockwall. Organized in 1852 by Elder John R. Briscoe and Elder M. Glover in the home of J. C. Williams, this was originally called New Hope Baptist Church, as Rockwall was not founded until 1854. Charter members: Hester, Isaac, James, Mildred, and Persila Briscoe; Felitha, Martha and Rosana Jones; Hannah Thompson; J. C. and Nancy Williams. First regular pastor was the Rev. H. E. Calahan. After years in homes, schoolhouses, and a Masonic hall, the congregation occupied a building of its own in 1876; present sanctuary, 1970. This is the oldest congregation in the Dallas Baptist Association. - Historical Marker Text, 1976. Marker located at 600 block of S. Goliad Street at the corner of S. Goliad and Boydstun Street, Rockwall.

First Methodist Church of Rockwall. 303 East Rusk. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

First Presbtyerian Church of Rockwall. On November 7, 1854, a small group of Presbyterians led by the Rev. John U. Vance gathered together to organize the Rockwall Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Beginning with twenty-three charter members, the congregation met in schools and other church facilities for the first thirty-three years. In 1887 a building committee was formed under the leadership of the Rev. S. M. Templeton, and property at the present corner of Munson and Fannin streets was purchased. A small frame sanctuary was built in 1888, only to be destroyed by a windstorm three months after its completion. It was soon rebuilt, however, and served the congregation until another church building was constructed on the town square in 1928. That structure was replayed by a new sanctuary at this site in 1980. Throughout its history, this church has served the community by offering its facilities for outreach programs such as well baby clinics, elementary school tutoring, summer library reading programs, and a food and clothing pantry for the needy. Following the reunion of the Presbyterian denomination in 1983, the name of this congregation was changed to First Presbyterian Church of Rockwall. - Historical Marker Text, 1989.  Marker located at 602 White Hills Drive, Rockwall.

First United Methodist Church of Rockwall.  This congregation developed from early worship services conducted by area pioneers in the home of Mrs. Hugh Shaw. The church was formally organized in 1856, several years prior to the formation of Rockwall County. Constituted with less than twenty members under the direction of the Rev. J. A. Scruggs, the small fellowship met in the local Masonic lodge building until the first sanctuary was constructed at 102 North Fannin Street in 1874. The one-room frame structure featured a belfry and a tall steeple. During its first three decades, the First Methodist Church of Rockwall shared its ministers with other pioneer area Methodist churches. By 1887, however, membership in the First Methodist Church had grown such that the Rev. James McDugald was appointed to serve as the congregation's first full-time pastor. To accommodate the membership's continued growth, additional facilities were later built, and the church relocated to this site in 1981. For more than 100 years, the First United Methodist Church of Rockwall has sponsored many active organizations in its congregation which have provided great service and leadership to the community of Rockwall. Many descendants of the original fellowship continue to worship here. - Historical Marker Text, 1983. Marker located at 1408 S. Goliad (at the intersection of S. Goliad and Damascus Streets), Rockwall. 

The Church of Christ in Rockwall. Before establishing an independent republic in 1836, Texas settlers were expected to support the Mexican state religion. As Mexico's rule waned, residents and new arrivals to Texas organized non-Catholic churches. Among them was "the church on horseback and wheels." a group of approximately 300 members traveling from Tennessee to Texas. Led by noted preacher and physician Mansil (Mansell) W. Matthews, the members were part of what became known as the American Restoration Movement, which launched the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Church of Christ. Matthews' traveling church crossed into Texas at the Jonesborough crossing of the Red River on January 17, 1836 and became what is believed to be the first Church of Christ congregation in Texas. Matthews and his family moved to Rockwall in 1853. They only stayed a few years but during that time helped establish a local Church of Christ. Beginning with the strong leadership of Matthews in 1853, Rockwall's Church of Christ congregation grew during the next century. Members built their first meeting place in 1880. In 1895, a disagreement began over the use of instrumental music in worship, and the congregation split. The progressive faction became part of the Disciples of Christ and the conservative group formed a new Church of Christ congregation. Their first meetinghouse was completed in 1910. A later rift led to the formation of Lakeside Church of Christ, but the two groups later reunited in name, number and purpose. Known today as Eastridge Church of Christ, the congregation maintains the traditions of Texas' early religious pioneers through service, worship and study. - Historical Marker Text, 2005. Marker located at 485 N FM 549.

Location

32° 55' 52.428" N, 96° 27' 34.956" W