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ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS, SERIES 3, PART 5

Church, school and Pecan Street
By SUSIE SANSOM-PIPER Reporter contributor

New Jerusalem Interdenominational Church and Institute for Teaching God’s Word school sprawl over two large buildings. Reporter/Mike Brown New Jerusalem Interdenominational Church and Institute for Teaching God’s Word school sprawl over two large buildings. Reporter/Mike Brown Editor’s note: The third edition of Susie Sansom Piper’s Black History Month series “On The Other Side of the Tracks” profiles churches in Rockdale’s African- American community.

New Jerusalem Interdenominational Church began in the home of Drs. Dennis and Clara Brooks, 275 South FM 908, in January, 1985.

On Tuesdays Dr. and Mrs. Brooks and their two younger sons began holding special prayer and Bible study.

Others began hearing about those special Bible sessions and started attending regularly. Soon the group outgrew the dining room area and moved to the game room.

The group grew in attendance to 37.

In 1985, Dr. Brooks received the vision of a play whose purpose would be to teach the word of God and train leaders for the ministry.

Pecen Street Church of Christ’s new building at 334 Pecan was constructed in 1996. Pecen Street Church of Christ’s new building at 334 Pecan was constructed in 1996. The vision became a reality and The Institute For Teaching God’s Word was organized.

The teaching session was formatted in classroom style. As attendance to the Institute grew, and classroom sessions were complete, the desire was expressed to have a regular worship center.

Thu s, t he New Jer u sa lem Church became an extension of the institute.

Night club to church

Before Dr. and Mrs. Brooks became believers they had purchased four acres with the intention of building a first-class night club.

This land was donated as the church site.

Soon $1 4 ,000 wa s ra ised toward new worship facilities.

(This land was once the site of the old Aycock school building, the place where Dr. Brooks began his educational journey.

Upon completion of the worship center, Mrs. Brooks named the church “New Jerusalem, and it was agreed services would be held weekly.

Dr. Brook s added “Chr istian Center” to the name and explained it would be operated seperately from the Institute.

He was also chosen as pastor and remains in that position today.

Global ministry

In June, 1986, the Institute For Teaching God’s Word received its 501-(c)3 exemption as a seminary and church.

The new building was dedicated in 1988.

In 2000 the name of the church was changed to New Jerusalem Interdenominational Church by Pastor Brooks.

As of today the Bible school and ministry is global-wide. It not only reaches out to the Rockdale community but has touched many lives throughout the world.

Pecan Street church

Pecan Street Church of Christ had its humble beginnings at an open-air meeting which was held on the corner of Plum and Third.

Bro. Luke Miller of Bradenton, Florida, conducted the gospel meeting.

The small congregation then conducted services in the home of Matilda Dallas.

The first minister was Bro. Collis Gates.

Next meeting was in the former Masonic Hall, now a residence, located on Pecan at Third.

In a few years the congregation purchased land on Pecan Street near Ham Branch.

During this time, Bro. Thomas Perry was the minister.

Bro. James E. Hutchison conducted Sunday night services and taught Bible class on Wednesday nights.

New building

Bro. Perry remained with the congregation for a number of years and the next minister, Bro. Neugene Knox, came to the congregation in the 1970’s.

In 1996, a new brick edifice was built across the street at 406 Pecan Street.

The old facility is now used as a fellowship hall.

Bro. John Williams is now minister of the Pecan Street Church of Christ and, under his leadership, the church continues to prosper.


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