Springfield Baptist’s 140th anniversary, homecoming Sunday

Springfield Baptist Church, 232 East Third Avenue in Rockdale, Rev. S.L. Ross, pastor, invites the general public to attend Springfield’s 140th annual homecoming and church anniversary at 3 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 18).

Guest speaker will be Rev. Maurice Gree, pastor of Lily of the Valley Pentecostal Church in Bryan. He will be introduced by Rev. Ross, according to Henry Miller, church publicist.

Others on the program: Riza Cooper, mistress of ceremonies; special music, Springfield Choir; welcome, Danny Mitchell; memorial, Don Miller; recognition of homecomers, Kefa Mitchell; homecoming address, Rhonda Hopkins of Beaumont.

Dinner will be served, Miller said. He listed the church history:

Springfield Baptist Church was founded in 1872 by a small group under the leadership of two men, Bros. D. Tucker and J. Kendall. Unable to obtain a building in which to worship, the group worshiped in homes, tents and under trees.

In 1874, Springfield, under first pastor Rev. Riley Williams, joined the La Grange Area Association.

In 1882, Springfield obtained land to build her first church— the land on which the present edifice now stands. From that moment, Springfield began a Spiritual movement that has endured many stormy episodes, but has continued to survive and prove the words of Jesus Christ, when He said, “Upon this rock I build my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18.)

Over the past 140 years, Springfield has had 22 pastors: Revs. Riley Williams, Joe Robins, Ike Tolliver, I.S. 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. Anderson, D.B. Burrows, B.M. Moss, P. Phillips (assistant), R.B. Bradley, W.C. Daniels, A.W. Chew, T.R. Simmons, A.L. Bradley and D.L. Brooks.

It was under Rev. T.R. Simmons’ leadership that the present building was erected. Our present pastor, Rev. S.L. Ross Sr., has been our leader for the past 26 years. Under his leadership land was purchased, a van was bought, a new AC unit, new piano, new sound system, new carpet, a new copier, new sign and a new metal roof were acquired.

In 2006 the church received a historical marker from the Texas Historical Commission. In 2008 new tile was replaced in the church Sanctuary. In 2009, another strip of property was purchased. In 2010 the church was painted and two beautiful banners were donated. In 2012, the church purchased the property next door.

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