First Baptist Church of Rockdale
Milam County, Texas
30 39.428' N 96 59.981' W Directions: Start at the intersection of Green Street and Bell Street. The church is on the southeast corner of the intersection. 240 Green Street.
Text: 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, on the 18 chartered members, in 1876. At the urging of rival leader W. E. Penn and the Rev. Dr. J. H. 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 complex was built in 1972. The congregation remains active in community service and missionary work.