The History of The Rock Presbyterian Church
In August of 1986 a group of families began meeting together in a home; these families
were concerned about doctrinal issues in their denomination and in their particular
church. They were particularly concerned about the move away from the Bible as the
standard for faith and practice. Many churches and individuals known by these families
had left their denomination for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), which
had been formed in 1973 due in part to doctrinal concerns within increasingly liberal
presbyterian denominations. At their particular church, a move to the PCA had been
considered but was voted against by a narrow margin. These families wanted to start
a church that was committed to the authority and infallibility of Scripture, to
the Reformed faith and confessions, to missions, and to taking a stand against abortion.
In the Spring of 1987 a Steering Committee was formed and the group became a Mission
of North Georgia Presbytery, PCA. The first eight members were received on August
23, 1987. Eight more members were added on December 12, 1987. Initially various
men affiliated with Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship (PEF) provided preaching
for the mission church. In November 1987 the meeting place was moved to the McDonough
Women’s Club in downtown McDonough.
On September 18, 1988 the church voted to become incorporated and to borrow funds to purchase property at
the intersection of White Drive and Highway 155 in Stockbridge. The church closed
on the property on December 16, 1988. The Rev. Donald J. Musin became the first
pastor of The Rock Presbyterian Church in May, 1989. He served as a part-time pastor.
Also in 1989 one of the houses on the property was renovated to become the sanctuary.
In November 1989, the congregation moved to the new church building and became a
particular church with approximately 35 members. The mission of the church was “to
provide and serve the community with a friendly, conservative, evangelical, Bible-centered,
The founding goals of The Rock were:
- To be a church where the
bible is preached and taught, and where believers can fellowship, worship, and be
built up in the faith.
- To care for one another, as Christ cared for his church;
attempting to integrate each with his gifts and needs to the body, leaving none
- To be fervent in faith that believes everything in Holy Scripture; fervent
in prayer, fervent in holiness of life and thought, and fervent in doing all things
for the glory of God.
- To have an outreach ministry to the unsaved, unchurched,
sick, shut-in, handicapped, elderly and youth.
- To encourage the reading, studying
and memorizing of God's Word, the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Larger
and Shorter Catechisms for the gathering and perfecting of the saints.
- To be
involved in missions:
To give 10% of all offerings to the Mission to the World.
To increase to 50% of offerings for all missions.
To hold an annual missions
- To help plant other PCA churches in nearby areas.
In July 1990 the
church completed the land purchase and now owned 8.5 acres and the two houses which
sat on the property. Remodeling began on the second house for use as a pastor’s
office and Sunday School rooms and was completed about March 1991. In the Fall of
1992, Rev. Musin accepted a position as President of the Atlanta School of Biblical
Studies and resigned as pastor of The Rock. After a pastoral search process of almost
one year, The Rock called Rev. Mark Rowden as the first full time pastor of the
church in October 1993. From 1994 until 2001, the church continued to meet in the
renovated houses. The church became debt free in 1996.
In 2001 the Session approved
the building of a new sanctuary. After a year of planning with architects and builders,
the church broke ground on its new building in April 2002. By early 2003 the new
sanctuary was complete and the church held its building dedication service on January
26, 2003. Also in 2003, the church hired its first music minister, Mr. Terry Himebook,
who significantly expanded the music ministry of The Rock. During the summer
of 2005 the Session decided to form a vision and strategic planning committee to
develop new vision and purpose statements for the church and a plan for implementation
over the next five years.
In December 2005, Rev. Mark Rowden resigned as pastor
of The Rock. In 2006, Grace Community Church, a PCA church in McDonough, GA considered
a motion to join The Rock. In May, 2006, the Vision Committee presented the vision,
mission, and purpose statements, which were approved and adopted by the Session
and the Congregation. In the summer of 2006, Grace Community Church decided to split,
with approximately half the members and assets of the church coming over to The
Rock in August, 2006. That joining included the assets and membership of Emmanuel
Presbyterian Church, an historic Presbyterian church originating in Atlanta whose
heritage and history is now joined with The Rock.
In 2007, the church called Rev. Chad Bailey as its
pastor. Also in 2007, the church completed its vision planning process by
approving a strategic plan to guide the church
in fulfilling its mission and achieving its vision.
Since 1989 The Rock has stood
for Biblical, reformed doctrine and held firmly to the authority and infallibility
of Scripture and the truths of the Reformed faith. As we move into the next phase
of our life and ministry together, we hope and pray that we will continue to fulfill
the vision of our founders, serving our community with a friendly, evangelical,
Bible-centered, Reformed church, even as we seek in our new vision to:
Lord our God
Mature together in Christ
Minister to others in His name
Make Him known
at home and abroad
So that in all things Christ might be preeminent.
May it be so,
and to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
forever and ever. Amen.