ROCKINGHAM – The Church of God of Prophecy in Rockingham celebrated 85 years of ministry the first Sunday in May and burnt its bank note to proclaim itself “free of debt”.
The church was organized May 1, 1932 by W.I. Deese along with 8 charter members. Services were held in a building at the corner of Mill Road and Cliff Street that is now known as J&L Distributors. In later years, the Church was able to purchase property on Flowers Street and built a building where the church still stands today. In 1982 the church expanded the sanctuary, adding seating as well as educational rooms.
Over the years that followed property was purchased around the church for parking and other uses. Former pastor, Marshall Norris shared a vision with the congregation in the early 2000’s to build a multipurpose facility to better serve that church and to minister to the surrounding community. The opportunity arose for the church to purchase property from the families of G.H & Thelma Watts, Carvin & Leslie Searcy Price and William Cary & Selenar Taylor, all adjacent to the church’s existing property. Work began, land was cleared, building plans were approved and Southern Builders Inc began erecting the Family Life Center in 2008.
On the first Sunday in May of 2009 the church officially opened the doors with a dedication service. During this recent celebration of 85 years of ministry, the church had a special bank note burning ceremony. Church representatives cite that “God had blessed the church to be completely debt free from the expenses related to the building of the Family Life Center”.
Pastor Steven Gilmer and the congregation credit God for “His blessings, bringing the vision of a former pastor a reality”.