Although Presbyterians and Presbyterian Meeting Houses were a part of Richmond County history as early as the colonial period, First Presbyterian Church of Rockingham traces its own history only to 1870.  In that year, a small band of nineteen members petitioned Fayetteville Presbytery to form a new church, which was chartered on August 13, 1870.  Although active and loyal, the congregation grew slowly under the leadership of a succession of supply ministers, and it was nine years before they moved from a downtown store their first church building.  It was a small white frame building, located at the corner of Washington and Lawrence Streets, which served as a house of worship from 1879 to 1916.  A pew and a piece of heart pine siding from the original church may be found in he present sanctuary building.
As the congregation grew in the late 1800’s, it helped organize four other churches in Richmond County (Cameronian, Hamlet, Roberdel, and Watson Heights) and still outgrew its own building.  In the early 1900’s, a new church building was planned. It was dedicated in 1920, after nearly ten years of construction at a cost of $18,000.  It was said to be financed “largely from the sale of ice cream, rummage sales, and strawberry festivals.”  This building, located at the corner of Randolph and Washington Streets, featured lovely stained glass windows , some of which are preserved in the present church buildings.
After World War II, the congregation doubled its membership under the leadership of Rev. Carl Miller and decided to once again build a new church at its present location on Fayetteville Road.  Mrs. Lucy Phillips Russell, a member of the congregation since 1886, turned the first shovel of dirt at the 1960 ground-breaking ceremonies for the fellowship hall and education buildings.  The present sanctuary building was completed and dedicated in 1970, the 100th anniversary of founding the church.

The latest renovations to the three buildings of the church complex were completed during the fall of 1993.

First Presbyterian Church enjoys a rich religious heritage.  Our roots makes us well-grounded. Our foundation is firm. We are proud to follow in the footsteps of faithful Christian men and women who for 125 years have committed themselves to proclaiming in word and deed the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Today the torch has been passed on to us that we may carry the light of Christ into a world that desperately needs to hear the word of God’s redeeming love. As we position ourselves to move into the twenty-first century, our congregation is blessed with people who have a wide variety of gifts and talents to offer God for the sake of God’s kingdom.  Our prayer is that, as we engage in ministries of worship and Christian education and service, God will use us as affective messengers of his word.  We believe that God will bless us and be with us along the way.

First Presbyterian Church
904 Fayetteville Road
Rockingham, N.C.  28379

Copyright 1999-2002

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