The history of RHBC
From January 23 to June 27, 1954, Sunday school classes and worship services were held in two neighborhood homes on Laburnum Avenue in Roanoke. These groups would form Rosalind Hills Baptist Church. On February 22, 1954 Rev. H. W. Connelly began his ministry as the first pastor of RHBC.
On April 4, 1954 Rosalind Hills Baptist Church was officially organized and constituted with 28 charter members. A ground breaking ceremony was held at the corner of Langdon Road and Laburnum Avenue. The first services were held on June 27, 1954, less than three months after construction began. This building is still in use today, housing the Music Suite, a portion of the church offices and the very active Food Pantry.
On January 20, 1957, a ground breaking ceremony for another building was held. Originally meant to serve as a multipurpose facility (sanctuary, kitchen, fellowship hall, recreation), it was later changed to sanctuary only. The second level was Sunday school space and the lower level was to be a fellowship hall. Then, on May 4, 1960, the church voted to sponsor a Baptist Mission on Colonial Avenue. That church was later named Colonial Avenue Baptist Church.
On February 21, 1965 , remodeling was completed of the sanctuary and a church steeple and chimes were installed. On August 5, 1970, the church voted to build a lodge and recreational center in the lower field. This building was later destroyed by arson (August 31, 2000).
On July 1, 1976, a Bicentennial Homecoming Service with dinner on the ground, was held as we celebrated our nation’s Bicentennial. Various church historical documents and a booklet scroll with signatures of all present were placed in a “time capsule” which was placed in the cement base of the church sign in the lawn next to Langdon Road. An art glass window was installed in the sanctuary choir loft on May 8, 1977 and was dedicated to the memory of RHBC member John Phillip Craig, who died in Vietnam at the age of 22 on June 6, 1969.
After various improvements were made to the church and an elevator installed, a dedication service was held on January 10, 1982.
On August 1995, RHBC began operating a Food Pantry which currently serves over 1,800 families and more than 9,000 people annually. On November 17, 1997, a grand piano, purchased with memorial funds, was dedicated to the memory of Martha Ferguson, who served as church pianist for over forty years. Martha passed away in October of 1995.
A ground breaking service was held on April 19, 1997 for the community playground. On March 22, 1998, the Long Range Planning Committee began the process of evaluating ministry and facility needs of RHBC. Architectural drawings were presented and voted upon in 2000.
On October 8, 2000, Rosalind Hills Baptist Church voted in a special called business meeting to disassociate itself from the Southern Baptist Convention and identify solely at the national level with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
In the summer of 2012, a ribbon cutting ceremony and blessing was held at the Rosalind Hills Baptist Church Child Development Center (RHCDC), located in the Children’s Wing of Rosalind Hills Baptist Church.
Our story continues to be written...
1954 - 1955 Rev. W.H. Connelly
1956 - 1961 Rev. Alan Neely
1961 - 1963 Rev. William W. Marshall
1964 - 1970 Rev. Stuart A. Kersey
1970 - 1979 Dr. Denver Davis
1979 - 1981 Rev. E. Murray McMillan
1981 - 1988 Rev. James R. Thomason
1989 - 2008 Rev. Thomas F. Stocks
2009 - 2015 Rev. Dr. T. Bradley Smith, Jr.
2016 - 2017 Rev. Rick Sewell (Interim)
2017 - Rev. Joseph Elmore