In 1868, in the community of Nickville, there were no black churches. The Webb (white) family gave two brothers 2 acres of land for a church The brothers were Elzie Moon and Byrd Eberhardt. As former slaves, Elzie and his brothers were farmers for different slave masters from whom they received their names which is why their last names were different. The acts read “as long as there is a Rock Springs CME Church, you will have two acres of land.”
The name Rock Springs comes from a spring about three-quarters of a mile below the church. The water flowed between two rocks and the spring is still there. The one-room church served the community for 15 years before a Baptist church by the name of Antioch was built located over the hill from where the present Rock Springs Church now stands. However, both churches shared the Rock Springs cemetery until the 1980’s. This is the story told by Reverend J.H. Heard.
Under the direction of Reverend W.L. Whelchel, Jr., a new church was built. The old one was demolished and served the community for about 102 years. When the new church took shape in 1970, we purchased three-quarters of an acre of land. Reverend Whelchel and the members decided to renovate the old church. After having two men checked, the church learned that a new building was needed. In 1971, a block church was built. The second Sunday in July 1971 at 3:30 p.m, the new church was dedicated under the leadership of Reverend Whelchel, who remained at the church until 1975, before becoming former president of the district of Elberton.
In 1976, we were without a pastor. Reverend Holman replaced Reverend Brewer in 1978. He retired two years later due to illness.
The current structure has been renovated two times. The first renovation was the kitchen and fellowship hall. The second renovation was finished in 2002 under the leadership of Rev. Frances Hubbard.
The Rock Springs CME Church continues to operate every Sunday of the month though with limited number considering the novel Corona Virus (Covid-19) and looks forward to welcoming visitors as soon as it is safe to do so.
PASTORAL LEADERSHIP HISTORY
The following ministers served at Rock Springs C.M.E Church. From 1868, through 1911, we have no record of who the pastors and officers were:
(1912-1915) Rev. Jordan
(1915-1917) Rev. C. Green
(1917-1918) Rev. F. L. Durden
(1918-1920) Rev. J. H. Hardiway
(1920-1921) Rev. C.H. Hazel
(1921-1924) Rev. W. M. Norman
(1924-1925) Rev. E Buggs
(1925-1928) Rev. M. J. Jones
(1928-1930) Rev. W. H. Wheeler
(1930-1932) Rev. N. B. Belchur
(1932-1933) Rev. B. J. Cofer
(1933-1934) Rev. W. H. William
(1934-1938) Rev. Gholston
(1938-1940) Rev. J. D. McLaughen
(1941-1953) Rev. Hoy Bush
(1954-1955) Rev. Rod Barnes & Rev. W. H. Holloman
(1955-1956) Rev. Smith Harris
(1956-1966) Rev. Billy Rucker
(1966-1972) Rev. W. L. Whelchel
(1976-1977) Rev. Stark Brewer
(1978-1980) Rev. James Harris
(1981-1982) Rev. James Edward
(1982-1984) Rev. Oscar Telfair
(1985-1986) Rev. James Morrison
(1986-1987) Rev. Robert L. Jackson
(1987-1990) Rev. Joseph Rumph
(1991-1992) Rev. Quincy Felder
(1993-1994) Rev. John Cooke
(1995-1996) Rev. John Sims
(1996-1997) Rev. J. F. Ellison
(1998-1999) Rev. Eric T. Martin
(1999-2000) Rev. Ron Bullock
(2000-2007) Rev. Frances Hubbard
(2007-2010) Rev. Dale Sanders
(2010-2017) Rev. Darryl E. Lyle
(2017-Present) Rev. Consuelo Baker
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