The Church at Rockdale


About the name, why Rockdale?

Many people in Sulphur Springs recognize the name Rockdale because it is the name of a street in town that runs from about the Interstate Body Shop to League Street at about a forty five degree angle to most of the other streets. A few less people know that it continues on the same angle and trajectory south of I-30 behind the Goodwill and the Pilot and all those places and crosses highway 19 right at Sulphur Springs Injection Service. Now a real minority of even locals know that this is really an old road called Rockdale road because it connected the Rockdale community to Sulphur Springs. The name Rockdale is probably derived from the many rocks in and protruding from the ground out on that road which is now known officially as county road 1100. The Rockdale cemetery is right across from the church and there are supposed to be Civil War veterans buried there so the community has some history. The church it's self dates back to 1936 according to the deed and was begun as The Rockdale Missionary Baptist Church.

Okay so why Revelation?

I could probably go on a while about this one but I'll try to keep it brief and just say upfront that I am always happy to answer questions. First, the church has been through many name changes over the years and I am guessing mostly for the same reason, attendance. When I arrived in the Spring of 2012 the Church had no sign of any kind on the property and it continued to have none for about four years. The church was and still is known locally by those who grew up in the church as the Rockdale Baptist Church and is doing business as The Rockdale Church. The church had three members and no pastor. After having gone door to door inviting people to join us in our church services handing out flyers and running ads in the newspaper I began to wonder why no one was coming. At the time it seemed like there was some what of a legalistic uptight feeling about the Baptist denomination amongst unchurched people and since Sulphur Springs already has many Baptist churches we decided to come up with a nondenominational name and try to reach some of the unchurched population. So we made a short list of names to discuss. The eldest member the late Madeline Goldsmith said she liked Revelation and the other two members still in attendance Phil and Marlene Lockwood agreed. So we made a sign and it has a reference to the well worn verse John 3:16. The reason for this is that because of all the revelations God has made to mankind during the history of this earth, there has been none greater than the revealing of His love toward us in the giving of God the Son for our salvation.

So what type of services do you have?

Early last year we began only having a Sunday morning service at eleven o'clock. We usually start arriving about fifteen minutes till and that gives us time to visit with each other before the top of the hour. Then we take prayer request and have a short prayer time. We then have about five hymns of congregational singing followed by a sermon and a closing prayer at noon. We usually visit afterward as well.

What are the goals of the church?

We really believe in Jesus and that He is the King of all, so our main objective is to serve Him, to be the faithful subjects of His kingdom. How that has been working it's way out is by us attempting to have a service where He is made much of and we are built up in Him to prepare us for another week of living on mission in our individual lives. We read the scriptures and pray for each other and are generally there for one another. There are not many of us and that has this main advantage; no cliques.

Other things that could be explained.

Why run the risk messing all that up by creating a website and making our little church pop up on a "churches near me" web search. The answer is that while we are comfortable and happy as is we feel that God could make it work with more and we do want to help people in general.

How has the church been there so long and not have many people? One could say the location is not good, but there are other churches outside of Sulphur Springs that have a lot of people in attendance. It's more probable that because the building is not very large and modern and because there are no programs and there is no worship band. The truth is most of the older crowd that grew up with the kind of service we have are still at the same church having the same service if they are able to go. We are in the process of working in some more modern worship music because we are now down to one elderly couple in attendance and they are okay with something new. However unless God causes a lot of musicians to show up there will never be a band. We have one average guitarist and two pretty great singers. Also, we do not take up an offering, but we do believe in tithing and giving alms and do encourage people to give to God's work somewhere. Our family gives to Compassion International and to missionaries in the Philippines.

What's in it for you?

Well, if you like Bible based doctrine and teaching and like being with others of a like mind and if you don't mind your kids sitting with you during the service, because you teach them yourself then you might love it here. Don't misunderstand, we love kids and want them in the service and will be happy to make time to talk to them anytime, we just believe in equipping and helping adults to be able to equip their own kids. If you love God and God's people and just like to get together with other believers once a week to celebrate Jesus... then this could be good for you. If you need help or prayer or to be around some people who will love and respect you then you are welcome to what ever we can do for you. It really is a low to no pressure environment, we don't need anything but we would be happy to have more people to enjoy the time with.

About the pastor and family.

Many churches seem to be all about the pastor. Our church is different there as well. We really want everything to be about Jesus and are willing to invest in others to the end goal that they want everything to be about Jesus. However if I do not say something about myself then that will seem a little sketchy I'm afraid. So I'll tell about my family also so it won't all be about me and if you come you will kind of know us in advance. It's at this point that I also should mention that the main point of making this site is to have our church available to the average citizen searching the internet for a place to go, but now that I have started making it I am thinking that I want to add to it and make it somewhat of a teaching source as well. With that said I'll make this part brief and say stay tuned because I plan to make a new video of my testimony and upload it to this site soon.

My name is Bill Bessonett, my wife of many years is Cherrie (she truly is the better half). We have four children; Aleigh, Jorja, Titus and Ava. We all have gone or are attending Miller Grove ISD. Ava and Titus are in elementary school, Jorja just graduated, Aleigh works full time as a Physical Therapist Assistant at the Greenville hospital, Cherrie has been teaching Special Education at MGISD for about thirty years and I am a homesteader and volunteer pastor at Revelation for about nine years.