"Small but Significant"
Rockland Community Church
Rockland Community Church has deep roots in the Rockland community. Rockland, once a distinct community made up primarily of farmers and the land they farmed, is now also home to several world class golf courses and an increasing number of homes. A number of the people who now form Rockland Community Church are related to the original families who farmed the land around us. Many others have moved into the area more recently, attracted by the golf courses, the high quality of life, and the possibility of commuting to jobs in the great Washington D.C. metropolitan area.
In 1948, there were two churches that called the Rockland area home; Rockland Methodist Church and Rockland Baptist Curch. Believing the same basic Christian doctrines and desiring to strenghten the Christian community, the members of both churches joined together to form an interdenominational community church. Anyone who believed Jesus Christ was the Savior was welcomed as members regardless of their denominational background. Today, our church is composed of people from a wide variety of denominations (Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Moravian, Roman Catholic, Non-Denominational, and others) making Rockland Community Church truly representative of the broader Christian community.
Over the years, our church has continued to be active with a choir, youth fellowship groups, Sunday night Bible studies, support of local and foreign missions, prayer groups, and fellowship groups for our men and women. Next door to the church is the Rockland Arts and Crafts Shop which now occupies the small, one room schoolhouse where many of the community children went to school until the 1950s. The old church building (what was once the Methodist church) has been used as an activities center for the church. We also enjoy using our picnic shelter and sports field (we have a hill that we use for our giant slip-n-slide!) Our Easter Sunday Sunrise service is held at the shelter, which makes for an deeply inspirational and very beautiful morning service. The Rockland Cemetery, no longer affiliated with the church, sits just a couple hundred yards from our church. We participate in an annual Memorial Day Sunday service at the cemetery.
Rockland Community Church currently reaches out to the community by supporting many local agencies and programs within the Warren County/Front Royal area. We also support a missionary family and provide for the needs of children through Compassion International.
To look at what we hope to be in the future, we must look first to: Acts 2:37-47 (NASB)
The Early Church
37 Now when they heard this, They were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, say, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
The above passage in Acts gives us some insights into what the Early Church looked like and some of the ‘whys’ of the rapid spread and receptivity of the Gospel. “Back to the future!” was a very popular motion picture of years past but the title is quite revealing for Rockland Community Church. We are a Church of Christian unity proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. As we devote ourselves to the teaching and preaching of the Word of God (apostles’ teaching), and to real fellowship, and to Communion with Him and one another, and to prayer, God will add to our number. As we concentrate on the priorities noted in this passage, there will be a sense of ‘holy awe.’ There will be praisng of God, having favor with all people and God will add to our community of faith lives transformed by the power of the Gospel!!