The Full Story
To know where you are going and to understand where God has brought you from, it. is important. to know where you started. Here at Rozetta Baptist Church, we are proud to share our story and what God has done for our church over the years!
In the Beginning...
In 1836, B.C. Coghill and W.C. Ellett and their families settled in West Central Illinois, about 4 miles north of the current church location. The two families were Baptists from Virginia and were instrumental in getting other families interested in starting a church.
By May 4, 1837, they arranged for a Reverend Townsend to come and organize a church. The seven charter members were: Benjamin Coghill, Kazia Coghill, Mary Coghill, William Ellett, Susan Ellett, Mary Ellett, and William Tolar.
Over a period of time, Rev. Townsend and Rev. Clark served as pastors to the congregation. A small cemetery marks the place where the Coghill cabin stood. Benjamin Coghill and his mother are buried there.
The church was first known as the Fall Creek Baptist Church of Christ. The name was changed to the Rozetta Baptist Church in July of 1879. Meetings were held at the homes of various members; Coghill's, Ellett's and Tolar's being most frequently mentioned, until 1841, when mention is made of meeting in a schoolhouse.
In December of 1849, the trustees reported that a new meeting house was nearly completed, with the exception of seats and a stove, and that funds were wanted in order to proceed with the finishing of the building.
In June of 1859, a motion was made to build a new and larger church. The size was to be 36x56 feet with sixteen feet clear between floor and ceiling. The old church was to be converted into a parsonage as soon as funds could be raised for the purpose. The cost of the new church was to be $1,800, much of which had to be raised. The balance was borrowed at 15% per annum.
In 1902, it was resolved to either remodel or rebuild the meeting house. Within the year, $2,825.45 was spent on improvements. This included $106.00 for the bell in the belfry, $400.00 for pews, and $272.85 for the stained glass windows which still grace our sanctuary.
Eighty-two years later, in 1984 the congregation was again faced with either remodeling or replacing the church building. A major remodeling project began that included replacing the entire foundation and basement floor of the church.
New heating, air conditioning, carpeting, and lighting were installed. An overflow room was added to the sanctuary. A new kitchen, several classrooms, and restrooms were added to the lower level.
More recently, a 60x40 Fellowship Hall was added in 2015, giving our church family the opportunity to expand the kitchen and add additional bathrooms. The basement classrooms and nursery were expanded shortly after.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has led to "virtual services," the church has upgraded its Audio/Visual system in 2022 to improve the quality of broadcasting services to those unable to attend in person.