Rocky Hock United Methodist Church 2007.
Thanks to Deborah Harver for photograph!
HISTORY OF ROCKY HOCK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Laura Anne Goodrich, Chairman: History and Records Committee, Rock Hock United Methodist Church
Rocky Hock Church is located in Surry County, Virginia, about five miles from the town of Wakefield. The address is 2745 White Marsh Road, Wakefield, VA 23888. It is located at the intersection of Rocky Hock Road and White Marsh Road.
The name "Rockahock" is no doubt of Indian origin. By the mid 1800's records show the name was spelled "Rockyhock" at times and also "Rocky Hock."
By a deed dated December 19, 1821, this property, consisting of about two acres, was conveyed from Thomas and Polly Harris to H. W. Holleman, J. D. Edwards, John Owen, John Blunt, Josiah Blunt, John Cocks, and William Dobie, Trustees. The original church was built in 1824 and stood directly in front of the present one but faced east. It was a plain structure (28' x 40') with a gallery across the east end opposite the pulpit. It was the second Methodist Episcopal Church built in Surry County (Carsley Methodist Church being the first in 1811.)
From 1821-1851, little is known of the history of the Church. However, in 1851 records show that Rocky Hock belonged to the Prince George Circuit. The following churches constituted the circuit: Sycamore, City Point, Centerville, Laurel Spring, Mount Sinai, Moorings, Union, Warrick, Coker's Well, Owens Grove and Rocky Hock. There were few Sabbath Schools in operation at this time. Much emphasis was placed on libraries and it was through this means that interest was created in organizing Sabbath Schools.
At the Annual Conference in 1852, the circuit was divided, forming the Surry Charge. The following churches composed this Charge: Owen's Grove, Coker's Well, Moorings, Union, Carsley, and Rocky Hock. Extracts from the minutes in 1854 show the pastor received a salary of $200 and was allowed $100 extra for the board of his wife and horse. Rocky Hock was assessed $100 for ministerial support at this time.
During the War Between the States, the old church was used as a hospital for Confederate soldiers and the grounds were used as a camping place for the Nansemond Cavalry and other Confederate Commands. One of the soldiers who died here was buried near the church. In the 1990's, research was done and it was found that the soldier who died at the church was a Surry County man - Pvt. William Robert Emory. On December 1, 2002, a stone was dedicated and placed at the entrance to our cemetery on which is inscribed this information:
William Robert Emory
Pvt CO K 13 VA CAV
Confederate States Army
The Church had developed so rapidly by 1866 that an urgent need for a Sabbath School was felt. This was organized with N. B. Pond, Superintendent, Dr. C. M. Wilson, Secretary, six teachers, fifty-two scholars, four colored, six officers, 100 volumes in the library. Aurelius W. Holt was licensed to preach on August 25, 1866, and was the first of Rocky Hock's sons to serve in the ministry.
In 1872 Rocky Hock appointed a committee to see about building a new church at Wakefield, a work much needed for the good of the circuit. The year 1876 was a banner one for Rocky Hock as a new church was erected, dedicated and set apart for the worship of Almighty God. The old church building was removed to the Oakview Farm (2753 Rocky Hock Road) where it remains today, incorporated into a storage building.
The cornerstone for the Wakefield Church was laid with Masonic ceremonies in 1879. At this time the Presiding Elder was requested to ask the Bishop at the next annual Conference to make Blackwater River the dividing line for the Surry Circuit, thus forming the Wakefield Charge.
There is no evidence that Rocky Hock had a cemetery until 1889 when land was given by Mrs. John Wilson, Dr. Wilson's widow. The Wilson family lived at what is presently the Whitmore home (2847 White Marsh Road). At a later time, the Whitmore family also gave land to expand the cemetery.
Our church was enlarged in 1929 to include our first educational rooms. Also, stained glass windows were placed in our sanctuary. The major change in the appearance of our church took placed when the large front porch was added. The porch was given by Mr. Bunch Brittle and still remains today as it appeared in 1929.
Under the leadership of Rev. L. P. Bland we were able to accomplish a much needed addition which included a new sanctuary, assembly room, classrooms, kitchen and our first bathrooms. Construction was begun by Raymond Kitchen during 1953 and was completed in June, 1954. Rev. Bland gave us outstanding leadership during his eleven-year ministry. This is the longest period of time any pastor has served the Wakefield Charge (which now consisted of Wakefield, Rocky Hock and Ivor Churches).
As of July 1, 2005, the Wakefield Methodist Church became a station church, instead of remaining in the Charge. At this time the Rocky Hock/Ivor Charge was formed, with only two churches.
After many years of talking, we finally started on our building project to obtain handicapped restrooms in the fall of 2006. We also enlarged our Fellowship Hall and kitchen, which was completely remodeled and furnished with new appliances, and added storage space, as well as the handicapped restrooms. We installed a new AC/Heat Pump system, insulated the church, upgraded the electrical service, and many other needed repairs.
On May 27, 2007, the dedication of our new addition was held. The total cost of this building project was $227,750.97 - all of which had been paid with donations, the money received from the Wakefield Methodist Church for our share in the parsonage (which Wakefield now owns for their pastor), and the sale of some of the shares of stock that previous members had given to our church.
Being a charge that cares and reacts in love will continue to be our foundation. Being a charge that prays and studies God's word will help us discern the things we need to do. Growing daily in the grace of God will strengthen us in our resolve to share the peace, love, and joy that comes from serving our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.