EARLY CHURCH HISTORY

The Rock Spring United Methodist Church had its beginning at what was known as the Rock Spring Methodist Camp Ground, which was located about one and one-half miles southeast of where the present church stands. There was a spring of clear, crystal water known as the Lupo Spring. For several generations this property has been owned by the Harris family and is located on Beaumont Road. At this Camp Ground the people of the surrounding territory, even from quite a distance, would lay aside all farm work or whatever type of work they were engaged in and meet together for perhaps from three to six weeks in the summer for revival meetings or protracted meetings, as it was more often called in those days. No doubt there were many shouts of newborn souls as they would hear the gospel preached in all its fullness. The Christian people enjoyed their religion then to the fullest.

About five acres of land was donated by a Mr. Satterfield for erecting a building in which to worship. The first church was built during the year of 1839, located on the lot across from the current facilities. Tradition tells us that it was built similar to the first church where the Pilgrims worshipped. It was built of logs and the seats were puncheons on four legs with no backs. The building was heated by a large fireplace.

The land was deeded on the twenty-second day of April 1844 to William Conley, Thomas Evitt, Samuel Brice and William Satterfield, commissioners and their successors in office, so long as used for church purposes. The original deeds are still held in the church safety deposit box at Bank of Chickamauga. These brethren were some of the charter members of the church. Among other older members were the following four local preachers: William Conley, H. J. Evans, William W. Tyner, and Samuel Brice, Riley Payne was an exhorter, William Smith, and H. J. Conley and many others.

The old log church was used for a number of years. During the late 1850’s the rising prosperity of the area and increase in the number of white settlers reflected in the decision to build another meeting house. The old log building was moved out towards the creek and used as a school building. In the same year 1854 a new "modern" frame house was built where the present church now stands. This building was begun, framed and weather boarded. It had two doors in the front, for it was the custom that male and female entered separate doors and occupied separate sides in the sanctuary, had several windows for lighting, and was heated with wood burning stoves. The people worshipped in this building for several years.

After the war the people realized the need for a better house. The church was sealed and heated. The congregation worshipped here until 1907. Some of the sainted men who worshipped here were: James H. Chambers, Rev. Samuel Brice, Richard Hardwell, John Higgins, Riley Payne, Daniel Evan, Rev. H. J. Evans, Rev. A. I. Leet, William (Billy) Conley, Leonder Conley, J. J. Conley, H. S. Loyd, J. H. Smith, Billy Conley, J. S. Smith, Thomas McCall, W.W. Tyner, and their families. Several of these men are buried in the cemetery beside the church. They are: James H. Chambers, Rev Samuel Brice, John Higgins, Rev. A .I. Leet, William Conley, Leonder Conley, J. H. Smith, and Thomas McCall.

In 1907 the people began to feel the need of a larger church, so the frame building was torn down and a newer modern building was erected. The building committee for the building was: C. M. Conley,Z. W. Jones, R. G. Wellborn, and Dr. Lee Bird. Many of these men are buried in the cemetery. This building is the part of the present sanctuary building of the church standing today.

After a period of years the community and congregation grew so that to meet the need of the church three additions were made. Over these years starting in 1947 there have been many changes to the church facility--remodeling the sanctuary two times, adding classrooms, a fellowship hall, and a new multiple purpose building in 2009.

For years the Rock Spring Church was on a circuit with several other churches. In 1949 Rock Spring became a full-time charge and has been to this date.

From this membership have gone many who have been blessed by the spiritual teaching and worship in this place.

As the building has grown, the congregation has made many changes. Membership and programs have increased to serve the congregation and community outreach.