Old Rock Baptist Church – Somerset, Texas

We all have a town or city we consider “Home”. Well, mine is Somerset, Texas. I was able to visit this weekend and as usual, had a great time with friends. The people in Somerset are the friendliest people I know. They are a community that stick together through good times and bad. I couldn’t help but notice all the signs throughout the town in support of Coach Dink. These are the reasons people stay in this small town and the reason we want to return. One day I will return for good, but for now I will enjoy the visits with friends every chance I get. During my visit I had time to stop at two historical markers. Yes, I know, my home town should have been the first historical markers to write about but it gives me an excuse to visit (not that I really need one).

This Historical Marker is located on Old Rock Road, Somerset. (In the back roads) The church first began worshiping in 1869 when the structure only had walls and a roof.  There is also a cemetery next to the church that has graves sites dating back into the early 1800s. There are approximately 300 graves sites in the cemetery. Many of the tombstones are unreadable due to age and weather conditions.

The Historical Marker Reads:

The Old Rock Baptist Church

Organized as Medina Baptist Church in April 1857 at Mann’s Crossing, near Macdona. Until 1866, when members built an arbor here near Old Somerset, the services were held in homes or in a schoolhouse. Site for meetinghouse and cemetery (2.5 acres here) was bought for ten dollars in 1867 by committeemen F. M. Avent, Elisha A. Briggs, and W. D. Johnson on behalf of Medina Church. This committee also drew the plans; Briggs, a settler from Massachusetts and a stonemason, did much of the construction. Worship began here in 1869 as soon as house had roof and walls–although door and window spaces were empty and there was no floor except bare ground. In those early days, four ordained ministers took turns as unpaid pastors. Avent was clerk and sexton. Medina Church membership was racially integrated. Some of the Negro members lie buried in honored graves in the cemetery. In 1892 Medina Church relocated at Bexar. Cemetery maintenance was continued here; “Old Rock” was used at times for funerals or worship. In 1921, after local petroleum discoveries, Grayburg Oil Company and some of its employees helped renovate the meetinghouse. Congregation renamed itself for the Old Rock Church and regular worship has continued here ever since.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1971

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