Church serves community 135 years

New Rocky Valley Baptist Church of Grambling celebrated its 135th anniversary Sunday. Pastor James B. Johnson of Monroe’s New Light Baptist Church was the guest speaker. Johnson’s speech was centered on New Rocky Valley’s theme: As the Lord Builds this House: Spiritually and Physically.

He said, “We have to build on a clear and clean foundation. Sometimes you have to let people go,” he said.

Johnson said the devil tries to get us to build on rubbish, not rock.

“Jesus is the foundation, architect and builder. Except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who builds it,” he said.

He said in order to build the church physically and spiritually, people have to get rid of rubbish, be at the cross and be co-laborers with Christ.

Johnson said that most of the time the church cannot progress or build because most of the opposition is from insiders. “Because they are resistant to change, they will say, ‘We have never done it that way.'”

He told how Nehemiah wept when he asked how things were at home, and the news was not good.

“He began to pray. He was a man of prayer. We are living right now on somebody’s prayer of 135 years.

“Somebody here has been putting others before themselves,” said Johnson.

Each year during the church’s anniversary foundation stones are recognized. They are members who have been instrumental in making New Rocky Valley what it is today.

The 2011 honorees are Martha Andrus, Jerry V. Brooks, Dorothy Carter, Alma Holmes, Hazel Hunter, Jeanette Hutchinson and Barbara and Jethro Terrell.

Holmes chaired the celebration. She said she was very pleased and thankful many people attended the ceremony.
“The committee came together, and we were able to get everything accomplished,” she said.

Other committee members included Brooks, Betty Jones, Jon C. Moss, Gerald Ellis, Bransha Gardner, Mary Levingston and Jethro Terrell.

New Rocky Valley was organized in 1876 by Rev. Amos Newby and was located one and one-half miles north of Simsboro.

In 1959 New Rocky Valley was incorporated. Dedication services of the new sanctuary and educational building were held on January 15, 1961.

Rev. Julius Sumler is the pastor/teacher of the church. “One hundred and thirty-five years ago, God inspired the imagination of a band of saints to organize the New Rocky Valley Baptist Church. Hence, our celebration on today is our testimony that, ‘We have come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord,'” he said.