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Marker Text: ROCKY RIVER CHURCH Baptist, organized about 1757. Used by Regulators for meetings after 1768. Stands 200 yards east. Essay:

      Rocky River Baptist Church, one of the oldest Separate Baptist associations in North Carolina, began as an arm of Sandy Creek Baptist Church, one of the founding tributaries of the Southern Baptist Church. According to the 1834 Sandy Creek minutes, Rocky River organized in 1756-57 as an arm of Sandy Creek. Much debate persists over the date when Rocky River became an independent church, but the consensus is that it took place during the 1770s. The church should not be confused with Rocky River Church ,an Anson County Missionary Baptist congregation established in the 1760s-1770s.
     
      The church played a major role in the Regulator movement as a meeting place and rendezvous point. Records indicate that Herman Husband actively participated in the early history of the church, and in the Regulators Advertisement Number 6, it was reported that the general meeting would be held on April 4, 1768, and then again on the first Monday of July, October, January and April yearly “until the business be completed to satisfaction at the meeting house near Moses Teague’s.” The “meeting house” reference evidently was to Rocky River Church, as Moses Teague was one of the earliest members of the congregation. The association of the church with the Regulators may have led to their split with Sandy Creek. Evidence suggests that the church was indeed independent by 1776, as a writer in that year listed it as having forty-five members “under the care of Francis Dorset.”
     
      There have been three buildings in Rocky River Church history. The first of these was constructed of logs in 1757. A frame structure replaced that construction at an unknown date in the nineteenth century, and that building was succeeded by the present brick structure in 1918.


References:
George Purefoy, History of Sandy Creek Baptist Church (1859)
George W. Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists, I (1930)
“Rocky River Baptist Church, Chatham County,” (Pittsboro) Chatham News, July 18, 1957
William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, VII
Location: Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard northeast of Siler City County:

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© 2009 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources