The vision for Rolling Fields Church began in a community meeting in downtown Jeffersonville in April of 1951. James P. Carter spearheaded an effort to begin a new Southern Baptist church to reach the city for Christ. The first meeting for the new Middle Road Baptist Chapel took place at the Middle Road School on June 10, 1951, with 15 in attendance. A week later the first official worship service began with 25 worshippers. Rev. Carter gave the first message for the new mission, “Old Fashioned Religion.”
From this point the people of Middle Road Baptist Chapel didn’t look back, but moved forward in faith. God answered through accelerated growth and the provision of a Mother Church. Twenty-Third and Broadway, a Baptist Church in Louisville, voted to adopt the new mission in April of 1952.
Property was purchased at the present location of 8th and Ewing in June of 1952 for $14,500. The people wasted no time in worshipping at their new site, and the first worship service was held under a tent in July of ’52. Plans for a building began in July of ’52, and the first structure was completed in August of ’53. Today that building is the Student Ministries Building.
Late in 1955 the Middle Road Baptist Chapel sought permission from the Mother Church to constitute as a church. The name “Rolling Fields Church” was selected on December 18, 1955. Ten days later on December 28, 1955, Twenty-Third and Broadway granted 118 letters to the charter members of Rolling Fields Church. During this time the average Sunday School attendance had exploded from 28 in 1951 to 120 in 1956. Another milestone was accomplished on October 16, 1960 when the new sanctuary was dedicated. Historical highs in Sunday School attendance were achieved in both 1962 and ’64 with 190 lives being touched weekly by the Word of God. In 1967 a mission in Pekin, Indiana, was birthed, fulfilling the Great Commission mandate through the planting of a new church.
After such a wonderful beginning, Rolling Fields turned inward and placed more emphasis on maintenance than reaching out.
The history committee of 1989 made these frank observations of their church:
- Rolling Fields was not a soul-winning church.
- There was a failure to assimilate growth into the mainstream of the church through small groups.
- Members did not feel like they belonged or had a place of service.
- The church was soft on membership or how one became a member of the church, indicated by a lack of dedication, commitment, and acceptance of responsibility.
- Often, the church’s sense of purpose came and went with the Pastor.
Wow-what a change! Rolling Fields began with a desire to reach its community, as indicated through this quote from a history committee of 1956.
“We pray for God’s guidance in the great task ahead, and we look to the future with the expectation of great things happening in this community through the leadership of the Rolling Fields Church.”
In 1999-2000, the remnants of RF, some 35-40 members, chose to once again turn their sights outward towards their community. At this time RF made difficult decisions based on God’s missional heart of love for mankind. Through the leadership of interim pastors Ed Stetzer & Danny Moore, the church, mostly made up of Senior Citizens, chose a contemporary worship style, and revamped the worship service to be friendly, welcoming, and inviting. The church adopted the strategy of helping unchurched people become fully devoted followers of Christ.
Since this time God has added to the numbers of Rolling Fields membership. The church has gone through a tremendous transformation, and looks to exciting years ahead serving God & expanding his Kingdom.
What To Expect At RF!
We worship together Sunday at 10:45am. Our church family comes from all over Southern Indiana & the Greater Louisville area. Rolling Fields offers a full nursery, children’s activities, youth & adult small groups.