Pastors Harrol Bowman and Chris Walden

God’s Plan:

First Rock Fellowship’s birth is a story about God and how amazing He works. In the Summer of 2012 a vision was given to Pastor Harrol Bowman of First Baptist Church Aubrey regarding the future of the church he had pastored for 28 years. Pastor Harrol had just announced his retirement to come at the end of the year. He and Pastor Chris Walden of Rock Hill Baptist Church had been praying together for over 15 years along with other pastors in the Aubrey area. One Wednesday morning during a prayer time Pastor Bowman ask Pastor Walden if he would consider pastoring a merge of their two churches. Pastor Chris had been at Rock Hill Baptist Church for just over 16 years at the time the merge was brought up. He and pastor Harrol had both been serving in the same communityand with the same vision to see God transform their city. Years of praying together had built trust and friendship between the two and God used that to bring about His plan. The people of First Baptist Aubrey and Rock Hill chose a courageous and daring course, to listen to God, and allow Him to lead them by faith down a path rarely taken. This is a very uncommon thing for two churches in a small town, both over 100 years old to decide to give up their names and their own identity to become one new church with a new name. Neither church was at a place of closing their doors, but were alive and ministering to people in the community. This was not a case of one church taking over another on the contrary it was two churches deciding by the leading of God’s Holy Spirit to become one, sharing everything in common. The beauty of God’s plan is how much stronger He has made us by coming together. The forming of First Rock Fellowship occurred over months of prayer, worshipping together, Q&A times and many meetings to feel out if this was truly God’s will. A committee of over 20 people was formed to choose the new name if the merger were to pass. God showed up in a powerful way on the night of the last meeting and during a final prayer before everyone shared their vote. People gave testimonies all over the room how they had a name in mind out of the final five and God told them what He wanted. We all sat in amazement as the call for votes came on each name and no hands were raised. The first three names that people had just shared their heart for being in favor of were passed over. One name, the last on the list, “First Rock Fellowship” received an overwhelming vote and the few that had voted for the fourth name came into agreement immediately that First Rock Fellowship should be the name.