The history of the Presbyterian Church in Rockdale would not be complete without a few remarks about Rev. W. E. Copeland, who served as minister from 1873 to 1921. He was born in Scotland and came to America (Galveston, Texas) in 1858 to bring a cargo of Shetland ponies. He served with the Confederate Army during the Civil War. After the war, he began preaching the gospel according to the Presbyterian faith, a profession for which he had been educated in the University of Edinburgh.
Rev. Copeland settled in Washington County and served as minister to several communities. The first record of services in Rockdale was 1873. In 1874, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in Rockdale. This congregation erected a wood building at the corner of San Gabriel and Davilla in 1875. This church was used by all denominations until they erected their own churches. This brown, wooden building was also used as a schoolhouse (Private).
The building, which now stands in the same location as the first one was dedicated in 1914. This white stucco structure was used until sometime in the early 1930s when the church was dissolved due to insufficient membership to keep it going. This building was sold to the Peace Lutheran Church and they in turn sold it to the Mexican Baptist.
In 1952-53, the present church was organized. At first services were held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church; then in the library of what is now the Junior High School.
The first services held in the present building at 1600 Alcoa, June 6, 1954.
Those who have served as ministers are:
Created on 19 Mar 2004 and last revised on 25 Mar 2004