Solid Rock Is a Historic Church, Dedicated to Serving the Needs of Downtown Prescott

In 1879 the Rev. R. A. Windes, his wife, and two small children came riding from Alabama in a wagon drawn by their two mules. Determined to establish a Baptist church in Prescott, Rev. Windes sought a nucleus of Baptists for the start of a congregation. In 1880, the pastor and a group of four people became the nucleus of a congregation named the Lone Star Baptist Church, the first Baptist church to be established in the Territory of Arizona.  Over the years, the name has changed, but Lone Star Baptist (now Solid Rock Christian Fellowship) is the oldest Baptist church in Arizona.

Below, read more about the history of the church and our core values that have continued to drive Solid Rock for well over a century.

In 1863 a party of 30 prospectors discovered gold seven miles south of Prescott and on Lynx Creek a few miles east of Prescott. Prescott was born and the next year President Lincoln signed legislation establishing the Territory of Arizona, for which Prescott became its first capital. In 1879 Indian raiders were still active across the Arizona Territory. Fort Whipple, a mile outside Prescott’s northeast border, was manned by Army cavalry put there to protect Prescottonians and outlying ranchers from Indian depredations, although by then most of the Yavapai Indians, the ones who originally occupied the territory about Prescott, had been forced to move to the Apache reservation at San Carlos. In all the territory there were only eight Protestant churches but some five hundred saloons. If there was ever a region in need of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, this was it. Into this untamed, central Arizona mining town through the providence of God a Baptist missionary was directed to venture.

It was in 1879 that the Rev. R.A. Windes, his wife and two small children came riding from Alabama in a wagon drawn by their two mules. Determined to establish a Baptist church in Prescott, Rev. Windes sought a nucleus of Baptists for the start of a congregation, but discovered, in his words, that “Baptists were as scarce as hen’s teeth.” Nevertheless, four were found. These in 1880 became the nucleus of a congregation named the Lone Star Baptist Church, the first Baptist church to be established in all the Territory of Arizona. The congregation first met in the Methodist church, later in a schoolhouse being built north of town in Miller Valley. Soon for $2,500 a lot was purchased and a house of worship built on Academy Hill. This was on Fleury Street, the present location of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Rev. Windes came under the auspices of the American Baptist Home Mission Society.

In 1884 Pastor Windes left to take up mission activities elsewhere in Arizona, the pastorate being taken by Rev. J.M. Green, also sent by the Home Mission Society, as were several pastors to follow. The congregtion, now filling the little church, decided to move, the move being contemplated, according to an article in the Weekly Arizona Miner, because “people of weak lung power find it impossible to make the ascension to the temple of God in one day, hence many are deterred from attempting the journey.” The building was pulled on log rollers to its new site on South Cortez just south of the present downtown Post Office.

Over the next several years, the growing church membership purchased three properties on the corner of Goodwin and Marina, the present location of the church. In 1922 the church began the construction of the Stone Building that stands on the northwest corner of the intersection. In 1925 a local bank failed and the congregation lost its substantial savings of $1,800 which had been put aside toward the new building. Nevertheless, with a loan from the American Baptist Home Mission Society, the building was completed. The auditorium of the new church was up a flight of steps into what is now the gymnasium. On Easter Sunday, April 17, 1927, the building was dedicated.

In 1934 the church voted to change its name from the Lone Star Baptist to the First Baptist Church of Prescott. In 1950 the church formally affiliated with the Conservative Baptist Association. This is a voluntary association of Bible-believing Baptist churches for fellowship and missionary endeavors, following the historic Baptist principle of independent local churches committed to common faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word.

As the Tri Cities area population expanded, the church had a concern for its spiritual needs and founded the Prescott Heights Baptist Church on Rosser Street (now the Heights Church on Larry Caldwell Drive). With its ongoing concern for local missions, the church later founded both Grace Baptist in Chino Valley and Bethel Baptist in Prescott Valley.

The congregation continued to grow, especially under the ministry of Rev. Roy H. Boldt, who arrived on the field in 1955. In 1958 work was begun on a new and more spacious auditorium, the one now used for worship services. It was completed and dedicated on July 8-10, 1960, the membership then reaching 428. Subsequently an educational wing was added, and later a structure facing the courthouse on Cortez Street was purchased and remodeled to become the H.Allan Smyth Educational Building. The building was named for a popular and dynamic pastor who served from 1975 to 1982, his ministry tragically ended by cancer. Christian education has been a concern of the congregation, so in 1981 the church began the Christian Academy of Prescott, which made use of church facilities during weekdays. The Academy served children from preschool through eighth grades, until its closing in 2018.

By 2001 the active membership had grown to 711. With its continued growth, the church needed more room for its varied ministries, and so purchased the former building of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church across Union Street and the Union Station on Union Street.

In 2015, the church once again decided to change its name. While Solid Rock Christian Fellowship remains part of the Conservative Baptist Association, locally Southwest Church Connection, it desired to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider a new identity in the Prescott Community. The church was renamed with the hope of clarifying who we are, and reduce the confusion over what the name “baptist” has come to represent in our current culture. We believe that “Solid Rock” reminds us to live on the Rock, who is Christ; that we are distinctly “Christian” in our beliefs and behaviors; and that we desire to gather together in mutual edification and “Fellowship” as God’s word reveals.

Over the years the church’s growth has come because it has never lost sight of its call to proclaim the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone and to build and strengthen each of its members spiritually through preaching and teaching the whole counsel of the Word of God. Neither has the church lost sight of its divine commission to reach others at home and abroad with the message of Christ through its support of home and foreign missions.

DECLARATION OF FAITH

ARTICLE IV OF OUR CONSTITUTION

 4.1 The Word of God

We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original writings, complete as the revelation of God’s will for salvation, and the supreme and final authority in all matters to which they speak.

4.2 The Trinity

We believe in one God, creator and sustainer of all things, eternally existing in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; that these are equal in every divine perfection and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption.

4.3 God the Father

We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

4.4 Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is God’s eternal Son and has precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. We believe further that He is not only true God but true man, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We also believe in His sinless life, His substitutionary atonement, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, His priestly intercession on behalf of His people, and His imminent, personal, visible, premillennial return from heaven.

4.5 Holy Spirit

We believe in God the Holy Spirit, His personality, and His ministry to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and implement Christ’s work of redeeming the lost and empowering the believer for godly living and service.

4.6 Man

We believe God created man, male and female, in His image and free from sin. We further believe man is a sinner by nature and choice and is therefore spiritually dead. We also believe that those who repent of sin and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, are eternally secure, and will rejoice forever in God’s presence. Those who refuse to accept Christ as Savior and Lord will be forever condemned and separated from God.

4.7 Salvation

We believe that salvation is based upon the sovereign grace of God, was purchased solely by Christ on the cross, and is received by all persons through faith apart from human merit, works, or ritual. It is God’s purpose in salvation for each believer to grow in grace and manifest Christ’s likeness in thought, word, and deed.

4.8 The Church

We believe that the New Testament Church, which began at Pentecost, is the spiritual body of which Christ is the head and is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been baptized by the Holy Spirit. We believe that this body expresses itself in local assemblies whose members associate themselves for worship, for instruction, for evangelism, and for service. We believe the ordinances of the local church are believer’s baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper. We also believe in the interdependence of local churches of like faith and practice.

4.9 Separation of Church and State

We believe that each local church is self-governing in function and must be free from interference by an ecclesiastical or political authority. We further believe that every person is directly responsible to God in matters of faith and life and that each should be free to worship God according to the dictates of his or her conscience.

4.10 Christian Conduct

We believe that the supreme task of every believer is to glorify God by evidencing conduct blameless before the world, practicing faithful stewardship of possessions, and seeking to realize the full stature of maturity in Christ. We believe that every person is ultimately responsible to God alone in matters of faith and conduct.

4.11 The Future

We believe in the bodily resurrection of the saved and lost, the eternal existence of everyone either in heaven or hell, in divine judgments, rewards, and punishments.

Mission

Solid Rock Christian Fellowship is about “joining God in loving people into following Jesus.”

Joining God – We declare our dependence upon our Lord and recognize that He is our strength; without Him we can do nothing. We also gladly join in partnering with God to promote His kingdom purposes in the world. We are invited by Jesus, through the power of His Spirit, to carry His mission forward in our world.

Loving People – Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Our strong desire is to communicate the same love that God gives us to those in the community of believers. In addition, God’s love is for all the world, thus as His people, we seek to love others as Christ loves us.

Following Jesus – Jesus’ call to “follow me” was an invitation to enter into a teacher-student relationship with the king of the universe. As we follow, Jesus says, “a disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” Thus, connecting others in a student-teacher relationship with Jesus, is our greatest pleasure and greatest responsibility. As we follow, God’s Spirit transforms us into the image of Jesus.

At Solid Rock Christian Fellowship, we do not do any of these aspects perfectly, but our desire is to grow in our dependence on God, learn to love like Jesus, and follow Him more closely and extend that invitation to our world.

Our Core Values

We have seven core values.  Our core values are not additional programs that we seek to be involved with, but instead are values which we desire to have infiltrate every facet and ministry at Solid Rock Christian Fellowship. By their very nature, each core value is both a reality and a dream: they both currently impact what we do while we still have progress to make on each one!

Biblical Faithfulness

We believe that the Bible is our all-sufficient and trustworthy authority for salvation, life and ministry. (II Timothy 3:16-17)

Intercessory Prayer

Intercessory Prayer – we believe that God-dependent prayer unlocks God’s power and must permeate the life and ministry of the church (His people). (Matthew 7:7-11)

Loving Relationships

We believe that life-changing growth best occurs in the context of authentic community where people lovingly serve and pray for each other. (Romans 12:9-21)

Unified Participation

We believe that involvement in evangelism and discipleship ministries is the responsibility of all believers, serving together in loving unity. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Family Building

We believe that the church is to provide opportunity for the development of spiritually healthy individuals, marriages and families. (Titus 2)

Servant Leadership

We believe that the church is to be led by spiritually qualified leaders who assume responsibility to equip believers for spiritual growth and mission fulfillment. (I Peter 5:1-3)

Edifying Gatherings

We believe that God’s people are to gather regularly for worship, prayer, fellowship and relevant teaching of God’s Word in order to be encouraged and strengthened for life and ministry. (Hebrews 10:19-25)

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