Church History Highlights
The Rock of Ages Missionary Baptist Church was organized in the home of Rev. and Mrs. Willie L. and Daisy Lee Irby, at 2219 Franklin Avenue, St Louis, MO on June 6, 1948. Rev Willie L. Irby was an ordained minister and a licensed barber by trade, lived in this community, saw the need to organize a religious and charitable organization. He knew it would bring a positive change to the community. So he was inspired by God and the Holy Spirit to make this change a reality. The church was organized with 10 people (7 women and 3 men) and selected Rev. W. L. Irby as Pastor and Founder.
Rev. Irby worked faithfully in trying to up build the church. On September 12, 1948 the church moved to the fourth floor. They worshipped there until August 5, 1951. The church then moved to 2205 Franklin Avenue. They worshipped in this location for eight years.
Rev Irby purchased property at 3065, 3067, and 3071 Easton Avenue (now Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.) in 1957. He remolded 3067 for the church, They marched in on March 29, 1959. As the church grew different auxiliaries were organized and are as follows: Sunday School, Deacon Board, Trustee Board, Mother Board, Usher Board and Choir.
On February 22, 1983 Rev. Irby had the church incorporated with the state of Missouri, the name had to be changed to Rock of Ages Baptist Church. On June 18, 1989 the cornerstone was laid by the St. Andrews’s Grand Lodge F AAY Mason , William Arnet, Grand Master. In May 1991, a food pantry was established by Deacon Charles Roberson and Sis Bobbie Young. On August 6, 1993 the church purchased the property at 3059 and 3061 Dr. Martin L. King Dr. which is adjacent to the church for a parking lot. The building at 3065 was demolished in the same year .
After 43 years of service on June 18, 1991, Pastor Rev. W. L. Irby, gave his resignation because of illness. It was accepted and he became the Pastor Emeritus. He expired this life on June 16, 1995.
Since 1948 there have been five ministers to serve as pastors.(Rev. Irby, Rev. McGinnis, Rev. Phillips and Rev. Johnson). Our present pastor, Rev. Oliver B. Henderson Sr. was elected and on July 18, 2004 he accepted the position as pastor. He was installed on August 27, 2004 and officially became the pastor of The Rock of Ages Baptist Church. Rev Henderson is doing a wonderful job as leader and pastor. Under his leadership the church has become stronger spiritually and financially. New members have been added to the church, several were baptized. Our Pastor’s main focus have been on canvassing the community and evangelizing, having Youth Revivals, and taking our Vacation Bible School to a higher level. New additions were added to the church building: central air, a handicap ramp, a new side entrance and remodeling the front entrance. Through the Lord’s blessing, He saw Pastor Henderson’s desire to continue to move the church forward. On December 22, 2006 God allowed us to purchase our current location, 2426 North Union Avenue, which has allowed us room for future growth, community service and more evangelism opportunities. We vacated our old home to began our transition to our new edifice. During this time, we were warmly welcomed to hold worship services at the Theodore “Ted” Foster and Sons Funeral Home (Grand campus). On January 28, 2007, we dedicated our new edifice to God. All praises and thanks be unto our God for our very committed pastor to the work of this church and to the vision of God. As we continue to move forward let us keep the faith and trust in God.