Smalltown Beginnings …
Church on the Rock was officially organized and founded in 1986 from the dream of a small group of Christ followers who were then established as the local Freewill Baptist church in Pascagoula from the early 1960s.
Pastor Rodger Bradley was called into ministry as a teenager from within this small congregation and quickly began preaching for his pastor on occasion. As his communication and pulpit skills developed, it became evident that Rodger’s real passion was that of a soul winner who desired to help people understand Scripture from a practical life application perspective. Put simply, Rodger desired so see the Bible come alive in the spirit of the listener and the believer.
Decade of Growth …
By the early 1990s, COTR was becoming very well recognized in Pascagoula as the “little church on Chicot” that was rapidly growing, attracting many people who simply felt unloved, unaccepted by society, or were trapped in addictions and failures of their own doing. Many were saved and baptized under Rodger’s preaching ministry and the congregation grew to more than 200 by 1993.
This small ragamuffin congregation continued to reach hurting and helpless people across our city and region and became more widely accepted as one of the most diverse congregations in Pascagoula. As crowds grew, so did the demand for more funds and resources to help the hurting. So we did.
Troubles and Trials …
By 2003, we were able to purchase land and build what is our present day worship auditorium, children’s ministry wing, and office complex on north Chicot Street across from I.G. Levy Park in central Pascagoula. Approximately one year after relocation into the new facilities, COTR agreed to offer the original sanctuary location and small fellowship hall facility to a local missions ministry which to this day ministers to at-risk children and their families.
Pastor Rodger and COTR have endured many valleys and mountaintops together. Rodger walked through a season of several very personal challenges in his own family, in his marriage, and in pastoral ministry. Rodger’s life story is a living testimony to the overwhelming, never-ending, and even … reckless Love of God towards his children.
August 29, 2005 … Hurricane Katrina changed everything on the Gulf Coast and across the Gulf States region. Everything!
Thousands of families across the Gulf Coast suffered massive losses. God used that season of rebuilding and recovery to enable COTR to broaden our reach to many more hurting families. By God’s Provision, we sustained minimal losses to our church facilities and were able to distribute untold tractor-trailer loads of food, clothing, and home repair supplies to our city and surrounding communities. The stories of loss, grief, survival, and ultimately — victory — have inspired us to press on towards even greater missions for the cause of Christ!
Next Chapter …
Today, Church on the Rock Pascagoula is a fully cross-cultural and diverse congregation of believers. We are humbled by God’s Provision and care for us as we continue to show the Love of God to everyone, of every creed, of every race, of every life circumstance.
Church on the Rock and ROCK Community Outreach partner with many agencies and coalitions across the Gulf Coast to provide assistance, education, and basic life skills to at risk families, to those enslaved by addictions, and to those who suffer various mental illnesses.
Our mandate is simple: Love God, Love Others, Love Yourself. #John316
COTR desires to reach even more people with the simple yet powerful Gospel of Jesus and help them to become fully devoted followers of Christ. As Pastor Rodger says often, ” … I’m just one beggar helping another beggar find Bread …”