Our History

The Rugby Church of God was organized in 1925 with Rev. Harry Carr as pastor. Services were first held in homes, missions, and various other places until February 1929 when land was purchased on Rugby Blvd, and 13th Street, NW at a cost of $4,000 to build a church. Ground was broken in July of 1929 and the first service in the new building was held in January 1930. The structure consisted of a sanctuary seating 250, a built-in baptistery, and full basement that provided rooms for Sunday School classes.

As the church grew, in 1956 it became necessary to relocate for future growth. The building and parsonage were sold to Pilgrim Baptist Church. Land was purchased on Hildebrand Road. Services were held in the Fraternal Order of Police building on Preston Avenue, NW until construction was completed. The name was then changed to "First" Church of God. In October 1957 the new facility was occupied and dedicated on November 3 with Rev. H. Clay Dunaway officiating. Rev. J. Tommy Williams was pastor at that time. The buiding consisted of a sanctuary to seat 250, six classrooms, a nursery and fellowship hall.

Continued growth was experienced under the leadership of Rev. William Giesler. A day school for children ages 2-5 started in the church in September 1959, an educational wing including a larger fellowship hall was added to the church in September 1960. Property across the street was purchased in November 1964 to construct a parking lot.

Under the leadership of Rev. James Chapman, the property across the street from the parking lot was purchased for construction of a day care center and gymnasium in September 1967. On March 10, 1968 the ground-breaking for Church Court Day Nursery and Kindergarten was held. Church Court has served the community now going on 47 years.

Charles Towriss became pastor in May of 1969. Much progress was experienced under his nine-year pastorate. The debt on the church was retired in July 1974, a few years early. The mortgage burning ceremony was held October 13, 1974. Also in 1974 new Church of God hymnals were dedicated and placed in the sanctuary and a new Allen digital computer organ was installed. To provide additional space a building program for a new sanctuary officially got underway in May 1976 with the approval of our loan from the Board of Church Extension and Home Missions in Anderson. The ground-breaking service for the new sanctuary was August 1, 1976 with construction starting November 5, 1976. Worship services were held in the Church Court Gymnasium from May 8 until September 11, 1977, the first service in the new sanctuary. Dedication of the new facility seating 600+ people including a balcony, a Prayer Chapel, two nurseries, restrooms and foyer space was held October 16, 1977 with Rev. Kenneth Tabor officiating. The mortgage on the Day Care Center was paid off in November 1977.

We are humbly grateful to GOD for the accomplishments He has allowed us in the Roanoke Valley.

We invite you to become a part of the church today and a piece of its history tomorrow.

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