The Rosewood Avenue Baptist Church was organized on August 1, 1945, in the Community Center at 1192 Angelina Street. Inspired by Divine Vision, the late Reverend L.J. Griffin led twenty-six members in a humble beginning with their faith as a firm foundation. Led by the Holy Spirit, the Rosewood Church purchased property to build a new edifice. The late Deacon W.S. Edmerson, planned and constructed the edifice where it now stands with hours of labor, love and sacrifices.
On April 18, 1948, the congregation formally entered their facilities by marching from the Community Center to the new Church singing It’s a Highway to Heaven, thus marking the first formal entrance into the church. This was a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving.
Reverend Griffin was a fine pastor and his leadership abilities were recognized beyond the Rosewood Church. He also served as Moderator of the St. John Landmark Baptist District Association. He led the church and was active in associational work until he became severely ill. In September 1956, the Lord saw fit to call Reverend Griffin from “labor to reward.”
October 14, 1956 marked the beginning of a new pastoral leadership for the church in the person of the late Reverend G.M. Releford. Reverend Releford assumed leadership of the Rosewood Church with a membership of more than 400.
During Reverend Releford’s ministry with the church, the facilities were completely remodeled and expanded. Several capital improvements were made including the purchase of central air conditioning, musical instruments, carpet and a church parsonage. Simultaneously, the membership steadily grew. Reverend Releford’s leadership abilities were also recognized beyond the local church in him also being selected as Moderator of the St. John Landmark Baptist District Association. He led the church for seventeen years. His health began to fail and on November 20, 1973, God called him home.
After many prayers, the church called Reverend E.B. Brown, Sr. as pastor. Under his leadership, the membership continued to grow. Reverend Brown’s tenure ended May 8, 1976.
In September 1976, one week was set aside for prayer; the Lord heard the plea of the church and the Reverend J.W. Richardson became the new pastor. Under his leadership, the Rosewood Church continued to be a dynamic force in carrying God’s word to the unsaved. Reverend Richardson’s ministry ended on April 27, 1980.
The Reverend Frank Garrett, Jr. was called on August 13, 1980. During Reverend Garrett’s ministry, improvements were made to the church including remodeling of facilities and equipment upgrades. Reverend Garrett’s ministry at the Rosewood Church ended on October 31, 1983.
In May 1984, Reverend Hugh E. Smith was called as pastor after six months of prayer. Reverend Smith humbly led the church until January 1993.
Rosewood was prayerful again resulting in God placing the Reverend Coby Shorter, III as pastor. Reverend Shorter has been placed at the helm of Rosewood’s ship not only to preach and teach the Word, but to also lead the church to the “Land of Promise.” In twenty-five years, Rosewood has grown and prospered tremendously. In addition to capital purchases and improvements as well as extraordinary fiscal growth, the Rosewood Church is taking bold steps in ministry resulting in the planning and implementation of new ministries and activities.
The Rosewood Church is again receiving recognition in ministry locally, statewide, and nationally as Reverend Shorter represents “The Wood in the Hood” throughout the nation. Through Divine Empowerment, the Rosewood Church is striving to be Bold in Ministry.