THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD
The Assemblies of God was founded in 1914 in Hot Springs, Arkansas with 300 people at the founding convention. Today there are 13,017 churches in the U.S. with over 3 million members and adherents. There are more than 69 million Assemblies of God members worldwide, making the Assemblies of God the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination.
THE ROCK ASSEMBLY OF GOD
The First Assembly of God has a great and godly heritage in the town of Sterling. From the very beginning, its main reason for being has been to glorify God, to encourage the body of Christ, and to win the lost. In January of 1934, Pastor Gilbert Cunningham of Fleming believed that God wanted him to establish an Assembly of God in Sterling, CO. He was assisted by Ira Guy and Celeste Heath as they began holding services in a rented storefront building at 120 North 2nd St.
That location later became Pawnee Furniture, then it became part of the Masonic Lodge which later moved to the west side of Sterling. That first location was just north of Main Street on 2nd Street. After several weeks of meetings the congregation moved to a building just south of Main Street on Second Street. The next location was in the 100 block of South 2nd St and is now part of the parking lot for Wells Fargo Bank.
After about three months F.C. Woodworth (the District Superintendent) came to Sterling and held evangelistic services for about two and a half months. During that time the congregation outgrew their second location and moved into a barn at Fifth and Lincoln. The building was sealed on the inside with cardboard, it was whitewashed, and pews were constructed by volunteers. That building no longer exists.
On January 3, 1935, the church was officially “set in order” and became affiliated with the General Council of the Assemblies of God. There were at least 25 charter members at that time. Several months later, the members of the congregation tore down an old school building at St. Anthony’s for materials to build their own church building at the corner of N. 3rd St and Pine (currently the Spanish A/G). The women pulled nails and assisted in putting up lath in preparation for the plaster. It was a volunteer effort and the building served the congregation from early 1935 until 1941.
In late 1941, they moved to the corner of Lincoln and S. Division Ave. The building on Division was previously a Dunkard Brethren Church. It was dedicated on November 24, 1942 as the First Assembly of God in Sterling with about 300 in attendance. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the United States was in the middle of WWII when this building was dedicated.
Going back, we will mention the names of our previous pastors and post any pictures that we have. Paul Fleming was the first pastor of the First Assembly of God back in July 1934. He was followed by C.W. “Wesley” Morton, then Dorsey Overturf, who was pastor in 1935, at the time they built the building on N.3rd St and Pine. Pastor Overturf was followed by Paul Jones, A.W. “Alex” Smith, Harvey Jackson, Carl Hixenbaugh.
E.H. Kauffman was our pastor from 1941 to 1944. During that time the church moved to the building on S. Division Ave. Pastor Kauffman was followed by Robert McAllister, and Herman Gibbons. James Call became the pastor in the summer of 1953 and served until July, 1975. He was followed by Melvin J. Kisser, John White, and Don Henderson.
Don Henderson was our pastor when the church had its 50th anniversary in 1984. Pastor Henderson was followed by Dwayne French.
Orville Stewart was our pastor for 19 years from 1997 to 2015. Under Pastor Stewart’s leadership, in 2008 the church moved to its present location at 415 Beattie St (formerly the Franklin School building) Soon afterwards, the church changed its name to The Rock Assembly of God. Officially, the church is registered with the state of Colorado as “First Assembly of God in Sterling, CO dba The Rock Assembly of God.” (“dba” stands for “doing business as”)
Roger Griffith became the pastor on February 10, 2016.