A pretty country church with cemetery

On our adventure yesterday we came across the Rock Creek Baptist Church, a lovely little (and typical) country church and associated cemetery. Many many areas of rural America are dotted with small churches. Before cars, rural churches usually sprang up within an easy buggy trip for most families.

Sher standing beside the Church Marquee

The Rock Creek Cemetery across the road

A distinguished old family monument

A sad story for James

RIP Estella, a loved daughter

Our son caught us peeking into the sanctuary through the doors!

We noticed that the “Rock Creek Baptist” lettering above the door looked quite a bit like the lettering on many of the old covered bridges we have been visiting. A search online failed to come up with any history of this church, other than it is listed on the American Baptist roles. The church address is 11168 S County Rd 100 W, Westport, Indiana.


15 thoughts on “A pretty country church with cemetery

      • Yes they are. On the flip side, he old family plots are very interesting. Although, they can be sad too. The large family one that you put up in this post was very similar to one I saw as a child in one of those types of cemeteries. But that one had 6 or 7 names on it – all sorts of ages too. It ran straight up from something like 1 years old to about 60. It was very interesting, yet so sad because the story was right there carved in stone. All of these people, all different ages, all in the same family plot they all died the same day, except one who died like 2 days later. We went all over that cemetery – and like you said in your post, those kind of churches popped up all of the time just to service that little local area. No one else in the cemetery died on that day (or the preceding or following 7 days that wasn’t on that headstone), so it wasn’t a natural disaster because more people would have likely gotten seriously injured or died. It was just this headstone, and there wasn’t another church with a cemetery for miles around. That leaves it down to a few possible options: a house fire (or something quite similar) or some disease that ravaged this one family. It is unlikely that a disease would claim five or six people on the exact same day, it is more likely something akin to a fire. It’s so sad, yet so very interesting. It is not merely this one child that died at a few months old or a few years, but it’s a whole family. Because of that, you can piece together stories from these people who are long gone and most likely mostly forgotten. But here we come with our curiosity and our interest, and we can rebuild the broad strokes of their lives from a couple of hints, a few hundred years in the future. Although we don’t know if we are right, although we can’t remember people that we have never, ever met, we are thinking of them. For those moments, we are remembering them to the best of our ability – and when you see a memorial for a multi-generational family, that makes it to your heart, and keeps it there forever – we saw this marker nearly 30 years ago, yet I have never forgotten. And for those moments, these lost souls are remembered in our hearts and minds, and that is what the after life is (to me) – being remembered. And it’s not just being remembered for the way you died – it’s being remembered for the way you might have lived. One marker, so many names and ages, all dying on the same day – that was either a multi-generational home, or it was a family that came to dinner as a family – whether it was a special occasion (it was not a holiday or a birthday of any of them), or because it was a Sunday after church, this family was close enough that whatever happened, happened to all of them. That family IS my family – that is how we are. More of the story could probably have been filled in if we all had google in our pockets back then – we would know that death date and if it was a Sunday or a random Tuesday – but sometimes, you just have to remember to the best of your abiliy and that’s all you can do.

        But I love those moments – when the story of this person comes together, and for one brief moment, that person is in front of you and their story is being told enough that they are being remembered.


  1. It appears as if Rock Creek Baptist Church (not necessarily this building) in Decatur County dates back at least to 1825. I only found one newspaper item referencing that, seeking a family who had been members. It would be interesting to find out more about the church.


    • My search did not produce much, yours at least found date references. The notes on the American Baptist Assoc. lists them as members, but no information at all. The best chance may be a visit some Sunday morning…

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s