Description of Historic Place
The Rockville United Baptist Church is a wood-frame building located in the rural community of Rockville, about nine kilometres south of the town of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. It is the oldest church in this community and was moved from Chebogue Point Road to this site in 1886 . Municipal Heritage designation applies to the building and the lot on which it stands.
The Rockville United Baptist Church is valued for being the oldest place of worship in the community of Rockville; for its history as a Free Christian Baptist Church; and for its Greek Revival style architecture.
The Rockville United Baptist Church was constructed in 1843 about a kilometre south of its present location, on Chebogue Point Road. It was one of several Free Christian Baptist Churches organized by Rev. Charles Knowles between 1832 and 1843 and over which he exercised a fatherly supervision until his death at Tusket in 1877. The Free Christian Baptist churches became part of the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches (CABC) when that body was formed in 1905-1906, later known as the United Baptist Convention of the Atlantic Provinces after Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949. This church, as many others in the CABC, has retained "United Baptist" in its name.
In early May of 1886 this church was moved to a location more convenient to the congregation, onto the lot where the building now stands. The lot of land was owned at the time by James Killam, one of the wealthiest farmers and largest landholders in the Rockville and Chebogue area for many years. On December 31, 1887 Killam sold the lot to the church trustees for the sum of $29.00.
Over more recent years the congregation of this church has diminished significantly and for a number of years the buildind stood virtually unused, except for occasional special events. As with many other churches in small communities, it became financially difficult for its members to maintain the building so the decision was made to clad it with vinyl siding in 1986. This is one of very few old community churches which still retains its steeple, which is the only part of the exterior which is still clad with shingles.
The Greek Revival architecture of the Rockville United Baptist Church is exemplified by its wood construction, steeply pitched gable roof, front pediment broken by the centred projecting tower and steeple and its symmetrical facade.
Source: Municipal Heritage Property files; Rockville United Baptist Church; located at 400 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS.
The character-defining elements of the Rockville United Baptist Church include:
- location in a rural area on Chebogue Road, near Chebogue Point Road;
- wood frame construction;
- rubble-stone foundation.
The character-defining elements of the Greek Revival architecture of the Rockville United Baptist Church include:
- steep gable roof;
- symmetrical facade with centred entrance and entablature;
- centred entrance with paired wooden doors;
- centred front projecting tower with steeple;
- entablature repeated over tower window;
- interior end-wall chimney;
- double hung sash windows;
- larger windows with nine-over-nine glazing;
- smaller windows with six-over-six glazing.