TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Pastor Joe Wible Jr. drove past an abandoned church on 7th Street he learned was one of the oldest churches in Topeka.
“We saw the church and it was pretty much in disrepair, abandoned for 20 years, so it needed a lot of work on it,” Wible Jr said.
What was once Topeka’s first African-American church is now The Rock Community Church.
Its reconstruction required a handful of dedicated men with a common goal.
“There were really four of us working on it and mainly two of us, myself and Dale Flores, we were here every day working on it, we both have heart issues and we worked four days a week and we kept going,” he said. noted.
Wible Jr. said he knew he could create something special the moment he saw the building.
“I was retired, going to Topeka Baptist Church, it’s my home church and I loved it there. Then I passed by this church because I was helping my grandson on a house he was knocking over and when I saw him I stopped and the Lord just touched my heart bringing him back to the community . That’s why it’s called community, we’re non-dominant, we don’t talk about a religion, we preach the word of God, so he put it on my heart, so we don’t reach out to all of Topeka, we’re reaching out to this community,” he explained.
The project cost about $170,000 from his retirement fund.
“If only one person is saved through this process, it was worth it.”
The church is located at 9087 SW 7th Street.
The church is now open for services, here are the times:
-Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.
-Sunday evenings at 6:00 p.m.
-Wednesday evenings at 6:00 p.m.
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