...The date was December 10, 1978...
The date was December 10, 1978. The place – a borrowed church in Brooklyn, NY. In attendance were 10 worshippers. That was the first service of the Rehoboth Open Bible Church, birthed by the Holy Spirit through Rev. and Mrs. Easton Grant. An affiliate of the Open Bible Churches Incorporated in Des Moines, Iowa, Rehoboth derived its name from Genesis 26 v 22 “. . . For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land” (KJV). Over the ensuing three years with the services being held at the home of Rev. Grant, the attendance increased to an average of seventy-five persons.
Soon, however, the Church had to spread its wings as it champions its motto: God is Alive, Active and Available. In October 1981 the current building, situated at 5102 Avenue D in Brooklyn was purchased, and the inaugural worship service was held on Sunday, October 26, 1981. Rev. Grant was a faithful servant of Christ who shepherded the flock with a passionate love for God, His people, and His Word. His contagious spiritual fervor was reflected in the increased growth in attendance to 150 persons before his departure in 1985. The fact that Rehoboth is still a vibrant growing church after so many years speaks to the relevance of Rev. Grant’s vision. After faithfully running the first leg of the race Rev. Grant passed the baton to our next herald, Rev. Edly Roper.
...Rehoboth satisfied its mortgage obligation...
Rev. Roper eagerly took the baton with passion, commitment, and dedication. He was a shepherd who led with strength, courage and great perseverance, despite many obstacles. He preached the Word uncompromisingly in season and out of season and left behind a legacy of faith. Under Rev. Roper’s leadership, Rehoboth satisfied its mortgage obligation and became the proud owner of real property at the Avenue D location, and the church became debt free. During Pastor Roper’s tenure, the attendance of the youths and young adults soared, and the first youth retreat was held. This retreat became a regular staple to disciple our young adults.
Reverend Easton and Joy Grant
Reverend Edly Roper
Rev. Roper’s leg of the relay was a leg ran well. But change is inevitable and soon God had waiting with his hand outstretched, Rev. H. Dennis Campbell, and by his side, first lady, Esther Campbell. In 1993 Rev. and Mrs. Campbell bravely took the baton, despite the myriad of challenges that plagued this leg of the race, confident in the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish what only He could. For 17 years they ran faithfully and joyfully, the longest leg of the journey, thus far. They shepherded a hurting flock with grace and wisdom, and with the Word of God and the help of the Holy Spirit, became instruments of healing and restoration.
...The marriage between Rehoboth and technology was a reality...
Here are a few notable accomplishments under Pastor and Sis. Campbell’s leadership:
The launching and completion of major renovations and a facelift to our sanctuary space at 5102 Avenue D, which provided a much better décor and more worship space.
The introduction of dual services to address the issue of the increasing growth in church membership and attendance. The
8: 00 am service has been operational and vibrant for over 10 years now.
The establishment of the Marriage Enrichment and Family Life Ministry to strengthen existing marriages, to provide pre-marital counseling and assessments for engaged couples, and to offer parental support. The work of this Ministry has resulted in the divorce rate in our church being less than five percent.
With Pastor Campbell’s adept computer skills, Rehoboth leaped into the 21st century by automating systems, implementing internal controls and procedures, and expanding the worship experience. The marriage between Rehoboth and technology was a reality.
The introduction, launching and implementation of the Institute of Theology by Extension (INSTE), a theological distance learning program providing college level biblical instruction to develop leaders and to disciple believers. Training at a Bible College became a reality and gave ready access to many to become credential ministers of Open Bible Churches.
Rehoboth adopted and engaged in a new thrust in missions and world evangelism. Our church grew and excelled in the grace of giving, evidenced by unprecedented giving to Open Bible Churches and their affiliates both at the national and regional levels, Bible Colleges such as the College of Theological and Interdisciplinary Studies (formerly The Jamaica Open Bible Institute) and New Hope Christian College (formerly Eugene Bible College); many Open Bible Standard churches in Jamaica such as Kingdom Builders –formerly Rivoli Open Bible Church, Miracle Open Bible Church, Newport Open Bible Church, and New Haven Open Bible Church, and missions outreach such as Elim Fellowship Missions in Haiti under the leadership of Roger and Margaret Clark.
Rehoboth engaged in its first overseas mission trip to Mexico, with subsequent trips to Nigeria and Trinidad. Additionally, there were local mission endeavors with Rachel Joy, Salt and Sea, and The HIV Center in Brooklyn.
ROBC partnered with Intercessory Prayer Ministries International (IPMI) to galvanize the Jamaican diaspora to intercede for the country of Jamaica and the Caribbean, while supporting the effort financially.