Historians report the bell was brought to the area in the 1850s and weighs an estimated 1,200 pounds.
It was purchased for $10 from Van Wert Church in 1897. A framed document gives details of the transaction and how trustees from both churches were involved.
“All claims are released” is marked as an important part of the hand written note.
Pastor Jeanette Dickens said the bell is in good condition and the exterior of the tower where it hangs is structurally sound.
However, major work on its interior is planned within the next several weeks.
Rev. Dickens said rain has leaked into the church and five wooden platforms will need to be replaced.
Church Trustee Chair Jimmy Jones recently gave a presentation on the project. He noted that the work is needed to preserve the integrity of the church. The tower is built from the church’s ground level to the top of the building.
The project has been bid and a contract awarded to Brandon Sellars and Craig Kuhlan. Estimated cost is $16,000.
Work is expected to begin immediately and should take about six weeks to complete.
This project continues a program of renovation at the church, which began in 2010. Since that time, there has been an upgrade of the exterior details with special attention given to the stained glass windows. The tower windows were also replaced and the orange and gold trim repainted.
During the past several months, the hardwood floors have been replaced in the hallways, new tile added in the vestibule and an upgrade of all adult Sunday school rooms, preschool classrooms and bathrooms has been completed.
“As usual in beautiful old buildings like Rockmart First, we found some problems when parts of the vestibule was torn out,” Dickens said. “We needed to stabilize the foundation where the buildings joined together before the new hardwood floors went down.”