About Rock

Who we are.  Where we came from.  Where we’re going.

About Rock Church in Rockford, Illinois

Our heritage.

Rock Church has been serving the Rockford community for over 70 years. In the 1940s, a group of Swedish-speaking immigrants had a desire to plant a church that would reach military families and soldiers returning home from World War II. When the new church, Swedish Philadelphia Church, was founded, it was primarily a Swedish-speaking church.
Shortly afterward, however, it was decided that the church would need to offer services in English if the congregation was going to grow. And so, in 1946, the church reorganized as South Park Gospel Tabernacle and began the journey to where we are today.

From its humble beginnings on 11th Street to yet another name change (“Rock Church”), to the vision to build on Carman Drive near Harrison Avenue in the late 1960s, and finally to our present-day footprint on Harrison Avenue, Rock Church has continually seen and experienced God’s faithfulness.

And we believe the best is yet to come.

Our vision.

We, at Rock Church, are committed to fulfilling the Great Commission and the Great Commandment by:

  • Reaching our community and world with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
  • Restoring relationships with God and man through the power of the Holy
  • Refining disciples through teaching and Spiritual Gift discovery.
  • Releasing into ministry those who have been equipped for service.

Our staff.


Lead Pastor – Jared Katke

Jared has been a part of Rock Church for most of his life coming on staff as Associate Pastor in 1998 and taking the Lead Pastor role in 2015.

Worship Ministry in Rockford Illinois - Rock Church

Worship Pastor – Marty Pierce

Marty is a native Oklahoman who served at Rock Church from 2001-2004 and came back to the church in 2014.

Pastor Randy and Janelle Young - Rock Church

Associate Pastor – Randy Young

Pastor Randy Young and his wife, Janelle, have been pastoring in the Rockford area for the last 18 years. They came to Rock Church in October, 2016 ready to jump in and take up the Associate Pastor role. Pastor Randy’s background includes 17 years of ministry with law enforcement serving as the mental health coordinator specializing in critical incident stress management. They look forward to and are excited to be a part of what God is going to accomplish at Rock Church.

Youth Ministry in Rockford Illinois - Rock Church

Director of Youth Ministries – Kari Heckler

Kari has been part of Rock Church since 2006. She has served in many different ministries throughout most of her adult life. She believes in equipping students to be involved in church ministry so that when they are adults they will already be down the path to discovering who they are in Christ.

Children's Ministry in Rockford Illinois - Rock Church

Children’s Pastor – Patrick McGuire

Patrick and Erica are recent graduates of Evangel University and joined the ministry staff of Rock Church in August of 2017.

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