Oceanside Community Church Southern Baptist Convention
together to touch the world.
Dr. Charles Ross Rowland III, Pastor
Dr. Rowland was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was blessed to have been raised in a Christian home. He acknowledged his sinfulness and trusted Christ as his personal Savior at a summer camp when he was eleven years old.
Pastor Rowland married his wife, Tendra, in 1969. They have three children. Their oldest son is also a pastor of a Baptist church in Vicksburg, MS.
After graduating from Southwestern College in Memphis, TN, with a BA in biology, Ross entered active duty military service in the United States Air Force. After completing pilot training, he was assigned to the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, CA. During his service as a pilot in the KC-135 air refueling aircraft and as an executive officer, he became increasingly involved in teaching at a local baptist church which led inevitably to the decision in 1979 to separate from the Air Force in order to prepare for full time Christian service. He chose to attend Dallas Theological Seminary(DTS), primarily because of the emphasis on the Bible in the basic curriculum as well as the strong emphasis on the original languages, requiring three years of Greek and two years of Hebrew for the ThM degree in Bible exposition. After four years of intense full time study, Pastor Ross received a Master of Theology degree in Bible Exposition.
During his seminary days, Dr. Rowland was actively involved in ministry. After graduating from DTS in 1983, he and his young family returned to Chattanooga to take a position at a large Southern Baptist church as Minister to Youth and Young Adults. Once again God intervened and led Ross back into the USAF as a Chaplain. Ross accepted the Chaplaincy appointment when he realized that his unusual background as a pilot-chaplain would open many doors of ministry in the Air Force. His multi-faceted ministry at five different bases included two assignments as Senior Protestant Chaplain and one as the Installation Staff Chaplain, affording him a wealth of pastoral experience.
In the spring of 1996, Chaplain Rowland was chosen for promotion to Lt. Colonel, but after much searching for God's will in his life, he decided to decline the promotion and accepted a call to Oceanside Community Church as Senior Pastor. With the support and encouragement of the congregation, Pastor Rowland received his Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral ministry from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN, on May 13, 2005. Dr. Rowland is the longest serving pastor in the history of the church.