The land for the cemetery and the Rock Church was donated by Bosmon and Sarah Clifton upon the death of their daughter. They came to the area in 1835 because of the slavery in Missouri and used his home as a Christian meeting place before the church was built in 1851. The township of Clifton was named for him. Bosmon borrowed the money needed to build the church at an interest rate of 30%. Stone for the church was quarried near Martinville and was hauled to the site by oxen. The wood for the floor and windows was cut from the large timbers also taken locally. The church is the result of early settlers who were determined to have a place of worship and to have a meeting place. An old pot-bellied stove was used for heat, the windows were of clear glass and the old fashioned pump organ is still in use. An antique. wood-burning parlour stove was installed in 2019 to replace the original coal burning stove. No electricity or running water has ever been installed in the church.
Weekly services have not been held since 1944, except in mid-October to observe the anniversary of the church's founding. The Livingston United Methodist Church moves their regular morning service to the old Rock Church each second Sunday in October.
The Rock Church still stands as a perserved memory of another age. It is the oldest church buillding in Grant County. In the earliest days the Rock Church Ladies Aid helped maintain the church and served dinners to raise money for this purpose until 1944. The Rock Church Memorial Society was then formed. They had an annual dinner on Washington's birrthday, February 22 for the purpose of raising money.
The Rock Church Memorial Society then met for years having a potluck dinners at noon on the second Wednesday of March, May, September, and November. A free will offering was taken at these meetings and along with other donations and memorials the church was maintained.
The 50th anniversary was celebrated in 1901 and the hundredth anniversary on October 14, 1951. At ther time of the centennial, plaques were purchased from Mrs. Marcia Grindell and placed over the two outside dooors. The south door plaque reads "1851-1951" and the north door plaque reads "Rock Church Methodist".
In 1985-86, the church was completely refurbished. The outside was tuck-pointed, new doors installed and wooden trim was painted. Inside the church, the ceiling and walls were plastered and painted, the floor was sanded and sealed, and new pews were added. On June 29, 1986, a service of dedication was held. John Wells was the pastor at the time.
Although the church is used only occasionally, the cemetery has grown in size. The Rock Church Cemetery Association, which is a separate organization, is in charge of maintaining the cemetery, selling plots and keeping the burial records.
In 2018 the Rock Church Memorial Society formed a non-profit corporation and received a 501(c)(3) tax status for tax deductibility of donations received. The original 1 1/2 acres were resurveyed and clarified with the Rock Church Cemetery Assoc. with a quick claim deed. The Southen Conference United Methodist Church also graciously sold the Rock Church to the Rock Church Memorial Society, Inc. which holds the title today.