Oak Grove Baptist celebrates 125th anniversarycomment (0)
December 18, 2008
By Rose Walker
People traveled from as far as Texas and Mexico to attend the 125th anniversary and homecoming celebration Nov. 2 at Oak Grove Baptist Church, Frisco City.
The sanctuary of this 125-member Bethlehem Baptist Association church — which usually has a Sunday worship attendance of 80–85 — was filled with more than 225 people.
Pastor Billy Hodges said it was a fantastic day. “We were overwhelmed with God’s Spirit, and He really did a work in our church.”
During the anniversary celebration, Q.T. Curtis — former pastor of Mexia Baptist Church in Bethlehem Association, who now lives in Mobile — delivered the morning message, “The Mark of a Christian.”
He used John 13:33–35 as the reference and emphasized that Christians must love in the way that God’s Word defines it.
Special music during the service was provided by Melissa Brooks, Oak Grove member; Ben Rawls, of Tuscaloosa, former music director at the church; and Brian Hook, current music director.
Don Donald, a representative of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, presented the church with a framed certificate, recognizing its 125 years of service.
When Oak Grove celebrated its 100th year in 1983, Mrs. Lewis (Kate) Blanton wrote a short history, “A Cherished Heritage.” Others have added more to the account since then.
According to Blanton’s history, John Wesley Broughton, who was a planter and postmaster in what was then Tekoa in southeastern Monroe County, donated land in November 1883 for a missionary Baptist church. The original members met in a house on that site, which is now where Oak Grove’s parsonage sits. The church got its name from the large oak trees on the property.
In the early days, the church was a member of Beckbe Baptist Association. Beckbe Association, which later became Bethlehem Association, was organized in 1816, making it the first and oldest association in Alabama.
J.L. Eddins and Sam Jones were co-pastors the first five years of Oak Grove’s history.
Thirty-eight pastors have served since 1888.
Some of the most significant progress in the church’s history came in 1954 and 1955 under the leadership of Pastor W.Q. Howe. During that time, 86 new members were added, 46 of them by baptism, Blanton’s account reveals.
In recent years, Vacation Bible School (VBS) has been an annual highlight at Oak Grove.
Between 125 and 150 children attended VBS there in 2008. Thirty made professions of faith and a dozen of them were baptized at Oak Grove, Hodges said.
According to Blanton’s history, the church members, through the years, “have displayed a constant devotion to our Lord, our Southern Baptist beliefs and our county. No adversity — not war, depression or apathy — has snuffed the flame that burned so brightly in 1883.”
“Our respect and appreciation is extended to generations of Christians who established and fostered the church — those who used their talents for the glory of God and for the Oak Grove Baptist Church.”