Oak Grove Baptist Church Early History
Oak Grove Baptist Church is located in Union County, NC, six miles west of Monroe on New Town Road. It was in this area, in the middle of the late 1880s, that Mr. Oliver Rogers saw a need for a Baptist meeting place in this community. Preaching services began at an old brush arbor, which was located just off New Town Road on the property just behind the home of John S. Little. Services were held in a small grove of oak trees. From this humble beginning was born the name, Oak Grove Baptist Church.
Out of this beginning others became interested in seeing a Baptist church organize in the community. In the early part of 1888, Mr. Simon Rogers donated the property on which the church now stands. In later years Mr. Tom Underwood and Mr. Grady Spittle bought and donated more property to the church.
Although an accurate list of the charter members is incomplete, some of the founding families and members of the church were: Mr. Oliver Rogers, Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Gordon, Mr. & Mrs. John Underwood, Mr. & Mrs. Will Rape, Mr. & Mrs. James King, Mr. & Mrs. Salathiel Helms, Mr. & Mrs. John Helms, Mr. & Mrs. Will Helms, Mr. & Mrs. Tom Keziah, Sr., Mr. & Mrs. Baxter Gordon, and Mrs. Lucinda King McCorkle. In the latter part of 1888, Oak Grove was admitted to the Association of Baptist Churches in Union County.
The first structure built for worship was a square, frame building which is enclosed in the remnant of the old sanctuary, which is the educational building today. In 1933 and 1934, under the leadership of Rev. J.I. McGill, four Sunday School rooms were built onto the old existing wings of the original building. Additional educational space was added, some of which was torn away when the present educational structure was added. In 1944, the church began having preaching every Sunday. In the 1950s, under the leadership of Rev. D.T. (Bud) Griffin, the church was enlarged, refurbished and brick veneered, and an indoor baptismal pool was added. Until that time, the baptismal pool had been an outdoor one. Also, a cinder block fellowship building was built during Rev. Griffin’s pastorate. During the pastorate of Rev. John Beukema in 1952, the parsonage was built and a well was drilled for the church. In addition, a new choir loft was built in the church. As each year passed, more and more improvements continued to be made.
On November 28, 1971, under the leadership of Rev. B.C. Beal, Jr., a ground breaking ceremony was held to begin the construction of a new church sanctuary, the building the congregation meets in today. The first worship to be held in this sanctuary was on the first Sunday in August, 1972, which is the church’s homecoming each year. During Rev. Beal’s pastorate, the old sanctuary was remodeled to become an educational building, a new and larger fellowship building was built, and the parking lot was paved.
Since it’s beginning, Oak Grove has always been a missions-minded church. It has been the goal of the church to share the love of Jesus Christ with not only the community but the state, the country, and the vast world. The people of Oak Grove have always thought it important not only to learn about missions, but also to do missions and to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world. God has blessed Oak Grove and the church goes forward from humble beginnings, praying that God’s blessings will continue as we seek His will for our church.