History of Oakland Baptist Church
Written by Mabel Brown
In the year of 1888, there was no church in this community. More homes were being built and the community was growing. People began to see the need of a church, so on December 30, 1888, a group gathered to discuss and make plans to start a church and to build a church. These were S.M. Gupton from Springfield, G.W. Trenary from Williams Chapel, both ministers, Cove Burch, John T. Hinkle, Deacons from Ebenezer, and Sylvanous Dorris, who later became one of our pastors.
On Saturday afternoon, January 25, 1889, another meeting was being held to decide on the location and at that meeting Aunt Sally Dorris Roe, through the love for her Lord and community, agreed to the land for a church, school building and cemetery. A one room building was built, men gave trees, sawed lumber and W.H. Roe, I am told, made the boards by hand for the covering of the roof. G.W. Trenary was elected first pastor and F.S. Duncan the first clerk. The name was to be Oakland Baptist Church. At the first service twelve letters were moved from Bethlehem Baptist Church. They were W.H. Roe, W.F. Roe, Mrs. Rosy Roe, C.M.C. Roe, Mrs. Lina Pitt, Mrs. Martha Powell, Mrs. Mary Morris, William Pitt, Mrs. Sally D. Roe, R.T. Elmore, and F.S. Duncan. This is why we call Bethlehem our mother church.
Through the help of the Lord and faith of these Christian people things began to happen. The membership began to grow. One of the songs what was sung was “We Will Work Till Jesus Comes.”
Many things happened through the years. Many pastors have come and gone. To name a few Bro. G.W. Trenary, Bro. S.M. Gupton, Bro. Sylvanous Dorris, Bro. W.M. Goodman, Bro. Bob Angles, Bro. H.C. Rather, Bro. F.T. Carroll, Bro. Edgar Hancock, Bro. Robert Earls, A.D. Nickles, W.F. Shannon, Bro. Earl Waggoner, Bro. Jeff Nelson, Bro. Audrey Minor, all who are deceased, Bro. Lesley McClure, pastor of Woodbury Road Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Bro. John W. Gentry, pastor in Murfreesboro, Bro. A.C. Adkins, retired, Bro. H.C. Carman, retired, Bro. Frank Evans, now serving as director of Missions of the Robertson County Association, Bro. Harold Campbell, still serving, Bro. Lawrence Hadley, serving in Dexter Missouri, Bro. Michael Shrum, still serving. At this time Bro. Bobby Swift is serving as Interim Pastor. The Church has extended a call to Bro. Charles Gallaher, who will be on the church field June 27, 1982.
Our first WMU President was Mrs. Rosy Roe.
It would be almost impossible to name all the deacons that have served so faithful through the years. Would like to name one deacon, George Clark, now 95 years in age, has been a member of Oakland Church for 82 years, now inactive. Active deacons are Douglas Goosetree, Gene Smith, Harold Clark, Otto Porter, Joe Dew, Rayburn Rigsby, Richard Waggoner. Ewing Krisle and Douglas Watts are inactive.Things have changed, also names have changed. On December 27, 1890, C.M.C. Roe was elected to what we call custodian, then it was later called sexton. He was paid $.25 a month.
The first funeral held at the church was a little girl, named Sallie Elizer Bridges, 5 years old, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Willie J. Bridges. She was buried in the Jasper Clark Cemetery, who was her grandfather.
The first burial in Oakland Cemetery was an infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Will Morris.
The first wedding in the church was Bro. O.P. Maddux and Miss Effie Roe.
For a number of years services were held once a month, on the fourth Saturday afternoon for the purpose of conducting business meeting and preaching was held on Sunday Morning.
When the church was first started, there were no cars but people rode horse back or walked and it seemed like there was a good group at all services.
The church has seen four people go into full time service for the Lord. Mrs. Effie Roe Maddux as a missionary, serving so faithful with her husband, Bro. Maddux in Brazil for so many years. Bro. Ceph Pitt now deceased. Richard N. Roe, serving so many years as administrator of the Children’s Home in Greenville, Tennesse. Dale Perry on a mission field.
In 1915 we were known as Cumberland Association, then later a new association was formed and called the Robertson Association.
We have seen many members come and go. Some have gone home to be with the Lord and others have moved to another church. Through the years a lot of work has been done. During Bro. Waggoner’s pastorate, we build our first Sunday school rooms. Some gave money to the building fund. The ladies made quilts and sold them. Most of the labor was done by the members.
While Bro. Jeff Nelson was serving as our pastor we went to full time preaching. Business meeting was held on Wednesday Night after first Sunday.
While Bro. Carman was serving as pastor, we built the parsonage and Bro. Frank Evans and family were the first to live there.
The Lord blessed us in so many ways. We have seen many changes made at Oakland. We are now putting in a Baptistery.
Our first Mother’s Day was observed 1952. Mother’s Day, May 11, 1980, we paid tribute to a wonderful mother, Aunt Sally Roe who gave the ground for the church and cemetery. Most of her life was spent for her community. On this day her great, great grandson, Bro, Richard N. Roe had the honor of conducting the service.
Today, June 20th, 1982, we are observing our 53rd homecoming. WE always enjoy seeing our friends come home for the day. None of these homecomings can be compared with that homecoming in heaven when we go to meet our loved ones and friends who have gone on to be with Jesus. He had told us he is preparing a place for us.