Oakland Baptist

Oakland Baptist Church


Oakland Baptist Church may not be the oldest or the largest in the county but its members, mainly descendents of the founders, remain intensely loyal to the white frame one room building set among the oaks, pines and cabbage palm trees in the western part of the county off Hwy 98.

In the year 1875, Oakland Baptist Church began worship service under a brush arbor near the Econfina River about three quarters of a mile from the present site with the members named Whiddon, Young, Hendry, Crews, French, Ayers, Sapp, Lawrence, Turlington, Poppell and Morse.

In 1878 the members built a log house near the present site. The membership was growing. Between 1878 and 1880 a frame building was constructed with heart pine lumber which was hauled by a team of oxen from Greenville. This building was used as a place of worship until 1929.

The church bought the present building which was known as Oakland School building from the Taylor County School Board in 1928.

They contracted C. L. McCallan to remove the old building and salvage the sound pieces of lumber to use in the new building. Mr. McCallan was to move the school house to the present site and rebuild in the identical place where the old building stood. On December 14, 1929, members held their first meeting in the present building.

The parent church, the Cabbage Grove Church, which was founded in 1850 is no longer in existence. What started as an arm, according to records of Cabbage Grove Church dated June 1875, the Oakland Church has survived.

Services in the old days were held once a month. Today they are held every third Sunday in the afternoon at three o’clock. None of the present members live close and attend other Baptist churches. Baptism took place in the Econfina River some distance from the church.

The Cemetery is the final resting place for many of those who are descended from early members.

James H. Wentworth, the grandfather of A. H. Wentworth was first pastor and James W. Turlington was the first clerk.

Former pastors were: James H. Wentworth, S. C. Waller, J. E. Vann, W. B. Waters, John W. Pearson, S. S. Procter, T. J. Bennett, A. N. Woodward, J. H. Poteet, M. J. Howell, T. A. Goodman, S. K. Wilson, S. G. Ward, A. H. Townsend, Charles W. Persons, Bob Catledge, John Vann, Paul Hendry, C. J. Lewis, Francis W. Cruce, C. T. Hall, Alva Horton, J. W. Johnson, Felix A. Parker and Danny Lundy who was the preacher when this article was written in 1987.