Friday, May 29, 2009

White Oak Baptist Church


White Oak Baptist Church has been in existence for 202 years and maybe longer. We know from many reasons that there was something there in the early 1790s. The White Oak Baptist Church constitution reads as follows: “Be it known that on the 17th of July, 1801 on the waters of White Oak Creek, Pulaski County, Kentucky, there was constituted a United Baptist church by Brothers Thomas Hansford, Thomas Hill, Nathaniel Shrewsbury, Robert Scott, and Eligah Barnes. On the number of thirty-five members. Thomas Hill was chosen the first pastor. Bro. Hill was born 1763 in New Jersey and later moved to Virginia, he preached and helped organized churches while he was there. Then he moved to Tennessee also starting churches. In 1798 he moved to Pulaski County, Kentucky and joined the Sinking Creek Baptist Church, which is now the First Baptist Church of Somerset, Kentucky. He immediately started working with the people at Nancy, Kentucky. He stayed in Kentucky until 1817, then going to Indiana where he pastored, started churches, and the Coffee Creek Association of Baptist. He died in Indiana.

We were able to obtain a partial list of the charter members of White Oak Baptist Church and they are as follows: Thomas Hill, Mary Hill, Thomas Hill Jr.. John Hill, Peleg Baker, Nancy Hudson, Daniel Hudson, Jacob Hudson, Thomas Whitley, Nathaniel Shrewsbury, Seaton Lee, J. Jones, Ivey Langford, Josiah Lockett, Abraham P. Lee, Matthew Floyd, Suzanna Floyd, Robert Scott, J. Dick, Josiah Duck, J. Langford, and Bazel Meek. From 1801 - 1809, they belong to the Tates Creek Association. The 1806 Tates Creek Minute listed 1790 as the date that White Oak was constituted, so we really don’t know what happened, as a result we go by their organization of 1801. In 1809 they lettered up with the Cumberland River Association at its first meeting. In addition to participating in these local associations, White Oak has been active in our national work, through the American Baptist Association (ABA) for many, many years. White Oak is the oldest church in the Cumberland River Association, evidence also points to White Oak as being the oldest church in the ABA to date. We have been honored through the years by having many of the ABA leaders to preach at this church, men of renown, including Dr. Ben M. Bogard, Dr. C. N. Glover, Dr. I. K. Cross, Dr. A. T. Powers, and Dr. George Raley, and many others.

The second pastor of the church was a dynamic and able man of God by the name of Matthew Floyd. History states of this man: “Matthew Floyd was one of the most popular, beloved, and efficient preachers in Kentucky in his generation.” He was the grandson of Colonel Matthew Floyd, a native of Ireland, who came to America in command of a regiment of British soldiers during the Revolutionary War. He was the son of Captain Abraham Floyd, who came to America in command of British troops. Bro. Matthew Floyd was born in 1778. He pastor White Oak from 1817 until 1863, a short time after his resignation he passed away.

The following is a list of men who have pastored this church with some serving more than once: Thomas Hill, Matthew Floyd, R. S. Taylor, Willis Derossett, John W. Floyd, Isaac Branscum, John J. Cooper, William Taylor, E. A. Allan, W. H. Foley, A. J. Walls, S. C. Jones, Crawford C. Trimble, Jacob Mayfield, J. J. Cooper, W. M. New, W. S. Taylor, Walker Wilson, C. C. Trimble, J. S. Wade, John E. Hudson, Wesley Colyer, W. A. Reese, G. F. Crumley, Walter Jones, Howard Prather, Jerry Stevens, James Floyd and George Jainchill.

White Oak was constituted by people who were truly missionary minded. Her long history is one of many mission endeavors. White Oak has helped to start many churches, such as; Wolf Creek, Union Grove, Smith Grove, Sylvia, Fairhaven, and many other churches in the western part of Pulaski County. The church continues as a very strong missionary Baptist church under the leadership of their pastor, Bro. James Floyd, who has served from 1980 until present date.

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