A Brief History Of Oak Hill Baptist Church
In August of 1849, a group of early settlers at Oak Hill met to organize a church. They met at the Republican Meeting House on what is now the Jack Dillard Farm on Russell Road. There were twenty members, and the church was designated as the Baptist Church of Christ at Oak Hill, Pontotoc County, Mississippi. That same month, the church decided to join the Chickasaw Baptist Association. In November 1849, the first pastor, Rev. William Young, was elected. In May 1853, the first church building was completed. It was built on the current church grounds. In October 1853, the church joined the newly formed Judson Association. It was decided to start Sunday School, called Sabbath School at that time, at the April 1854 business meeting. A new church building was started in 1877 and completed in 1878. In 1887, the large Judson Association was divided into smaller parts, and Oak Hill was assigned to the West Judson Association.
As the population grew, so did the need for more churches. The minutes from the October 1913 business meeting state that a group of men and women were granted letters of dismissal in order to establish a new church, Center Hill Baptist Church. In 1919, the West Judson Association, along with other associations, voted to dissolve in order to allow the formation of county associations. In November 1919, Oak Hill Baptist Church became a member of the newly organized Pontotoc County Baptist Association. In August of 1920, a revival, led by the pastor of Oak Hill, was held at the Compromise school house located in what is now the Immanuel community. At the end of the revival, many people came forward wishing to unite with Oak Hill. In September 1920, another revival was held at the Compromise school house, and the people felt a need to start a church in that area. This resulted in Immanuel Baptist Church being formed. There were 49 people who joined the church, including many from Oak Hill and 22 from the recent revivals. A Sunday School had been in progress at Harmony school house for a few years, with occasional preaching, and in 1947, Harmony Baptist Church was organized. Charter members of this new church included 14 people from Oak Hill.
In early 1949, the Oak Hill church building was torn down and rebuilt. Vacation Bible School was held for the first time in August 1950. New Sunday School rooms were built in 1963. In 1972, the baptistery was built and used for the first time. Up until that time, all baptisms took place in local ponds. The church pastorium was built in 1978, and it was dedicated in August of that year. In 1982, the church was renovated, and in 1987, the Fellowship Hall and additional Sunday School rooms were added. A video ministry was started in 1997. The sanctuary was remodeled in 1999. A Sesquicentennial Celebration took place on August 14, 1999, celebrating 150 years of service to the Lord. Hurricane Katrina made its destructive landfall in August of 2005, and Oak Hill was one of the many churches to make mission trips to the devastated areas over the next several months. In 2006, the church website was started. Over the years, the Lord has showered us with blessings. It is our prayer at Oak Hill that God's light would shine brightly in us and may everything we do glorify Him.