THE HISTORY OF OUR CHURCH
The church is not a building, the church is the people. But the building in which people worship also has a history so we’d like to begin with the history of our buildings. From a prayer meeting held at the home of William Griffith in the year 1912 the present Oakland UMC came into being. A little wooden frame building 30X40 feet, complete with steeple and bell was built by the men of the church for a cost of $1,100. In 1954 ground was broken for a new church building. This truly was a community project as the members, along with their neighbors, built our current sanctuary and fellowship hall starting with only $700 cash. Since then many physical improvements have been made with again much of the work being done by members of the church. The Educational Wing was constructed and dedicated in 1972. In 1986 the front of the building received a new entrance, narthex and balcony. Skateland Motors was purchased and then torn down to provide additional parking space. In 1995 the mortgage was paid off. Multiple projects were completed in 1997-1998: new sanctuary roof, air-conditioning to the sanctuary, remodeling of the parlor and kitchen and asphalting of the lower lot. In 1999 the front of the sanctuary was remodeled and a new sound system and multimedia system were installed. In 2001 the Grand Slam building, behind the church building, was purchased and remodeled over the next two years. On April 17, 2003 the building was dedicated with the vision of serving our community as a youth and community center. However, nine days later, heartache set in as fire totally destroyed the building!
All of the details are just details unless we look at them in the light of the people who make those details come to life. Throughout all these events there have always been men and women who have served their church well through the care of the building, but also through a desire to seek God and to grow spiritually. Over the years the Word has been preached and many people have come to a saving relationship with our Lord. In 1998, Oakland became a Purpose Driven Church as a way of focusing on the five purposes God outlines in the Scriptures and how the lead people to spiritual growth and maturity and therefore a closer relationship with God. Over our years of history, there have been many tears cried, tears of sadness, but also tears of joy. However, God promises to walk with us through all those times, if we will let Him, and the people of Oakland UMC have persevered. We believe that the future is pregnant with god’s possibilities and the God wants to birth many miracles in our town. Our mission continues to be “Making passionate and compassionate followers of Jesus Christ.”