Our History

The Beginning

White Oak Hill Free Will Baptist Church was first organized in September of 1887. Prior to organizing, services were held under a brush arbor and some meetings were held in an old school building. Rev. T. H. Matthews was elected as the first pastor.

In 1905 the first building committee was formed and a one room plank building was built and used until 1925. This building, which was never painted, was sufficient for the charter membership of about 25.

The Early Years

In 1925 another one room building was constructed with a seating capacity of approximately 150 people and used as the sanctuary until September 1953. Sunday School services were held in the summer months and church was closed during the winter months. Sunday School was discontinued during the depression years due to a lack of funds required to purchase literature. Later, year round services were made possible through the purchase of a wood heater.

Church Buildings Begin To Take Shape

In September 1953 a new one room cinderblock building with seating capacity of 300 was constructed. In 1963 the building was modified by adding bathroom facilities and nursery. In 1971, the current educational building was built and new stained glass windows were added to the sanctuary. The exterior of the sanctuary was modified by bricking. In June 1963 the church went to full time service and built a parsonage in 1966. Rev. Henry Hughes and his family were the first occupants of the parsonage.

In 1978, under the leadership of Rev. Darrell Pickle, the church voted to build a Family Life Center which was completed in December 1979. This building continues to be a blessing to the church family today as it is used for a number of activities.

Recent Church Growth

In early 1999 plans to build a new sanctuary began and in December 2000, the church voted to build. In June 2001 the church approved architects’ plans for the new building and in November 2001 construction on the new building began.

On November 4, 2001 Rev. Tim Stout held the last Homecoming in the building that was constructed in 1953 with 394 attending and the offering was $32,196.00. On June 30, 2002 the last service was held in the building that was built in 1953 with 201 in attendance for the morning service. On July 7, 2002 the first service was held in the new building, with Rev. Tim Riggs preaching the first sermon. His message was from 2 Chronicles, chapter 5. There were 304 people in attendance.

Our Church Pastors, Past and Present

White Oak Hill has had many capable pastors filling the pulpit since it was first organized in 1887. They are, T. H. Matthews, J. L Eason, B. H. Boykin, B. T. Dixon, J. L. Strickland, B. W. Tippett, J. K. Ruffin, L. H. Worthington, B. B. Deans, J. H. Whitley, J. W. Valentine, R. N. Hinnant, L. T. Phillips, G. C. Joyner, M. E. Godwin, James A. Evans, Arthur Hales, J. W. Alford, L. E. Ballard, M. L. Johnson, W. E. Renfrow, W. L. Poythress, Ralph E. Clegg, Paul Lee, Billy G. McClintock, Carey Watkins, Henry Hagans, Henry Hughes, Darrell Pickle, Eddie Maupin, Jim Marcum, Percy Cunningham, Tim Stout, Tim Riggs, and  Reuben Cason. Our current Pastor is Rev. Hal Jones III. He has been the pastor since January 1, 2017.

INTERESTING FACTS

We have a few things that were used in the early churches: Bible (donated in 1910 by Peatie Thompson), Pulpit and Table (made by Robert Batchelor in the early 1900’s).

 

White Oak Hill Church was named after White Oak Hill Swamp and was built on a hill.

 

During the late 1930’s, the preacher’s salary was $5.00 a month. In 1937, it was increased to $10.00 a month. By 1956, it had increased to an annual salary of $1,050.00.

 

The new sanctuary has 10,734 square feet and is 74 feet wide, and 145 feet long. The stained glass windows are 44 inches wide and 72 inches tall with an 18 x 24 inch “Life of Christ” scene in each one.

 

The cross in the front window, pulpit and communion table was made with wood saved from an old oak tree that was removed from the yard before the new sanctuary construction began. The tree was 116 years old which indicated it was on the property when the first church was built.

Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
 
 
 
 

Church Covenant

 
 

Having given ourselves to God, by faith in Christ, and adopted the Word of God as our rule of faith and practice, we now give ourselves to one another by the will of God in this solemn covenant.

 

We promise, by His grace, to love and obey Him in all things, to avoid all appearance of evil, to abstain from all sinful amusements and unholy conformity to the world, from all sanction of the use and sale of intoxicating beverages, and to “provide things honest in the sight of all men.”

 

We agree faithfully to discharge our obligations in reference to the study of the Scriptures, secret prayer, family devotions, and social worship; and by self-denial, faith, and good works endeavor to “grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

 

We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together for church conferences, public worship, and the observance of the ordinances of the Gospel; nor fail to pay according to our ability for the support of the church, of its poor, and all its benevolent work.

 

We agree to accept Christian admonition and reproof with meekness, and to watch over one another in love, endeavoring to “keep the unity of the Spirit” in the bonds of peace, to be careful of one another’s happiness and reputation, and seek to strengthen the weak, encourage the afflicted, admonish the erring, and as far as we are able, promote the success of the church and of the Gospel.

 

We will everywhere hold Christian principle sacred and Christian obligations and enterprises supreme; counting it our chief business in life to extend the influence of Christ in society, constantly praying and toiling that the kingdom of God may come, and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 

To this end we agree to labor for the promotion of educational and denominational enterprises, the support of missions, the success of Sunday schools, and evangelistic efforts for the salvation of the world. And may the God of peace sanctify us wholly, and preserve us blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Free Will Baptist Doctrine

 

ARTICLES OF FAITH

 

1. The Bible. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are our infallible rule of faith and practice.

 

2. God. There is one living and true God, revealed in nature as the Creator, Preserver, and Righteous Governor of the universe; and in the Scriptures as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; yet as one God, infinitely wise and good, whom all intelligent creatures are supremely to love, adore, and obey.

 

3. Christ. Christ is God manifest in the flesh; in His divine nature truly God, in His human nature truly man. The media tor between God and man, once crucified, He is now risen and glorified, and is our ever present Savior and Lord.

 

4. The Holy Spirit. The Scriptures assign to the Holy Spirit all the attributes of God.

 

5. The Government of God. God exercises a wise and benevolent providence over all beings and all things by maintaining the constitution and laws of nature. He also performs special acts, not otherwise provided for, as the highest welfare of men requires.

 

6. The Sinfulness of Man. Man was created innocent, but by disobedience fell into a state of sin and condemnation. His posterity, therefore, inherit a fallen nature of such tendencies that all who come to years of accountability, sin and become guilty before God.

 

7. The Work of Christ. The Son of God by His incarnation,life, sufferings, death, and resurrection effected for all a redemption from sin that is full and free, and is the ground of salvation by faith.

 

8. The Terms of Salvation. The conditions of salvation are:(1) Repentance or sincere sorrow for sin and hearty renunciation of it. (2) Faith or the unreserved committal of one’s self to Christ asSavior and Lord with purpose to love and obey Him in all things.In the exercise of saving faith, the soul is renewed by the HolySpirit, freed from the dominion of sin, and becomes a child of God.(3) Continuance of faith and obedience unto death.

 

9. Election. God determined from the beginning to save all who should comply with the conditions of salvation. Hence, by faith in Christ men become His elect.

 

10. Freedom of the Will. The human will is free and self-controlled,having power to yield to the influence of the truth and theSpirit, or to resist them and perish.

 

11. Salvation Free. God desires the salvation of all, the Gospel invites all, the Holy Spirit strives with all, and whosoever will may come and take of the water of life freely.

 

12. Perseverance. All believers in Christ, who through grace persevere in holiness to the end of life, have promise of eternal salvation.

 

13. Gospel Ordinances. BAPTISM, or the immersion of believers in water, and the LORD’S SUPPER, are the ordinances to be perpetuated under the Gospel. FEET WASHING, an ordinance teaching humility, is of universal obligation, and is to be ministered to all true believers.

 

14. Tithing. God commanded tithes and offerings in the OldTestament; Jesus Christ endorsed it in the Gospel (Matt. 23:23),and the apostle Paul said, “Upon the first day of the week let everyone of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him” (1 Cor.16:2a).

 

15. The Christian Sabbath. The divine law requires that one day in seven be set apart from secular employments and amusements, for rest, worship, holy works, and activities, and for personal communion with God.

 

16. Resurrection, Judgment, and Final Retribution. TheScriptures teach the resurrection of all men at the last day. Those who have done good will come forth to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation; then the wicked will “go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”