Oak Grove Baptist Church in Prairieville will celebrate 100 years of spiritual growth and community impact with its free Celebration in the Oaks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4.
The event will be marked with lots of family-friendly activities, including inflatables and a petting zoo, refreshments, live Christian music and a gallery with documents and photographs highlighting key moments in the history of the church, 17450 Old Jefferson Highway, Prairieville.
All activities, parking and refreshments are free.
“We come to a monumental time in the life of our church — 100 years of God working through the people of Oak Grove Baptist Church,” says John W. Carrigan Jr., pastor of Oak Grove Baptist since 1981. “I have been here for one-third of those 100 years and have rooted a ministry that strengthens family, our community and God’s grace.”
Oak Grove Baptist Church, Carrigan says, “was literally a family church 33 years ago. Today, it retains the feeling of being family-focused, although most of the original family has gone on to be with the Lord. We know the joy and sadness of family happenings and we bind together under God.”
Carrigan says one of the hallmarks of Oak Grove Baptist Church is missions.
“There have been at least 18 mission trips over the last 33 years,” he says. “Young and old have participated in bringing the message of God to a world that desperately needs Him. We have had five couples go into full-time missionary service over the history of our church. We are committed to the praise and service of God as we reach out to the world.”
Oak Grove Baptist Church was founded in 1914 as a family church. Today, it continues to impact the community with a strong sense of family in worship, praise and service to God. Other outreaches of the church include children and youth ministries; Singing in the Oaks, a Christmas concert; nursing home ministry; and an annual women’s retreat.
Lead by pastor Carrigan, Oak Grove provides Christian-centered ministries for children, youth, college and career, adults and seniors, and local and international missions.
Oak Grove Baptist Church was established in 1914 in a white church building with very high steps erected on land donated by Hillard Andrew Webb and Victoria Melissa White Webb, who was instrumental in naming the church. Oak Grove Baptist Church was named for the high school previously situated across the road from the current home of the Oak Grove Community Center.
Oak Grove Baptist Church became a member of the Eastern Louisiana District Association on Oct. 15, 1915, during the 73rd session. The first messengers to attend were E.D. Dixon, W. A. King and T.L. Odom, with 102 Oak Grove Baptist Church members reported.
The present church structures were built under the auspices of H. Clayton Waddell’s ministry, 1949-1966. During this time, one acre of land was purchased behind the church building to provide needed space for a cemetery. Land for the present sanctuary was donated by Cora Webb King with the ground breaking held on March 8, 1953. It was completed in 1962. Acclaimed architect, A. Hays Town designed the sanctuary. Members of the church and the community constructed the building.
Carrigan accepted the call to serve as pastor of Oak Grove in June 1981. Carrigan received his Master Divinity degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, California, in 1979. More than 33 years of service later, he continues to lead Oak Grove Baptist Church in worship and faithful ministry.