Our story goes all the way back to 1862 when the first church was built in Oak Ridge. Beginning with the vision of a few men and women, the first baptist church in Oak Ridge was founded. Our church’s official existence began when two baptist churches became one in 1876. Instead of division, our church’s story is grounded in the unity that God brings through the Gospel. Through many generations, the people of Oak Ridge FBC have experienced God’s faithfulness as He has graciously sustained His church for almost 150 years.
Over the next three to five years, we want to leave seven legacies.
1. Unchurched families will be reached and renewed throughout the greater Oak Ridge community
2. Our homes, workplaces, and community will be transformed by our faith.
3. Every attendee will be connected meaningfully to God and His Church.
4. Every member will be cared for, discipled, and mobilized.
5. Every ministry will be empowered to produce leaders.
6. Local, national, and global missions partnerships will be formed.
7. A core team will be sent to plant or revitalize a church.
The first Baptist sermon preached in Oak Ridge, Missouri was in 1862 by Elder J. G. Rutter, formerly of Crawford County, Missouri. The organization of a Baptist church at Oak Ridge was due more largely to the labors of Bro. William Clippard, perhaps, than to anyone else. He donated nearly two acres of land, and with the help of friends of Christianity in the community was the leading force of the first church-house, which was completed in 1862. A council consisting of Elder J. G. Rutter and Deacon Joseph Hickman met at Oak Ridge, Missouri, March 9th, 1864, and organized a Baptist church. The constituent members were William Clippard, Artie M. Clippard, Samuel W. Lewis, Eliza Jane Lewis, John Beal, and Elizabeth Hickman. A church meeting was immediately held, at which the following business was contracted: Deacon Joseph Hickman from Trace Creek Church was received; the name adopted for the church was “The United Missionary Baptist Church of Oak Ridge;” a church covenant adopted was brief but good, including substantially the same points covered by covenants among baptists today. The Articles of Faith, as far as they go, agree substantially with those in use now. The following officers were elected for the church: Pastor, J.G. Rutter; Deacons, Joseph Hickman and William Clippard; Clerk, Samuel W. Lewis.
The current building for the church was completed in 1906. In 1944, a basement was dug underneath the church with a kitchen, fellowship area, and classrooms. The church continued to grow and built an educational building and a new fellowship hall in 1981 with an addition being added in 1999. In 1998, the basement classrooms were removed and the entire area was sided with reclaimed barn wood. The old barn was located on the property of the ancestors of William Clippard who had donated the church property.
It is only by God’s great love that any of this could have been accomplished and so to Him be all the glory and praise! We praise Him for all His blessings and for His great love in providing us salvation through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
1862….Built a church on land donated by William and Arta M Clippard.
1864….Organized “The United Missionary Baptist Church of Oak Ridge” in March.
1876….Merged Oak Ridge (1864) and Goshen (1841) churches to form new 50 member church, “The Union Baptist Church of Christ”.
1877….Voted to build a one story frame church at a cost of $369.50
1883….Changed name to “Oak Ridge Baptist Church” on July 7.
1901….Voted to build a new brick building “not to cost less than $3,000 and no more than $4,000.
1905….Began construction on the six room church: auditorium, large meeting room, baptistery, two dressing rooms, and belfry. Used lots of wood trim, including eight large doors on east side of auditorium.
1906….Held first service in new church of February 4.
1908….Paid $415 for new pews. (Still in use today!)
1944….Built a basement under the church, including a kitchen, classrooms, and a Fellowship hall.
1945….Voted to build a parsonage.
1969….Changed name to “First Baptist Church of Oak Ridge”
1972….Added restroom to east side of church.
1981….Started construction on a two story brick veneer educational building. Donated labor constructed eleven classrooms upstairs, a fellowship hall, kitchen, restrooms, and a pastor’s study. Total cost of around $55,000.
1988….Voted to renovate parsonage. Volunteer workers made a modern three bedroom, two bath home for the pastor’s family.
1992….Worshipped for the first time in the remodeled sanctuary on April 26. Final cost of the remodeling was around $70,000.
1996….Renovated front steps and added a wheelchair ramp for a cost of $33,100.
1997….New stained glass windows were put in on the west side of the sanctuary at a cost of $7,632.
1998….The Basement was renovated with removal of the four classrooms and siding the basement walls with reclaimed barn wood.
1999….A new addition on the north side of the education building was begun. Three new adult classrooms, a toddler classroom, and a nursery. Total cost was approximately $60,000.
2004….Re-shingled the sanctuary with a metal room at a cost of $15,000.