The History of Oak Grove Christian Church

Oak Grove Christian Church has been in existence for over 100 years spreading New Testament Christianity in our state and throughout the world!


The first known meeting of individuals who were interested in starting a congregation in our community was held around the year of 1883 in the old log Snuffer School on the Bill Snuffer farm near Crab Orchard. James Hawley reportedly led that meeting where eight people dedicated their lives to Christ. Among those eight the six known ones were James and Lucy Day Tolbert, Bill and Columbia Snuffer, and Albert and Eliza Helen. Other early members included Anastasia Aaron, Martha Grimes Smith, Anderson Hawley, and Oliver and Sarah Godby.

Apparently services were held in the Snuffer School until the Cleveland School was built in 1884. However, the local church was not officially organized until June 28, 1892. The services for the new congregation were held in the old Cleveland School building from 1885 to 1901 when the first church building was completed.


On September 1, 1900, the White Stick Coal Company donated one-half acre of land to trustees Oliver Godby, James P. Clay, and Milton Curtis, on condition that "a church building be erected and used for divine worship only". Claiborne Curtis and his sons, James and Luther, served as the carpenters for the first church building. The lumber was sawed at the James Tolbert saw mill near Crab Orchard.


The first building had two separate front doors. The women entered and sat on the left side and the men entered and sat on the right side. The building was furnished with a Burnside stove in the front and oil lamps on each side wall. The bell was donated by the First Christian Church in Beckley and was brought to Oak Grove by horse drawn wagon. Some of the earliest ministers were G.W. Ogden, M.J. Walters, F.S. Nealy, W.H. DeVore, O.J. Rogers, F.C. Ackerman, Paul Smith, L.A. Garten, J.C. Murdock, and W.M. Miller.


The building was then expanded in 1948 and in 1953. Because of the growing congregation, it was decided that a new and larger building was needed. Ground breaking for the new building was held on August 14, 1966. An addition to the building was begun on May 6, 1984.