A Rich Heritage

1869 to the Present

One of two original entrances

Oak Street Baptist Church came into existence in November of 1869 with a small number of German immigrants who had just stepped off the boat from their home country. They were here to begin a new life in America, a life where they could worship God and minister in His Kingdom. So, they called a pastor from Germany and started Oak Street Baptist Church.

God's Blessing was on Oak Street and they soon outgrew the home in which they were meeting. God was really at work as evidenced in this early 1870 account of the first baptism. It reads, "Because it was the first baptismal service, everyone crowded down on the ice near the hole (Flint Creek) in which Rev. Kohrs was baptizing. Fred Brenneke lived right on the bank of the Flint River, and would wrap the candidates in blankets and they changed clothes in the Brenneke home. No one even caught cold from the icy dip."

Oak Street built its first building later that year. Members pledged one sixth of their property valuation for the project. God blessed their sacrificial giving and the building was razed and the current sanctuary built in its place. Oak Street was continuing to grow. In 1910, Oak Street planted a church near Danville, IA, also evidence that God was working in mighty ways through Oak Street.

The church made the move to change all of the services to English in 1920. That year the church also built the education wing. In 1954 the first support staff was added to the church, and in the late 1960's "Chapel Time" was started on KBUR. It still continues today. In 1970, we added to our education wing, and in the early 1980's the south parking lot was paved.

Looking back, it is wonderful to see God at work in the lives of his people here at Oak Street. Not only has God blessed our church with a church plant and building expansion, but he has also kept true to His promise given through His Son Jesus Christ when he said, "I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it." (Matthew 16:18) Please pray that God will continue to build his church here at Oak Street.