Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Rez History: Oakdale Baptist Church

There is one thread that is woven into the fabric of Rankin County's history . . . :  the close cooperation that existed between schools and churches.  Oakdale is no exception.  There was a log school house situated on the Mala Bethune property, where the Bourgeois Estate entrance is now.

     "The first church services at Oakdale were held in the school building.  They were started by Jake Derrick, who took his ox wagon on Sunday afternoons, picked up as many children as he could, and had Sunday School in the log school house.  When it was possible to get a preacher, worship services were scheduled.

     *     *     *

     "The first tract of land for a church at Oakdale was donated by C.C. Russell on July 28, 1885, according to courthouse records.  A log school house was built on this one-acre plot.

     "School was held there during the week, and church services on Sunday.  It was not until August 12, 1888, that 19 members of the Fannin Baptist Church withdrew their membership to establish a fellowship called Oakdale, so named because of the lovely old oak trees that surrounded the building."

A History of Rankin County, Mississippi, Vol. II, Published by the Rankin County Historical Society, Inc. (1988), at pp. 137-38) (quoting at length History of Oakdale Baptist Church, an unpublished account of Oakdale Baptist's past).

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