Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church- Apex
Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church was birthed out of a desire for families in the community to attend Sunday School. The late Mr. and Mrs. C.N. McCullers began to open the doors of their home for weekly prayer meetings and Christ centered teaching. The movement began to spread like wildfire and as a result the families of Deacon Fred Harris, Brother George Daymond, Brother Benjamin Reade along with the Steven family joined in. The late Rev. Smith and Rev. Harvey Bland assisted in movement also. The movement spread throughout many homes from about 1944-1949.
In the Spring of 1949, the late Rev. Harvey Bland led this small gathering into the beginning of a Missionary Baptist Church. Mr. C.N. McCullers approached Mr. J.W. Marks, a Caucasian citizen who owned land in the community concerning a site and it was agreed to allow the Church to have some land. The Church site was a donation from Mr. Marks.
Records from a deed dated January 29, 1950, that Mr. Marks conveyed to Mr. C.N. McCullers, Benjamin Reade and Lonnie Degraffenreid; trustees of the Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church land consisting of two and one tenth acres. Mr. Marks expressed to Mr. McCullers that he desired to do something for the Blacks in the community. This was a blessing to the community and church. Mr. John Scott suggested to name the church Oak Grove, as it was situated in a grove of oak trees.
Rev. Bland was the first Pastor and served for several years and it was under his great leadership that the first building began. Oak Grove went on to become apart of the Wake Baptist Association in 1949. Pastor Bland resigned in 1952 and was succeeded by Rev. Clyde B. Walton. Pastor Walton served until 1955. All the while a cinder block sanctuary was being constructed. Each minister led the congregation a litter further along the way. Rev. Avery Horton was elected as Pastor in 1956 and served for eleven years. Pastor Horton led the people to the completion of some the work that had already begun. After Pastor Horton’s resignation, Rev. J.M. Carraway served as Pastor for almost one year.
Rev. S.T. Harris was called to Pastor in 1968. Pastor Harris kept the church moving forward as he worked on improving both the spiritual and physical side of Oak Grove. Pastor Harris served for eleven years. Some of the accomplishments made while under his Pastoral leadership include organizing the Young Adult Choir, which would later be called the Davis Spiritual Light Ensemble, and the purchasing of a new pulpit and pews.
In 1975, Rev. Elmo Thorpe was called to serve as Pastor. Under Pastor Thorpe’s ten-year tenure, the church continued to grow and flourish. A building was added which included a lunchroom and bathrooms. Windows were added, along with wall to wall carpet and a church well was excavated. Pastor Thorpe saw a need to get the youth involved in the worship service, as a result a tot choir was organized along with Youth Sunday Service. A piano and organ were purchased to aide in the worship experience.
In April 1985, Rev. William Y. Davis was called to Pastor. Pastor Davis was the longest tenured Pastor, serving for 33 years. Under Pastor Davis leadership the church continued to move forward in the things of God. He led in many of the renovations of the church: a new roof and ceiling were added, next, an additional wing, which included a Pastor’s study, classrooms, bathrooms, a ramp for the disabled, and heating and air conditioning, were also added. The church was completely bricked, a new steeple was added, along with a new church sign. Pastor Davis had a passion for outreach, and as a result food was collected and distributed to the needy. The great work of the Lord continued. A fellowship hall was added, glass doors and railing were added to the front of the church also. A sound system was added, computers were purchased, and classes were organized. A new wing was added, which included a baptismal pool, Pastor’s study, church library, secretary’s office, room for the church deacons, bathrooms and classrooms. New appliances were purchased, and God continue to give increase.
Pastor Davis named who he desired to succeed him and carry the flock of God further, he mentored Elder Jahmar Cobb for several years before he slept away in Jesus in December 2018. He encouraged Pastor Cobb in a conversation, just a few days before he transitioned from labor to reward “Jahmar don’t try to fill nobody else’s shoes, fill the ones God gave you!”. Elder Cobb was elected to serve as Pastor in June 2019. He considers the late Pastor Davis to be his Elijah. He is humbled to have been chosen to serve for a time such as this. Under his leadership, the youth choir was reorganized after over 10 years. The church membership increased by 12 members within 7 months. Bible study was restarted and renamed as “Hour of Power”. The old Pastor’s study was converted into the finance room. The entire left wing was painted. The church has added a Facebook and YouTube page, which average 700 views weekly. Several virtual platforms for giving have also been added. In April 2020, the mortgage for the additional wing in the rear was paid off in full in less than 11 years. To God be the glory!
Pastor Cobb views the flock at “The Grove” as God’s masterpiece. He strives to lead by example by always operating in the spirit of Excellence! Currently, we are beginning to plan to expand our parking lot, upgrade the sound system and relaunching several ministries and auxiliaries. Pastor Cobb desires all to come and have “An Experience at the Grove!”