Sunday, March 19, 2006

day of rest

Oak Grove Baptist Church

Joe Thoms, Sr., a slave harness-maker, founded Oak Grove Baptist Church during the Civil War at his nearby log cabin, which burned in 1869. The congregation then met here, on land owned by John J. Robinson, a white farmer, in a grove of oaks they called the "bush arbor." In 1870, Joe Thoms, with Deacons Ambrose Tolliver, Frank Walker, Ed Redd, John Williams, Charles Brock, Spot Mallory, and Ambrose Thoms, built a small frame church here. The third church replaced it in 1894, when Robinson donated the land. A great-great-grandson of Joe Thoms became pastor in 1982.

-Virginia Department of Historic Resources

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