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LITTLE OAK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Little Oak United Methodist Church is in the Little Oak community of Pike County. It is located 71/2 miles from Troy, at the intersection of county road 2238 and county road 2222.

 

This church was the outgrowth of a meeting held on December 25, 1829 by the Rev. M. Snider and John Carnally, shortly after settlers began arriving in the area. However, the first formal church in the area was organized in 1831. At this time a small bark log house was built in which they had preaching. The building was simply referred to as "Snider's Meeting House" because of its location.

 

Soon, due to increased population, a larger building was needed. The settlers cut and peeled logs and built a rather substantial building on a hill one half mile east of the old church. This church was known as Old Salem. They could not get "lay representation" in the Methodist Episcopal conference therefore a Methodist Protestant church was organized.

 

In 1848 logs were hewn and built into Bethel Church, which was located on the beautiful area near Lower Greenville Road (now county road 2238 which is also called Little Oak Road). The whole community joined in this undertaking. At this time they organized a Methodist Episcopal Church, South, as it was near that time when churches were split over the question of slavery .

 

This building lasted until 1872 when a new frame building was erected on the same site. In 1908 the present church was constructed. It is a white frame building of Gothic design.

 

Rev. O.S. Welch dedicated the present building on March 29, 1908. He was assisted by S.R. Pelly, H.C. Threadgill, William Stanford Price, C.L. McCartha and W. Bancroft.

No major changes have been made to the structure since it was built. Decorative stained glass windows have been installed as memorials to earlier church members. The massive oak pews, which some craftsman of the past shaped into a curved pattern, have been padded with red upholstery. A red velvet prayer bench that conforms to the circular shape of the pulpit is a recent addition. The wood stove and cardboard fans have been replaced by central heating and cooling. The beautiful old water oak trees have been replaced by healthy young oaks during the past 17 years. In 1997 a Fellowship Hall was built on the grounds.

In 1994 master craftsman Haskew Lane fashioned a masterpiece in copper to replace the badly deteriorated steeple cap. An entrance ramp for the handicapped has been added.

 

In 1939 the Methodist Episcopal Church, South reunited with the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Protestant Church to become the Methodist Church. In 1968 the Methodist Church was united with the Evangelical United Brethren to become the United Methodist Church.

 

Mrs Gladys Watson Cowart headed a committee and with others worked many hours to

obtain recognized standing for Little Oak United Methodist Church as a historical monument They accomplished their aim. In July 1985, the Alabama Historical Commission placed a historical marker at the church.

 

On September 15,1866, the land on which Little Oak U.M.C. stands was deeded by Josiah Snider and wife, Rebecca, to the trustees of Bethel Church. These trustees were J. White, Stephen Cowart, and M. McLeod. In 1907 Matthias Lightfoot and wife, Ella, deeded two adjoining acres to be used as a cemetery. In 1977 Jerry L. Snider and wife, Aileen, donated another acre for cemetery space.

During the 1950,s the fourth Sunday in July became the annual Homecoming Day at Little Oak Church. The Little Oak Memorial Association was formed. The primary function of this association is the upkeep of the church cemetery. Its annual meeting is held on Homecoming Day.

Some early names in the church are Snider, Snyder, Carnally, White, Cowart, McLeod. Shaver, Lightfoot, Brown, Kyzar, Allred, Skinner, Norris, Carter, Foster, Dickenson and Schultz. The many descendants of the founders of this historical church are widely spread over our country. Most of the present members are connected to the founding fathers. Others are welcome.

Rev. E. Andrew Blackmon presently serves as pastor of Little Oak United Methodist Church. Carroll H. Rhodes, James R. Shaver, P. Keith Snyder, Kenneth Marler and Jamie Johns are current trustees. There are now 39 members. Church services are held at 10:00 AM each second Sunday and at 11 :00 AM each fourth Sunday. Sunday school is held each Sunday.

Submitted by Nadine Johnson, June 2005 

 

 

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