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
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fans have been replaced by central heating and cooling.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old water oak trees have been replaced by healthy young oaks during the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
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
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