The Oak Grove Evangelical Bible Church, 3221 Springfield Road, has its roots in a daily vacation bible school. In the summer of 1946 the Mennonite and Missionary churches of Groveland held a combined Daily Vacation Bible School in the now defunct Groveland Grade School. The Oak Grove area derives its name from a large grove of oak trees east of Springfield Road and approximately one half mile south of Muller Road. Concerned for the children in the Oak Grove area, Rev. Paul Rupp, pastor of the Groveland Mennonite Church, canvassed the community, inviting the children to attend the Groveland Vacation Bible School. A total of nineteen children from Oak Grove were enrolled that year. The next four years saw a steady increase in the number of children from the area that was transported to the Groveland Bible School, and also to the Groveland Mennonite Sunday School, by Rev. Rupp. This small group became the nucleus of the present day Oak Grove Evangelical Bible Church.     

In 1950, Rev. John Kastelline held evangelistic meetings in a tent on the corner of Springfield and Muller roads. At the close of these meetings on July 23, 1950, the first Sunday school was held in the Oak Grove School house. Sunday school continued, with the school board generously permitting the use of the school facilities rent free, for five years. In September 1954, Rev. Paul Rupp became full time pastor and regular Sunday morning and evening worship services were added. The church was organized in July 1955, with 18 charter members.

In 1956 the congregation purchased the school house from the school district and leased the ground for a small parking space from the McClellan family. As the attendance increased each year, the building and small parking area became inadequate and in April 1964 two acres, containing the oak grove (34 trees) adjoining were purchased from the McClellan estate. On May 23, 1964, a ground breaking service was held and worship services were first held in the new facilities on Oct. 3, 1965. The old building (Oak Grove Grade School) continued to be used for Sunday school classes until it was demolished in 2004. Oak Grove is a member of the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches denomination which is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

 

Compiled December 2018 by Frank Borror