OAK RIDGE Oak Ridge Louisiana

Oak Ridge, LA

Date Founded: 1860

In the early 1800s, the Griffings and other families in the Prairie Jefferson area attended services given by circuit riders passing through.

In 1860, heirs of William Davis gave the Oak Ridge Church two acres of land on which to build a Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Records note that in 1864 the partially completed church was being used as a hospital for recovering soldiers. With the war over, $2,500 was subscribed in 1866 to finish paying for the church. The completed church had two doors. There was a partition down the middle of the pews, with males sitting on one side and females on the other.

In 1878, a parsonage was built. N.S. Cornell brought lumber to the site in his buggy. The following year, the local post office changed its name from Point Jefferson to Oak Ridge.

In 1889, “Aunt Pony” Randle collected money for a church bell. The bell, which was picked up at Ion landing (Girard) on the Boeuf River, was housed separate from the church.

In 1906, a vestibule entrance with a belfry and one wide front door was built at the front of the church.

The old parsonage was torn down in 1926. A six-room parsonage was constructed in1934 and dedicated by Bishop Hoyt Dobbs.

In 1951, the cornerstone was laid on the new education building. The following year, plans began on renovating the church. Renovations, completed by 1955, included lowering the ceiling, removing the center posts, and replacing classrooms at the entrance with a colonial gallery and columns. The dedication service was led by Bishop Paul Martin.