There are a few charter members with us yet today and we are so thankful for their insight into our history.
Red Oak began as a Mission project of the Baptist Missioanry Association of Arkansas (BMA). In 1987 the First Baptist Church of Damascus, Arkansas extended an arm and authorized Bro. Larry Markum to begin a work in Harrison. The mission began in a double wide trailer on our present property. Eventually a building was erected with the guidance of Bro. Eddie Sykes who oversaw building projects for the state missions department. Much of the labor was given by men in the mission at that time and of course Bro. Larry Markum. God blessed and on October 13, 1995, Red Oak Baptist Mission was organized into a self supporing church and became Red Oak Baptist Church.
Bro. Markum tendered his resignation to go and begin a new work in Bentonville, Arkansas. The church called Bro. Gary Crawford as new pastor. Bro. Crawford accepted the call and moved his family to Harrison on January 17, 1996,
joined the church and became pastor on January 19, 1996 and is pastor to present date. In January of1999 the church began to see the need for enlarging meeting space. Construction on our present Sanctuary began in late August of 2001. The men and women of Red Oak rallied and donated so much of the necessary labor. God blessed us with all different skill sets in people. We had our own excavation people in the church, electricians, carpenters, plumbers. It seems we had everything except bricklayers and painters.
We were able to build and move into our new sanctuary in December 2001. The old Santuary became the fellowship area, education and storage space.
October 2005, the church called and moved Bro. Jonathan Roberts onto the field as our Youth Director.
He and his family have been at Red Oak from that day until present. Bro. "J" has been a wonderful asset to the ministry here.
In June of 2005 we began making plans for more expansion, aditional education space and such.
In late 2005 the church purchased an additional 5 acres of adjoining land.
February 2006 we had secured an architect to design plans for our annex building, which would serve as a "multi-purpose" building. A 100 x 100 metal building was erected, again the membership of Red Oak donated so much of the labor to make this structure very cost effective. The church probably was out financially only less than half of the buildings value. The new structure houses classrooms for Sunday School, the Wednesday night Champion's program, it is also used for our
church-wide fellowships, wedding receptions, basketball fellowships and often by church families as they need it for family gatherings.
History page will be modified in the near future to fill in a few of the gaps. God has been good to us and seen us through a lot of different stages. The song comes to mind "Amazing grace how sweet the sound....through many dangers toils and snares...Tis grace hath brought us safe thus far and grace will lead us home." PTL