Burdened for the children in the Oak Grove area, Rev. Paul Rupp, pastor of the Groveland Evangelical 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 who were transported to the Groveland Bible School, and also to the Groveland Mennonite Sunday School, by Rev. Rupp. This group became the nucleus of the Oak Grove 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. Thirty five girls and boys and eight adult workers were present. Sunday School was held regularly from that point on at 9:30 each Sunday morning. Prayer Meeting and Bible Study were held on Tuesday evenings while young people's meetings were held on Sunday evenings. The school board generously permitted 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 eighteen charter members.
In 1956 the congregation purchased the school house from the school district and leased the ground and small parking space from the McClellans. As the attendance increased each year, the building and small parking area became inadequate. As the congregation prayed and planned for new facilities, the Lord opened the way.
As early as 1963 Mr. Wesly Wenger, of Washington, Illinois was secured as Contractor. Mr. Wenger, Rev. Rupp, and the Church Trustees visited a number of churches in the surrounding area to help determine the type of building that would be most suitable.
1n April, 1964 two acres, containing the oak grove (34 trees) adjoining and including the old site, were purchased from the McClellan estate. On May 23, 1964, a ground breaking service was held. The building permit was not secured until August.
Worship Services were first held in the new facilities on October 3, 1965. The old building continued to be used for seven Sunday School classes, while ten other classes were housed in the new building.
God has marvelously and graciously guided and blessed each forward step. May He continue to strengthen and guide as we strive to glorify His name and to "make known Thy faithfulness to all generations." Psalm 89
(text is taken from the program issued during the church building dedication - May 15, 1966)
Who We Are
The Oak Grove Evangelical Bible Church had its roots as 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 Groveland Grade School.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
~ Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus said "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
~ Matthew 28:19-20