Oaklawn was organized on February 6, 1931 under the name “Smith’s Grove Baptist Church.” It originally grew out of a neighborhood prayer meeting. What began in the dark years of the Great Depression has grown and flourished through a great deal of faith and prayer. The original group began with a small white frame building and desire for the love of God to touch people in this area of the county.
In later years, the “s” was dropped from the name, and eventually the name was changed from “Smith Grove Baptist Church” to its present form of “Oaklawn Baptist Church.” Over the years, the church has built a sanctuary / education building in 1949, a fellowship hall, and an education building in 1962, a larger education building in 1965, a multi-purpose building in 1982, and a new sanctuary in 1993. In 2004, the church remodeled the two-story education building.
Growth has been a part of Oaklawn for many years. While we have had beautiful buildings, the core of our effort has never been to build buildings; we are focused on building people. The buildings have given us an opportunity to strengthen people. The buildings may have changed, but the dedication to reaching the community has not. Over the years, this congregation has helped people from all walks of life. These people found in Oaklawn an opportunity to know God and His love. The church has reached out to this community, this state, this nation, and the world around us in mission projects. We have built handicapped ramps, new decks, and other household projects for people who could not help themselves. Oaklawn has helped families in need, children at Christmas, and been a place people could find healing. Whether we are putting a new roof on a house in Gulfport, Mississippi or installing new lighting for a person in Winston-Salem, the goal to share the love of God remains the same. This church has experienced the love of God and has been sharing that same love with those around us since 1931.