In 1957, God gave the pastor and members of the Archer Baptist Church a vision for a new church to be planted on Archer Road near the city of Gainesville. The Archer Church took seriously the commission of our Lord when He said, “Go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to do all that I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:19-20) After weeks of prayer and canvassing the neighborhood, the new community of faith was launched. The new church purchased 1½ acres on Archer Road and opened their doors as the Archer Road Baptist Mission. In 1961 the church constituted as the Oak Park Baptist Church and became a member of what is now the North Central Florida Baptist Association and became affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. In 1986, the church purchased an additional 3½ acres while expanding the buildings and ministries. In 2002, a building fund was established to raise funds for a new worship center. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in April, 2008. The new Worship Center was dedicated to the glory of God on June 4, 2017 as we celebrated 60 years of ministry. Along with a new worship center, the church decided to be known simply as The Oaks Church. We are currently in the process of updating our site plan and our sports ministry which will include a Sports Building equipped with restrooms, concessions, sports equipment storage and maintenance equipment storage. We continue to be the same fellowship that loves God and loves people, just like we have been since the earliest days of the church with a vision to Grow Locally and Reach Globally.
On June 4, 2017 The Oaks Church celebrated 60 years of ministry and dedicated our new Worship Center to the glory of God. For more than ten years the church hosted and led a Christian Sports Ministry that impacted hundreds of families in the community. With the completion of the entrance to Celebration Pointe we have been blessed with the acquisition of additional acreage and the installation of beautiful sports fields. The Oaks Church will be reaching out to the community through sports ministry again in the future.
Another distinguishing characteristic of The Oaks Church has been a ministry to and by internationals. Because of the welcoming spirit among our people, we are a multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-racial fellowship of Christ followers. We celebrate together as a people of many voices gathered from many nations lifting high praises to the Lord. International ministry will continue to be a special emphasis among our people.
Missions, local and international, have always been a significant focus for us and will continue to be in the future. Every month we have a different mission focus on our campus. We also have opportunities to be involved in ministries in our local community. On the international level, we were in a mission’s partnership with a church and community in Western Cuba for six years. For the past three years we have served in a partnership with a mission among the Chiquitano People (an unreached people group) in Bolivia. We are always praying and looking to see where God is working so that we can join Him.
Welcome to La Iglesia Evangelica Bautista! Our church has graciously entered into an agreement with our sister Hispanic Church to allow them to hold worship services and Bible Studies in our facilities. They experienced their first worship service here on Sunday, December 13, 2020. Their Bible Study groups meet at 12:30pm on Sunday followed by worship at 2:00 pm. They also have a Thursday night Bible Study and prayer meeting at 7:00pm. May the Lord richly bless the ministry of our sister church!
Our student ministry is continuing to focus on helping students become dynamic, committed followers of Jesus. We are excited to involve students in ministry on our campus and in the community. Youth mission actions are encouraged and celebrated. We are currently praying for the Lord to send a new student leader, since our last one has surrendered to the pastorate and is now headed for a senior pastor position in West Virginia. Interested? Contact us.
Worship has always been a big part of the ministry at The Oaks Church and will continue to be so. Our new worship space offers many more options for worship experiences. There is room for additional musicians and singers. We are equipped with upgrades in sound, video, and lighting. Since early 2020, we have been livestreaming our Sunday messages and Wednesday night Bible Studies on Facebook and YouTube for anyone to access including our international friends who have moved back to their homeland. Come join us as we lift our voices in prayer, praises, thanksgiving and worship!