Oxbow Lake Baptist Church History
Oxbow Lake Baptist Church had its beginnings in 1950, when Arther (Bud) and Eva Pauley began a Sunday School class in their home. H.B. Hoag, a member of Temple Baptist Church in Detroit, purchased property located at 9930 Palmoor in Union Lake, from Carl Tweed in 1951, and erected a building on it. The basement of the building was used for Sunday School beginning in 1952.
The first full-time pastor was Rev. David Martin. At that time, the church was known as Oxbow Lake Tabernacle.
The work was first organized on August 15, 1953 by Rev. Jewell Smith, an evangelist who worked with the people for about three months, eventually serving as moderator at the organizational meeting. At that meeting, officers were chosen, and Rev. Jewell Smith was chosen to be the Pastor. The name chosen for the church was Bible Baptist Church. There were 14 original charter members.
Later pastors were Rev. Hatfield, who came November 1, 1953, Rev. Mauchlin who came May 2, 1954, Rev. Glenn Farnam and Rev. Lyle Harmon, who came in the spring of 1955.
After the arrival of Rev. Harmon, the church voted to become non-denominational and became known as Pleasant Ridge Bible Church. Upon the resignation of Rev. Harmon on August 27, 1963, the church reorganized and became known as Oxbow Lake Baptist Church. At this time they applied for help to the Fellowship of Baptist for Home Missions. Rev. Paul Acker was sent to survey the field and on November 10, 1963, the church voted unanimously to extend a call to him. He assumed responsibility on January 1, 1964. A new home was complete and the family was moved here on May 31, from Muskegon, Michigan. When Pastor Acker came to the field, work began immediately on drawing up a new constitution.
At a special meeting on September 9, 1964, it was voted that the church would call for a recognition council to examine the constitution to see if it was a duly organized regular Baptist Church and fit to be in fellowship with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. A building fund was begun by consent of the church board on January 5, 1964, which started with a special gift from Pastor Acker on his first Sunday in the new pastorate. On January 5, 1965, the church voted to buy the present property at 10730 Elizabeth Lake Road. Pastor Acker faithfully served the church for 23 years at which time he passed away after an illness. His wife, Evie Acker, still faithfully serves at the church.
The longest serving pastor of Oxbow Lake Baptist Church was Rev. Wayne DeVerna and his wife Virginia. From Easter of 1986 unto his retirement on December 12, 2012, Pastor DeVerna led the congregation in truth and without compromise, seeing God bless the membership and the salvation of souls. During his pastorate, DeVerna led in the building of a new addition on the church which more than doubled its size, adding a large basement which housed classrooms, restrooms and offices. Also a beautiful, large multi-purpose fellowship room flanked by a large kitchen, which has been abuzz with activity ever since.
Pastor Wayne DeVerna is known for his deep understanding of the scripture. His diligent study and love of God's word was evident in his preaching and teaching. Matching his ability in the scripture was his love for the flock.
On November 8th, 2015, at a meeting called for the church members, Pastor Chris Todd was happily voted in as pastor of Oxbow Lake Baptist Church. The members of the church were excited to have a pastor and his wife who grew up in the church and served the church as the Youth Pastor and Assistant Pastor since 2004. That love being evident by their unanimous vote. It was a happy time for the church and a new opportunity to move forward in the work of God for them all.
As of this date, Pastor Chris Todd and his wife Jennifer, continue to move the church forward, holding strong to the scriptures, without compromise and encouraging Christians to come to know the blessings that come in serving such an awesome Savior and God.