OXFORD AND LITTLE RIVER BAPTIST CHURCHES
Welcome to The Oxford and Litle River Baptist Churches - Serving the surrounding community since as early as 1847.
HISTORY OF THE OXFORD AND LITTLE RIVER BAPTIST CHURCHES
The Little River Baptist Church was formed in 1847 and organized in 1849 by Elder John E. Cogswell, who was serving at that time a large field from Parrsboro to River Philip and Elder William Hobbs, who was serving the Lord in Waterford, now known as Pugwash. After organizing the church in Little River, he went to Prince Edward Island and then felt a call to the mission field. In preparation for missions work, he became a medical doctor, graduating from a New York medical school in 1859. He sailed with his new wife from Pugwash in 1860 for New Zealand but went to Sydney, Australia instead, where in that same year he organized Newtown Baptist Church and served it until 1862. In 1874 he retired from mission work and went to Los Angeles, California where he again organized a new church, First Baptist of Los Angeles. A period of revival swept through from Pugwash to Leicester in 1854 causing the church to be strengthened. In 1860, William Dobson, after serving as a deacon in the church for a time, was ordained as an evangelist. Though much of his ministry was in P.E.I., the same excitement for evangelism flourished here. By 1890, membership in Little River Baptist Church peaked at 109.
A small body of baptized believers was found as early as 1870 in Oxford. In 1876, a number of members from Little River requested the church to move their membership. Oxford was formally constituted and accepted into membership into the Eastern Baptist Association. While early services were held in the old Methodist Church, now on Ellis Street, before long, during E. C. Corey's ministry, a church building was constructed down on Lower Main Street where the Nazarene church presently meets.
During the year 1896, the Baptists were finding their meeting house inadequate to accommodate the needs of the congregation, as the membership was growing rapidly. The present church building was constructed in 1898. This was heated with a wood furnace and lighted by an acetylene system which was converted to electricity in 1919. The church was dedicated on January 1, 1899 with much pomp and ceremony. In 1956, the church bell was installed in the church belfry. During the following year, a modern kitchen was built as part of an extension.
Two early lay leaders should be mentioned. In 1904 Deacon A. H. Henderson passed away at the early age of 43. He was a clever architect and carpenter as well as one of the main promoters of the new building. During his brief years he served as deacon, trustee, clerk, and Sunday School teacher. In 1928, Deacon T. M. Johnson, who was one of the foremost leaders, passed away. He had been Sunday School Superintendent for thirty years. A portrait of each man hangs in the church vestry.
The stained glass window which adorns the choir loft in Oxford was dedicated during the Rev. John Porter's ministry. It was in memory of Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Hickman, and was presented by their son, Renforth and wife, Rhoma. It was unveiled by a grandson, Donald Hickman.
Other notable individuals in the history of the field include the late Rev. Dr. Eugene Thompson who grew up in Oxford. After serving in the pastorate, Dr. Thompson went on to serve as an Area Minister in Manitoba, southern Nova Scotia (the old Area H), and for twelve years served as Executive Minister of the United Baptist Convention of the Atlantic Provinces from 1984 - 1996. Besides being a gifted preacher and Christian educator he has also been gifted in hymn writing.
You are treated with compassion, sincerity and respect at the
Oxford Baptist Church
PO Box 66, Oxford, Nova Scotia, Canada B0M 1P0
Phone: (902) 447-3367
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