The history of the Oak Hill Bible Church of Oxford, MA dates back to April 17, 1850 when a group of believers met in Worcester, MA to form a church. They wrote an Article of Association: "We the subscribers, believers in the personal advent and reign of Christ on the earth renewed, believe the Bible, the books of the Old and New Testaments, to be the Word of God and perfect rule of faith and practice, and we solemnly agree to be governed by this rule." Twenty-eight believers signed and pledged their financial support. In 1866, after 16 years of worshipping in various halls, a chapel names attached to their Article of Faith which now stated: "This church shall be called the Second Advent Church of Worcester. Its members are all believers in the personal and soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. And believing the Bible to be the perfect rule of faith and practice, severally agree to be governed by this rule."
For 13 of the 15 years on Central Street the church was without a pastor, but the best preachers came with regularity, sometimes staying a month, sometimes supplying a Sunday or two in each month.
Due to a variety of circumstances, the Central Street chapel was sold, and the church had several temporary locations for its services for ten years. Not once do the records reveal any indication of discouragement, discussion of disbanding, or any lessening of their faith and trust in the leading of the Lord. On the contrary, to read of their doings can only fill one with admiration for their steadfastness and dedication. Especially is this true when the records reveal such events as a mid-January baptism in 1859 in a "stream which ran through Lincoln Square". The ceremony was performed through the ice, after which the preacher and candidate walked half a mile in freezing garments to effect a change of clothing.
In 1892 the church purchased a corner lot on Piedmont and Chandler Streets in Worcester and on September 15, 1893 the first service was held in their new church building.
The next 35 years are filled with accounts of their activities and growth. Year by year there were revival meetings, prophetic conventions, state and country conferences, tent meetings, missionaries sent to foreign fields, and many a young man licensed to become a preacher. One cannot but marvel that they did so much - two prayer meetings a week, five services on Sunday, and many of the men worked nine and ten hours a day to support their families while carrying on the work of the church.
The proposed widening of Chandler street in 1928 resulted in the congregations' decision to relocate. A lot on the corner of Russell and Pleasant Streets was purchased July 10, 1929, and on December 28, 1930 a new church was dedicated. The congregation remained there for the next 50 years, striving to be a beacon for Christ in the inner-city. Then, after several years of decline of the neighborhood and of its membership, the church prayerfully considered relocation. A survey was conducted and many locations were investigated. Finally, a suitable property was found in the nearby town of Oxford, MA.
|In September of 1979, a ground breaking service was held on the eight and one half acre property on Sacarrappa Road. The partially completed facilities were occupied in March of 1980. The men of the congregation had done most of the actual labor themselves. During the relocation process the name of the church was changed to Oak Hill Bible Church. The impact of the new church on the local community was soon realized, as many local families were reached over the ensuing years with the message of the Gospel. Not only was the Town of Oxford impacted, but the Oak Hill family encompassed people from numerous communities in the Southern Worcester County area.|
|To accommodate the growth of this burgeoning church, a new sanctuary was erected in 1991 with seating for over 350 people. The old sanctuary was remodeled, creating several classrooms and a sizeable area for the church's ministry to youth, a significant contributor to the growth of Oak Hill over the years in Oxford.|
|Today the future of Oak Hill Bible Church looks brighter than ever. For 150 years the gospel of salvation, of "life only in Christ", and the promise of His soon return have been faithfully proclaimed from pastor and people alike. The present memberships committed to fulfilling our God-given vision. The great truths of scripture, a "perfect rule of faith and practice" continue to guide us as a people. We are resolved in our mission to "establish our people in a viable relationship with Jesus Christ, and equip them to impact their world." We join our brothers and sisters of 150 years ago in our earnestness in the cause of Christ, until He comes again!|