History of the Oak Hill Presbyterian Church, Valliant, Oklahoma

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The Oak Hill Presbyterian Church was organized about June 29, 1869, with six members, namely, Henry Crittenden, who was ordained an elder, Teena Crittenden, his wife, J. Ross Shoals and his wife Hettie Shoals, Emily Harris and Reindeer Clark.

The services at first were held in the home and later in an arbor at the home of Henry Crittenden, one mile east of the present town of Valliant, and now known as the home of James and Johnson Shoals. After a few years the place of meeting was transferred to an arbor about two miles southwest of Crittenden’s, and two years later, 1878, to the Oak Hill schoolhouse, a frame building erected that year on the main east and west road north of Red river. It was located on the southwest quarter of section 27, near the site on which Valliant was located in 1902. It is reported, that Henry Crittenden was the principal contributor towards the erection of this building. His cash income though meager was greater than others and he gave freely in order that a suitable place might be provided both for public worship and a day school for the neighborhood.

Parson Charles W. Stewart of Doaksville, a representative of the last generation of those who were slaves to the Indians, was the minister in charge from the time of organization until the spring of 1893, when he retired from the ministry. He was succeeded at Oak Hill by Rev. Edward G. Haymaker, the superintendent of the academy, who continued a period of eleven years. He was succeeded by Rev. R. E. Flickinger, whose pastorate of nearly eight years was eventfully ended at the dedication of the new colored Presbyterian Church at Garvin, on October 3, 1912. Rev. William H. Carroll, relinquishing his work on that same day as the first resident pastor of the Garvin Church became the immediate successor at Oak Hill.

Those who served as elders of the Oak Hill Church and are now dead were Henry Crittenden, J. Ross Shoals, Robert Hall, Jack A. Thomas and Samuel A. Folsom. The elders in 1912 are James R. Crabtree, Matt Brown and Solomon H. Buchanan.

In 1912 a site for a new chapel, intended only for the uses of the local congregation, was purchased in a suburb on the west side of Valliant. The trustees chosen at this time were Mitchell S. Stewart, formerly an elder, Matt Brown and James R. Crabtree. They were duly authorized to incorporate and manage the erection of the new Church building.

MLA Source Citation:

Flickinger, Robert Elliott. Choctaw Freedmen and Oak Hill Industrial Academy, Valliant, Oklahoma. Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen. Pittsburgh. 1914 AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 22 December 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/oklahoma/history-of-the-oak-hill-presbyterian-church-valliant-oklahoma.htm - Last updated on May 5th, 2012

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