HISTORY OF "THE OAK"
The Round Oak Missionary Baptist Church was born 150 years ago in the home of Rev. Robert Taylor, on a farm in Spencerville Maryland. In 1873, Rev. Taylor and his parishioners named their church Round Oak Baptist Church. As the congregation grew in size, the original church edifice was enlarged. A community-minded church, Round Oak established the Rising Star Lodge, developed a burial ground for it members, and helped to establish the first black school in Spencerville. Under Rev. Taylor's great leadership, seven men were ordained into the ministry, and two others became deacons.
In 1910, Rev. Cornelius Hart served as the assistant minister when Rev. Taylor became ill. Rev. Hart assumed the position of Pastor of the church upon the death of Round Oak's first leader. In 1938, Rev. Bernard Botts was called to the Pastorate. He became the shepherd of Round Oak during the difficult years of the Great Depression. Undaunted by the worst economic crisis that the American nation had ever faced, Rev. Botts determined to erect a new and larger building in order to accommodate the ever-growing congregation. On April 2, 1947, dedication services were held; and on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1947, the Pastor and his devoted flock marched from the old building into their new house of worship. The fourth Pastor in the history of Round Oak was the grandson of the founder rev. Robert Taylor. This man was Rev. Norman Kelly whose leadership spanned the decade 1958-1968. During these years, the church enlarged its facilities through the addition of two restrooms and a kitchen.
With the death of Rev. Kelly in 1968, Rev. Robert J. Anderson, Sr., D.D. was called to the Pastorate. During his ministry at Round Oak, the ministry continued to grow. Rev. Anderson's departure from Round Oak in 1975 left the church without a minister and the church continued its work for God. In 1976, God heard the cry of Round Oak and sent a strong leader, Rev. Lionel Phillip Pointer, Jr., the present Pastor. Rev. Pointer has been truly a tower of strength to the Round Oak family. He has been a good and faithful shepherd, whose demeanor reminds his followers of the passage: "I will sing the mercies of the Lord forever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations" (Psalm 89:1). On Easter Sunday, 1977, twenty-six souls walked the aisles and joined the Round Oak roll.
The current structure, with approximately 1,000 seats, was built in one year under the leadership of the current Pastor Pointer. On the third Sunday in September, 1982, Pastor Pointer led the church family into this beautiful new brick building with royal blue windows and carpeting. On that historic day, the church overflowed with a host of witnesses.
"Not Just Renovation ... Restoration" became our theme in 2009, as the Round Oak Missionary Baptist Church and it's committed members, have been led in kingdom building by Pastor Lionel Pointer for 33 years, Pastor Lionel Phillip Pointer, Jr. "From The inside Out" the Round Oak family has embarked on a phased of renovation that has seen the lower level and sanctuary completely updated, the old church building demolished, new ADA entrances, renovations to the narthex, renovated bathrooms, sanctuary and administrative offices, which includes historical artifacts from the previous church building. Through this process, new HVAC equipment was installed, the pews were reupholstered. a new sound system was installed, new flooring was laid throughout, bulkheads and columns were added to the entry, a church museum, the pulpit was opened up with dual curvilinear steps. New chandeliers were installed and a balcony to house the new sound room was all added to the rear of the sanctuary.
The subsequent phase will include the installation of new site drainage structures, a circular access road, new asphalt paving, new exterior lighting, a new church sign, re-built entry steps and accessible ramps to the upper and lower levels.
The final phase will include the complete renovation of the third floor. New flooring, lighting, acoustical ceiling tiles, granite counter tops, updated kitchen and bathrooms, renovated waiting area and flat screen monitors.
God has been faithful to this branch of Zion for 150 years and we as the people of God, have been richly blessed through the faithfulness, leadership, vision, prayers, unmatched sacrifices and selfless love of our Pastor, the Rev. Lionel Phillip Pointer, Jr. We give thanks to God for this blessing and for sending us a Shepherd that has led us by the "Word" for over 42 years.