The following is a summation of our history from 1976 until now. It does not begin to tell the story of the lives that have been touched by our ministry. It does not begin to tell the story of those who have touched the life of Oak Park Baptist Church.
In 1976 a small group of people, known as Northview Baptist Church, bought the 5 1⁄2 acres of land on which we are currently located. They then began the process of forming a new church. The name Oak Park was chosen, and the building began.
When the building was completed in July, they began the search for a pastor. Several men were contacted and eventually in November of 1976, David Harris was called and became the pastor.
In 1982 a tornado destroyed the church building. Rebuilding took several months, but we were able to completely rebuild and add an additional building which became our fellowship hall. We were soon debt free.
As the church grew the need for additional staff was evident. After having part-time music/youth directors, the church voted by faith to hire a full-time man for that position. In 1991, Jim Turner began serving. The church continued to grow, and the music/youth position was soon too large for one man. Once again, the church expanded the budget and voted to hire a full time Youth Director to serve on staff. In 2000, Jeff Herring began serving on the staff as full time Minister of Youth and Children.
The need became evident for more room for our continued growth so in 2003 we began plans for a $1.7 million Family Life Center/Multipurpose building. The church voted by faith to build and in doing so, more than doubled our weekly budget. Through the very generous support of Jerry and Shirley Davis, we purchased an additional 1⁄2 acre of land behind our worship center and began the building process. The 14,000 square foot building was completed in September of 2004 and named The Davis Center.
In January of 2013, the church experienced a great tragedy with the death of the Senior Pastor, David Harris, and his granddaughter, Maci, in an automobile accident. Under the leadership of the church staff, Jim Turner and Jeff Herring, as well as the deacons, the church came together in an amazing way to support the Harris family and each other as they continued to trust God and His plan for the future.
After over a year of prayerful searching, the church called Dr. Gary O’Neal to be our pastor. Bro. Gary and his wife Lynn have been with us since May 2014. We look forward to seeing what God has in store as we continue to serve Him under the leadership of Bro. Gary.
In September of 2018 Jeff Herring resigned as the Minister of Youth and Children and in February of 2019, Oak Park called Zac Lee to be their new Student Pastor. Zac resigned in the summer of 2021, and after a period in interim, Jake Tyson was called to be youth director at the beginning of 2022.
You can find out more about Bro. Gary and his wife Lynn, Jim and his wife Laura, as well as Jake and his wife Jessica, by visiting our Pastoral Staff page. The belief and prayer of the Oak Park church family is that God has never left us, and He has great plans in store for Oak Park Baptist Church in Little Rock.
The church continues to enjoy the blessings of God as we grow numerically and spiritually. There is tremendous harmony among the people of Oak Park. We have the ability to minister to the needs of all ages. Our Music and Youth programs are as good as any to be found in any church. We invite all who read this to visit Oak Park and find your place here.
Our Beliefs –
Our Staff –