Rev. Cecil A.
Palm, a prolific church planter, and family moved to the Camp Hill area in late
June 1959 for the purpose of planting a new Baptist church. On August 12 the
first prayer meeting was held with 11 persons present. The first Sunday services
were held in Gorgas Hall on August 30, 1959, with 43 people in attendance.
29, 1959, the "Camp Hill Conservative Baptist Church" was organized with 17
charter members. The church was incorporated on November 12,1959.
On April 10,
1960 the church started holding their services in the "Roost Motel". On April
26, 1960, the church was received into the fellowship of the Conservative
Baptist Association of Pennsylvania. The first baptismal service, held in the
Conodoguinet Creek, was on July 17, 1960.
was made for the purchase of our current lot on December 5, 1960, and the first
service held on our own property was May 7, 1961. We met in a tent borrowed from
the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities. On May 9, 1961, ground
breaking began and we were able to begin meeting in the basement on June 25,
On March 14,
1962, the church auditorium was used for the first time. January 13, 1963, was
Dedication Day for the completed building.
1968, a Day School for 3, 4 and 5 year olds was begun with four students. Within
a few weeks the enrollment increased to 20 students. The school is still in
On June 2,
1971, the church voted to change our name from "Camp Hill Conservative Baptist
Church" to "Oakwood Baptist Church". At the same time the school name was
changed to Oakwood Baptist Day School.
In June 1973,
ground breaking for the present auditorium was begun. On January 27, 1974, a
dedication service for the present auditorium was held. On January 9, 1989, the
mortgage was paid off, and a short time later a mortgage burning service was
2009, Oakwood Baptist Church was received into the fellowship of The Keystone
Baptist Association which is part of the Southern Baptist Convention. We have
benefited greatly from the fellowship and co-operation with like-minded churches
in our nine county association, and with churches in other states. Our
evangelism and outreach has also benefited. We have partnered with a church
from North Carolina to host sports camps and other outreach projects in Enola
with a goal to plant a church in that community.
previous pastors were: Rev. Cecil Palm, founding pastor, 1959-1966; Rev. Lynn
Green, second pastor, 1965-1967; Rev. Robert Conrad, third pastor, 1967-2003.
The church currently has three pastors: Rev. Robert D. Conrad 1998-present,
Rev. Donald R. Foose 2006-present, and Rev. Dean W. Bertsch 2010-present. Since
2006 God has graciously provided Oakwood with a plurality of elders to lead and
feed His church.
years we have seen several individuals and families from our church go into the
Christian ministry: the Campbells, the Balstons, Mark Melhorn, the Farleys, the
Wojciechowskis, the Mellards, the Waltons, the Conrads. We praise God that our
church is represented all over the world.