200th Anniversary celebration for Red Oak Presbyterian

Residents living in and around the Village of Ripley are well acquainted with the Red Oak Presbyterian Church’s rich history and its congregation would like to invite everyone to help the congregation celebrate the little stone church’s 200th Anniversary.
The Red Oak Presbyterian Church will hold a very special worship service and an afternoon of fellowship beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 27, 2017 at the church. The church is located at 5754 Cemetery Road near Ripley, just off US Rt. 62/68.
Shirley Brierley is the clerk of the Red Oak Presbyterian Church and is spearheading the big event for the church.
“We are planning a very special worship service commemorating the long history of our church,” Brierley said, “And we anticipate a nice group of people turning out for this event. Everyone is welcome to join us.”
The beautiful old stone church is a short distance down Cemetery Road which has been in existence since 1798.
The church was once a thriving parish with over 35 families attending. Today there is an old pioneer cemetery next to the stone church where one of the churches first preachers, Rev. James Gilliland led the church from 1805 until 1841.
The Red Oak Presbyterian Church is recognized as one of the important stations of the Underground Railroad and the cemetery is the burial site of people like Rosa Washington Riles, known for her portrayal as “Aunt Jemima” of Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix fame.
The Red Oak community dates back before the founding of the Village of Ripley. The first two church structures were made of logs, but both buildings burned so  the existing church was constructed of stone in 1816.
The church has been recognized by the National Society of Colonial Dames XVII Century in 2000 and the American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Site # 289 registered by the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, PA.
In 1835 the Red Oak Temperance Society was formed.
The Red Oak Presbyterian Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
“Please come out and join us on Sunday August 27 and be a part of our history by celebrating our 200th Anniversary,” Brierly said.
For more information Brierley can be reached at (937) 377-3234.