A small group of Christians banned together in Henry County Georgia in early 1866 to share a mutual love for God and to worship our redeemer. In the spring of that same year, those beloved Christians received two acres of land donated by Mr. Jim Lee. Among the founders of Red Oak United Methodist Church were Joe Hinson and Simon Steward. To conduct worship services, these Christians built a bush arbor, a tent-like structure made from logs and tree branches to shelter them while listening to an arousing sermon.
Led by Rev. W. H. Lovelace, the congregation first sat on an area of land that was formerly a part of the Jim Walden Plantation. The congregation, which consisted of only a few faithful saints, purchased two additional acres of land from the Lee Estates. As the congregation grew, it became necessary to establish a more permanent building for worship services. A wooden structure was built for worship to accommodate the growth.
As the Methodist Church became aware of a shortage of preachers, Red Oak became a part of a four-point charge. The churches in that charge were Red Oak, Andrews Chapel, Bentley Hill and Trinity. During this time of growth, the following pastors served: Rev. Anders, Rev. Jacob Arnold, Rev. M. M. Austin, Rev. Emmon, Rev. Glover, Rev. C.L. Johnson, Rev. Milton, Rev. Peggeas, Rev. J. W. Queens, Rev. J.A. Riches, Rev. I.C. Rucker, Rev. Ruffin, Rev. S.J. Saxon and Rev. J.W. Sawin.
In 1920, Red Oak was renovated under the pastorship of Rev. J. W.Tharpe.
In 1930, the charge was re-arranged into a three-point circuit. This charge under the leadership of Rev. A.C. Cobb, consisted of Red Oak, Bentley Hill and Trinity.
In 1941, Rev. G.P. Wilson was appointed to this Charge. He served until 1948.
During 1948, Rev. E.W. Seay was appointed to what was known as the Stockbridge Charge. The work which had begun under Rev. Wilson was completed under the Pastorage of Rev. Seay. The official records of the South Georgia Methodist Episcopal Conference shows that Rev. Seay served from 1948-1955. However, the records of the Sunday School Department of Red Oak, dating back to the 1950's show that on February 26, 1956, the class reviewer was Rev. E.W. Seay, Pastor. There were thirty-four students present. The Sunday School Superintendent was Bro. Robert Slaughter. Those same records were dated from November 13, 1955 through February 3, 1957, showed that on June 24, 1956, the class reviewer was Rev. M.G. Knight, Pastor. The number of pupils was twenty-two. Bro. Slaughter was Superintendent, James Clemons was Secretary, Eddie C. Bryant was acting-secretary and Isaac Lemons was treasurer.
The Sunday School records also show that Rev. Sam Johnson was involved in the life and ministry of Red Oak Sunday School from at least January 1, 1953 until May 29, 1955. Red Oak's efficient Sunday School records reflect where on May 5, 1957, Rev. M.G. Knight first served as Pastor.
Those same records show that Rev. Marchman was the Pastor in November, 1959. He pastored until May 1964, when the conference moved him. During his tenure, a junior pastor by the name of Rev. M. Davis made remarks in Sunday School on November 13, 1960. Under the leadership of Rev. Marchman, complete sets of stained glass windows were installed.
On May 17, 1964, Rev. Freddie A. Robinson was appointed to what was now called Jonesboro (Andrew's Chapel-Red Oak Circuit) He was pastor until June 9, 1968. During Rev. Robinson's tenure the records reflect that Rev. R.W. Moore was involved in the ministry and mission of Jones-Red Oak. Under Rev. Robinson's leadership, a renovation program was started.
In Dallas, Texas, 1968, the Evangelical United Brethren Church, The Methodist Episcopal South (Blacks) and the Methodist Episcopal North (Whites) came together to form what is now the United Methodist Church.
On June 16, 1968, Rev. Harold N. Sharp was appointed to Red Oak for a period of two conference years. He served until May 1970. Rev. Sharp was instrumental in implementing the new programs of the United Methodist Church, of which Red Oak has become a part. Under Rev. Sharp's leadership, new pews were purchased, a new front entrance added, a new ceiling was installed and Red Oak continued to move.
On June 7, 1970, Rev. C.I. Smith was appointed to Red Oak. He started the Children's Sermon. During his time, Andrews Chapel was preparing to become a station church. In 1974, the Charge made up of Red Oak and Andrews Chapel was dissolved. Red Oak formed a new relationship with Lamar-Johnson United of Forest Park, Georgia and Charles Golden United Methodist of Douglasville, Georgia.
In June 1974, Rev. Lewis Lindsey became the pastor of Red Oak/Lamar-Johnson Charge. Under Rev. Lindsey, Red Oak did extensive clean up work in the cemetery and recorded and released an album by its choirs. Rev. Lindsey served until June 1976.
On June 18, 1978, Rev. Dewwy Smith was appointed to Red Oak for one year.
June 1979 was the year that Red Oak opted to become a station church, thereby dissolving the Charge which had been formed with Lamar-Johnson. Rev. Dabney served as Pastor until June 1981. During his tenure, the church purchased an acre of land on which to construct a parsonage. The church also acquired from the county the parcel of land located on the front side. The deed to the land was recorded August 19, 1980, and is shown in book 425, page 274, in Henry County real property records.
During the North Georgia Annual Conference in June 1981, Rev. Timothy Simmons was appointed to serve as Pastor of Red Oak. He served until June 1985.
Under the leadership of Rev. Simmons, a building committee was established and the dream of building a church parsonage became a reality. In 1984, the parsonage was completed. Dedication services were held and the parsonage became a beautiful addition to the Red Oak family.
In June 1985, Rev. Richard W. Owens was appointed as Pastor of Red Oak, where he served until June 1989. During his first year, Rev. Owens addressed the ministry needs of Red Oak. They were to create a young adult usher board, Sunday School class and gospel choir. In 1985, Red Oak was awarded the North Georgia Conference Evangelism Certificate. Under Rev. Owens' leadership, Red Oak embarked on a mission to construct the new sanctuary. A building committee was formed in late 1986 and planning and fundraising began.
In June 1989, Rev. Dr. John W. Pace began his service as pastor of Red Oak. Dr. Pace made his impact felt when he served as our evangelist for the week during our annual revival services. He rekindled a fire under the building committee, which resulted in a renewed sense of urgency to build a new sanctuary. The church was built and completed under his leadership. On Palm Sunday 1994, the old sanctuary burned to the ground (with considerable smoke and water damage to the new sanctuary). Many came to our aide, and services were held each Sunday with our sister church Jonesboro First United Methodist Church in downtown Jonesboro. After completing renovations, Red Oak returned home by walking all the way from Jonesboro First UMC.
In May 1995, under Dr. Pace, Red Oak began building a multi-purpose building to extend our commitment to God and the community, thus birthing the Family Life Center. Today, we use our FLC for Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Sunday Morning Fellowship Breakfast, church dinners, receptions, community meetings, sporting events and church auxiliary meetings. In 2003, Dr. Pace and Red Oak Trustees obtained a construction loan to complete the Family Life Center. On June 19, 2005, Rev. Dr. John W Pace retired after 16 years of leadership at Red Oak.
On Sunday, June 26, 2005 Red Oak welcomed its newly appointed Pastor, Rev. Fert R. Richardson and First Lady Lutricia Richardson. Rev. Richardson came with a rich history of service to the Suwanee Parish United Methodist Church in Suwanee, Georgia. Rev. Richardson began building upon the rich history of Red Oak through the implementation of new ministries, enhancing present ministries and facility improvements. Some of the additions or modifications under Rev. Richardson included the Disciple Bible Study series, Wednesday Night Bible Study (rearranged), New Members Classes, Annual Leadership Retreats and Married Couples Retreats. Rev. Richardson left Red Oak September of 2010.
Rev. Yvette D. Massey was appointed Senior Pastor, effective October 17, 2010. In 2001 she was ordained at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, Pendleton, S.C. and in June of 2005 she was ordained an Elder in full connection in the North Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Rev. Massey was previously the Senior Associate Pastor at Cascade UMC in Atlanta, GA, and she served as the Senior Pastor of Warren Memorial UMC in Atlanta, Georgia prior to her appointment to Red Oak. Rev. Massey received a new appointment and left Red Oak in June 2013.
On June 23, 2013 Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Rose-Tucker became the new pastor. Rev. Tucker had just completed her 8th year as the District Superintendent, Rome Carrollton District, North Georgia Conference. Rev. Tucker led efforts in building souls as the physical church building. Focusing on spiritual growth, she reinstated Disciple Classes and introduced a spectacular new series of bible studies for Wednesday night and Thursday noon-day bible studies (Genesis to Revelation). Rev. Tucker spearheaded both small and large church renovation projects. In attending the needs of Red Oak's Children and Youth, she was instrumental in the hiring a Children and Youth Leader. Pastor Tucker's main goal was to lead souls to Christ! She served as pastor until March 2018.
On June 24, 2018 Red Oak will welcome Rev. Belinda Grooms McCastle to serve as our new pastor. Rev. McCastle is an ordained Elder in full connection and previously served as the Associate Pastor of Ben Hill United Methodist Church in Atlanta, GA. Her Christian philosophy is "Only what you do for Christ will last."