The 1950's was a decade that looked to the future following the war years. The soldiers were home, the baby boom was in full swing, and new inventions such as the credit card, the seat belt, and the color T.V. were changing American lifestyles.
In Houston, the introduction of air conditioning spurred economic growth as companies began moving from the north to utilize its strong labor market. Texas Baptists have always been evangelical, and amidst this growth, Magnolia Park Baptist Church recognized the need for a mission in the Forest Oaks area.
Its first "Church" was a tent pitched on the corner of Forest Oaks Drive and Oriole Street, very near the present site of Forest Oaks Baptist Church. Its first pastor was Sam Wells, a member of Magnolia Park Baptist Church who was also a licensed minister. Pastor Wells preached from a sawdust floor to a congregation seated in folding chairs.
While tents were popular at the time, even serving many of the great preachers such as Billy Graham, after only six weeks, the aging tent was unable to stand up to Houston's weather. However, the new church continued with church members taking turns hosting services in their homes. Shortly thereafter, Brother Ira T. Gunn, a respected and much-loved member of Magnolia Park Baptist Church joined Forest Oaks as it's new (but unpaid) pastor.
In the winter of 1951, Forest Oaks' first building was begun by Brother Gunn, Brother Tibbs, and Reverend Taylor on the site of the current church. The first building was a one-story, white-framed building, a portion of which exists today and located behind the current buildings. At the same time, Forest Oaks acquired its first paid pastor (with funds provided by Forest Oaks, Magnolia Park, and Union Baptist Association.) The pastor was also provided a parsonage - a small apartment adjoining the fire station on Old Galveston Road.
In 1952 the church was able to break ground on a two-story brick building which faced Forest Oaks Drive which is the reason that even today the church's address is 1845 Forest Oaks Drive, although the current sanctuary actually faces Allendale. The current sanctuary is a two-story red-brick building with majestic white columns and a steeple, built in the seventies, it can seat up to 500 people.
Throughout the years, Forest Oaks has been blessed with gifted and talented pastors; Bro. Paul Adams, Bro James Walker, Bro. Ronald Smith, Bro. Worth Hewitt, Bro. Kenneth Coleman, Bro. Eddie Atkinson, Bro. Mark Shook, Bro. Zane Chambers and Bro. Donald Berg.
Presently, the Senior Pastor, Kevin Barefield is its longest-serving pastor having begun his pastorate in 2001. The church also has an associate pastor, Reza Rahimi; a worship pastor, Cody Voss; and a Spanish speaking pastor, Sisto Vidauri.
The original sanctuary built in 1951 now serves as the Fellowship Hall and houses the Spanish Ministry.
Forest Oaks Baptist Church exists to...
Reach People for Christ
Lead Them to be Fully Devoted to Him.
We are a Purpose-Driven church, which means we're driven by God's eternal purposes rather than by tradition,
buildings, budgets, or personalities.
WE DO LIFE
Our Core Values...
God is real. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and totally in charge of the direction history is moving. He is Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He created everything and everyone and every person matters deeply to Him. Everyone has sinned, so everyone needs Jesus, who died for our sins, rose again from the dead, and is coming back. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, and once you're truly saved, you're always saved.
Heaven and hell are real, as are angels and demons, including Satan (the devil.) The Holy Spirit lives in every believer and empowers and gifts us to live and serve. The Bible, which is God's Word, is both true and powerful. Baptism is when believers are immersed in water, not for salvation but to tell the world we follow Jesus. Communion is a memorial to Jesus' death. Jesus started the church before His death, protects it through every age, and commissioned the church to tell the world about Him.