In 1850-51, a church house was built at Scherr and people from the Paddys Land area walked or rode to services there. It was in this church where Elder John Kline held services. In 1863, it was burned by confederate soldiers. (I do not know when the building was erected that Schly Kimble bought and was destroyed by fire. Alma Muntzing Lemon would know maybe – I would like to know).
(The above information came from a brochure printed in 1958 when Levi Ziegler was pastor of Greenland Congregation)
About 1875 or 1880, worship services were started in the old Paddys Land schoolhouse which stood across the road from the present Oak Dale Church. It was called Paddy’s Land because the people, it was said “paddied” around visiting with each other so much. This schoolhouse was also called the “Hackle” (because the nails the siding was put on with stuck through the boards to the inside of the building. This building was destroyed by fire. A second schoolhouse “Paddy’s Land” was built where the church now stands. This likewise was destroyed by fire. It was said that the church would also be burned because the other buildings were destroyed. The Board of Education gave the lot to Greenland to build the church on. Some additional land was bought from Mr. Luther Hott and added to that lot.
After the Oak Dale schoolhouse was built (I don’t know the date, but perhaps about 1900), the Brethren held services there for awhile but there was complaints about this. Some said that public schoolhouses shouldn’t be used by the “Dunkards” for their meetings.
The present church was built in 1916. The carpenter was Mr. Tom Ebert probably assisted by Mr. Wilbur Ebert. Nearly all the lumber for the building was donated by Mr. Frank Hipp. He also donated and hauled cross-ties, and sold cross-ties to help pay for sawing the lumber. Mr. Hipp Taylor and Albert Johnson and others helped haul logs to the mill which was set on Albert Johnson’s farm at that time. Also help on the building of the church was donated by many people of the community.
The total cash which the church cost, as nearly as anyone can remember, was about $500. On the day of the dedication the church was completely paid for with a few dollars left over.
The dedication service was conducted by Brother Marshall Wolfe of Bridgewater, Va. in the fall of 1916. He was assisted by Brother Obed Hamstead.
In the early days, the church was served by Brother Albert Johnson, resident minister with the following ministers coming in to help from time to time: Israel Weimer, Obed Hamstead, Raphiel Leatherman, Taylor Sines, Ezra Fike, Benny Smith and others.
(In December 1956, Mrs. Bessie Ebert had in her possession, old checks stubs from which Mr. Ebert had paid the bills on the church). Most of these are dated October and November 1916. The benches in the church were bought through A. R. Fike of Terra Alta from an old church building near there. There is a check stub where he was paid $41 for the benches on November 20, 1916. It is believed this was the total cost of the benches.
Attendance in early days of the church was 50-60. I think Brother B. B. Ludwick was the first of Oak Dale (and I suppose the Greenland Congregation). He left in 1922, I think.
(Drawn from Oak Dale Member)