Spent some time today at the Oak Forest Chapel in Riverside, KY, today, better known as the “Old Log Church,” the mission of my home church, Glendale Baptist in Bowling Green, since 1971. John Deakins the III has served as Missions Director at Glendale for several decades and has also served as pastor of the Old Log Church since Glendale began holding services there.
This place has so much meaning to me. We attended Vacation Bible School here every year as children (in addition to the Kids Krusade at Glendale), with accompanying revival services following the daily VBS in the evenings. I preached one of my very first sermons here at age 13, and often preached a night or two of the revival every year as a teenager, along with lots of other “preacher boys” out of Glendale. I also had the privilege of helping teach VBS classes here for several years (I mainly came, though, for the free cookies and kool-aid).
If you’ll look to the right of the church, those outer buildings are what the older generation refers to as “out houses.” That’s the only restrooms you’ll find at the Old Log Church, and during the summer time, we even entertained wasps as guests there. In the back is a well-worn cemetery, along with the shady oak forest, some of the oldest trees in Warren County. One of the ground graves used to be up very close to the right of the church along the back window (it has since been removed), and each night prior to the revival service we would kneel out there with our pastor, Bro. Richard P. Oldham, Bro. Johnny, and whoever else wanted to pray with us.
The two outside doors represent a time (1800s) when men and women both entered and sat separately during worship times. The building dates from the 19th century, and the wood on the inside is original. The wood floor slopes now, the piano needs tuning, and there are holes in the ceiling where a certain boy used to place the pointy end of the American flag pole during the pledges (don’t judge), but the spirit of God is present here. This is a place where many people have surrendered to Christ and been obedient to gospel ministry. It may not seem like much, but it is holy ground to those who have walked it. Thank God for the Old Log Church and for the community of Riverside, Warren County, KY.