White Oak Pond Church is the oldest church in Madison County on its original site. The Pond Church began as early as 1790 in a log church that was the “Meeting house” and community center for the first settlement, Milford, also the first county seat. Much of the history of what took place at Pond is lost, as historical records burned while stored in the house of a church member. Two brothers, Joseph R. Pond and Griffin Pond, were strong leaders in the church; J.R. dying early in life contributed to the change in name from “White Oak” Church to “White Oak Pond” Church.
The Pond Church, an independent Baptist Church became a part of the Tates Creek Baptist Association in 1802.
The French Tipton letters reveal that “the first woman to talk for women in Kentucky and perhaps America” on the subject of Temperance was Nancy Irvine at the White Oak Pond Church in Richmond, Kentucky in 1827. This was the site of the first county temperance society.
In an attempt to further Christian unity, the congregation became a part of the Christian Church movement in 1830 after Alexander Campbell and Raccoon John Smith preached at the protracted meetings. This reformation movement later became known as the “Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).”
J.R. Pond’s nephew led forces against the violence and prejudice shown by the Ku Klux Klan following the Civil War. The log church cemetary contains the grave of Willis, pastor of the church who took a Union Soldier into his home and nursed him back to health during the Battle of Richmond even though Willis was persuaded by Confederate sympathies and the South won that battle; the grave reads: “Here lies a Good Samaritan who took a stranger in.” After the Civil War, in 1869, the log church was taken down and the present brick structure erected using many of the hand-hewn white oak timbers from the log church.
In 1980, a new educational wing was added with kitchen, half gym/Fellowship Hall, and restrooms.
In 2002, the new “Baker Addition” was built with new Sunday School Rooms, restrooms, storage rooms, and Gathering Room.
But Pond Church is not its building. It is its people who love the Lord Jesus Christ. It is you and I, together as the temple of the Lord, the Body of Christ.
Come be a part of the history of White Oak Pond Church!
Richmond-Register-Article-About-Pond_2015-03-28, March 28, 2015 (Click on the Title to open the document, PDF Format)
Ms. Jerry Dimitrov’s 2013 Heritage Sunday presentation:
(You can listen to her presentation and see her presentation pictures.)
Picture Left: Rev. John Griffin Pond who was a Leut. Col. of A Colored Regiment during the Civil War. He was white. He and his brother Joseph R. Pond were ministers at Pond Church and also their father Griffin Pond, which we had not known about for a long time. It was the father that died in 1813, and probably the cause of Andrew Tribble changing the name from “White Oak” Baptist Church to “White Oak Pond” Church.