Joe Thoms, Sr., a slave harness-maker, founded Oak Grove Baptist Church during the Civil War at his nearby log cabin, which burned in 1869. The congregation then met here, on land owned by John J. Robinson, a white farmer, in a grove of oak they called the "bush arbor." In 1870, Joe Thoms, with Deacons Ambrose Tolliver, Frank Walker, Ed Redd, John Williams, Charles Brock, Spot Mallory, and Ambrose Thoms, built a small frame church here. The third church replaced it in 1894, when Robinson donated the land. A great-great-grandson of Joe Thoms became pastor in 1982.
Geographic Location: Madison County
Physical Description of Location: Madison, VA 22727. Located on State Route 634, 1.5 miles west of the junction of State Route 634 and State Route 632. Marker is on the right when traveling west on State Route 634.
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