History of Oakhaven
Oakhaven Church began in September of 1976 as a mission church. This effort came about by the will of God and as the result of a dream of three families. Gary & Deb Cleveland, Vic & Kay King and Don & Judy Truitt came to Oshkosh with the goal of planting this new church and seeing it grow from the ground up. It began as a small group of people meeting in rented facilities on the fifth floor of the Washington Building downtown. In the following months the church met in other facilities including a storefront at the corner or 9th & Oregon street, the old Grange School on Oakwood Rd. then for a short time at the Oshkosh Community Y.M.C.A.
In 1979 the church located some property on Witzel Avenue just west of Highway 41. Five acres was purchased by the group which at that time numbered around 50. An old dairy barn stood on the property and was originally to be torn down. There was something about the simple beauty of the structure and its soundness and strength that urged them to look at the possibility of renovation.
Jim Larson, a community architect known for his expertise in revitalizing old structures set about to draw up a plan which would be attractive and functional. After years of use, the barn still meets this criteria very well. Because of its unusual nature, scores of bus tours have scheduled tours of the building.
It’s the ministry, however, that takes place within the “Barn Church” that really makes it special. There are Sunday School classes for all ages, a Youth Group, an emphasis on families and mutual care and concern for one another.
The goal of Oakhaven Church is to help people reach their potential as humans. Jesus once expressed his purpose this way, “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full”. Spiritual development, when based upon the teachings and life of Jesus can make better marriages, better parents and people who are whole human beings possessing dignity and purpose.