growing in unity

"Love God, Love Others, Save Lives through Jesus Christ"

The First Baptist Church of Oakland, originally known as the Friendship Baptist Church, opened its doors in 1880. The church fellowship began in the Oakland Subdivision of East Jacksonville, Florida. The building was used as a dance hall during the week initially but was soon converted to a spirit-filled sanctuary. In 1895, the old building was torn down to make way for a new church building. The Church’s name was changed in 1916, by vote of the congregation, from “Friendship Baptist Church” to “First Baptist Church of Oakland”. Our church has had affiliations with the Progressive Baptist State Convention of Florida, the National Baptist Convention of America, Florida Baptist Convention (Southern Baptist), and the East Florida and Bethany Association.

1880 - Our first Pastor was Rev. J. W. Johnson, under his leadership and the determination of the spirit filled Christian congregation, the dance hall where church services were being held was quickly converted into a spirit-filled sanctuary.

1895 - Under the leadership of Rev. P. J. Butler, God made it possible for the congregation to tear down the old hall and build a new sanctuary.

1916 – Under the leadership of Rev. A. C. Porter, the congregation voted to change the name of the church from “Friendship Baptist Church” to First Baptist Church of Oakland. Rev. Porter’s tenure marked the beginning of a new era in the life of this congregation.

1922 – Following the death of Rev. Porter, Rev. James M. Royster served this congregation for 12 years. His name became a legend to many and his gospel preaching was known throughout the area. The growth of the church was greatly accelerated and he did a tremendous job of pulling a divided and fragmented congregation together. The church grew numerically and spiritually under his leadership. He resigned the pastorate in 1934.

1935 - Rev. James Carl Sams was called to Pastor our growing Christian fellowship. Under Rev. Sams’ leadership the church acquired new Bibles, new hymnals and new furniture. Districts grew from 6 to 16. In 1940, a building drive was initiated for the construction of the three-story building that we occupy today. During Rev. Sams tenure, he was elected president of the Progressive Baptist State Convention of Florida. In 1955 he was elected Vice President of the National Baptist Convention of America in Denver, Colorado. In 1958 Rev. Sams resigned as our Pastor to accept the pastorate of the Second Missionary Baptist Church here in Jacksonville.

1959 - Rev. Charles B. Dailey accepted the call to become Pastor of this congregation. He officially assumed the leadership on the first Sunday in July 1959. Under Rev. C.B. Dailey’s leadership, the church experienced phenomenal growth. His emphasis was on stewardship, tithing, sacrificial giving, education,and community involvement. Rev. Dailey was an outspoken advocate for this community and fought against discrimination and injustice. He was soon recognized for his leadership qualities, honesty, and integrity. Dr. Charles B. Dailey gave 46 years of dedicated and tireless service to our church family and the Jacksonville community.

2005 - Rev. Torin T. Dailey accepted the call to serve, lead and minister to the congregation and the community. Prior to assuming this pastorate, Rev. Dailey served as Assistant to the Pastor under the leadership of his father. During his tenure, Rev. Dailey continue to reach outside of the walls of thechurch through initiatives like the "Youth Explosion".

2016 - Rev. Tavares Parker served as Associate Pastor under the leadership of Rev. Torin Dailey. Upon Rev. Dailey’s departure, Rev. Parker was voted to serve as our Interim Pastor during the Pastoral Search process.

2017 - On February 12, 2017, The First Baptist Church of Oakland confirmed the selection of and called Pastor Christopher McKee, Jr. to become our pastor. He accepted the call on that same day.

What We Believe

The Church of Oakland's Seven Key Beliefs


We Believe GOD is the Creator and Ruler of all things. We worship one GOD in Three Personalities, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. GOD is Eternal, Perfect, Holy and the sole object and aim of our worship and living. It is in GOD we live, move and exist.


We Believe Jesus Christ is the Son of GOD, is equally GOD and came to earth to provide the way of salvation for us through His death on the cross and His resurrection. His sinless life showed us the heart of GOD. Jesus is in Heaven and will return for His Church made up of those who have called upon Him for salvation. Jesus Christ’s coming to save us is what we call the “Good News” or the “Gospel.


We Believe the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of GOD, is equally GOD, has spoken through the Scriptures and makes us aware that we need a Savior in Jesus. The Holy Spirit compels, fills, seals, instructs, gifts and directs Believers in daily Christian living. The explosive power of the Spirit gives us new life in GOD through His Son Jesus.


We Believe the Bible is the Word of GOD. Though written by inspired human beings, its authorship, intent and revelation come from the Holy Spirit of GOD. It is GOD’s Word without error and teaches us what it means to live for GOD.


We Believe salvation is GOD’s gift given to us by way of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. We can do nothing to earn salvation; we must accept in faith the free gift GOD gives us in salvation. Through salvation we have eternal life that begins when we confess Jesus as Savior and carries us into GOD’s eternal presence. We cannot keep ourselves saved by our own efforts; rather, the grace of GOD saves us and keeps us saved.


We Believe everyone is born as a sinner in need of a Savior. By accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior we are freed from the penalty and punishment of sin and will one day be saved from the presence of sin. We are all works in progress, but through the Word of GOD and GOD’s Spirit we are cleansed every day.


We Believe the Church is the Body of Christ. It is through the Church we learn, grow, share, worship encourage and support the spreading of the Gospel. We believe there are two ordinances in the Church; baptism by immersion in water after accepting Jesus as Savior and participation in the Lord’s Supper or Communion, a meal of bread and fruit of the vine that remembers the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Service Times


Morning Worship at The Oak                 10:30 am
Radio Broadcast WCGL AM1360        1:30 pm


Bible Study                                             6:30 pm
Life Groups  at The Oak                  7:15 pm


Midday Prayer Call                             12:00 pm
Midday Prayer Dial-in #      (712) 451-0011   Pin# 169583
Eastside A.A. Group                             8:00 pm

Our Ministry Team

Christopher McKee, Jr. serves as senior pastor of The Church of Oakland (affectionately known as "The Oak") in Jacksonville, Florida.


Minister Azureé Owens

Director of Children and Family Ministries

Minister A. "Rae" Owens is the Director of Children and Family Ministries at The Church of Oakland.


Colin D. Adams

Director of Operations

Prior to accepting the role of Director of Operations, Colin D. Adams spent 16 years with the same investment firm.


Charlette Love

Communications Coordinator


Claude Chavis

Maintenance Director


Gloria Keepler

Custodial Services


Lay Leadership

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect when I arrive?

Our Historic Jessie Street Campus has three main entrances available to the public. From Jessie Street enter up either of the front staircases directly into the sanctuary or through the office doors near the pastor’s parking space near the Jessie Street entrance. There is also an entrance on the east side of the church, near the main parking lot and Van Buren street. An elevator is available, if needed, to help guests reach the sanctuary level. Once you enter the sanctuary, you’ll find friendly greeters and ushers to assist you with directions to the nursery, S.L.A.M. (Children’s Church),  the sanctuary, and restrooms.

How is the worship experience?

Although “The Oak” is predominately African-American, we welcome people from all backgrounds and cultures. There is no dress code or expectation, therefore casual clothing including jeans are welcome.  You will be welcomed by an usher or a greeter who will hand you a bulletin and assist you in finding a seat. The Worship Service is contemporary in style and usually 1 1/2 hours.  You’ll be surprised how fast the time goes as we enter into the presence of God through praise and worship, and hear an inspirational message from Rev. Christopher McKee Jr.

Is there a special place for small children to worship?

S.L.A.M.(Serve God, Love Others, And Make a Joyful Noise) Ministry is children’s church for the 21st century. This worship experience allows infants to 5th grade students the opportunity to worship God in their on very energetic,  creative, and innovative way. S.L.A.M. Takes place during  the 10 a.m. worship service and is located  in the OAK Cafe.
For more information about S.L.A.M, please contact Minister Azuree Owens