Rev. Cecil A. Palm, a prolific church planter, and family moved to the Camp Hill area in late June 1959 for the purpose of planting a new Baptist church. On August 12 the first prayer meeting was held with 11 persons present. The first Sunday services were held in Gorgas Hall on August 30, 1959, with 43 people in attendance.
On September 29, 1959, the "Camp Hill Conservative Baptist Church" was organized with 17 charter members. The church was incorporated on November 12,1959.
On April 10, 1960 the church started holding their services in the "Roost Motel". On April 26, 1960, the church was received into the fellowship of the Conservative Baptist Association of Pennsylvania. The first baptismal service, held in the Conodoguinet Creek, was on July 17, 1960.
Settlement was made for the purchase of our current lot on December 5, 1960, and the first service held on our own property was May 7, 1961. We met in a tent borrowed from the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities. On May 9, 1961, ground breaking began and we were able to begin meeting in the basement on June 25, 1961.
On March 14, 1962, the church auditorium was used for the first time. January 13, 1963, was Dedication Day for the completed building.
In September 1968, a Day School for 3, 4 and 5 year olds was begun with four students. Within a few weeks the enrollment increased to 20 students. The school is still in operation.
On June 2, 1971, the church voted to change our name from "Camp Hill Conservative Baptist Church" to "Oakwood Baptist Church". At the same time the school name was changed to Oakwood Baptist Day School.
In June 1973, ground breaking for the present auditorium was begun. On January 27, 1974, a dedication service for the present auditorium was held. On January 9, 1989, the mortgage was paid off, and a short time later a mortgage burning service was celebrated.
In April 2009, Oakwood Baptist Church was received into the fellowship of the Keystone Baptist Association which is part of the Southern Baptist Convention. We have benefited greatly from the fellowship and co-operation with like-minded churches in our nine county association, and with churches in other states. Our evangelism and outreach has also benefited. We partnered with a church from North Carolina to host sports camps and other outreach projects in Enola who helped us plant a church in that community. We are partnering with Reaching and Teaching International Ministries to train pastors and church leader in Otavalo, Ecuador. We take a team to Ecuador three time a year to do training. We have also sent our pastors to India, Philippines, Peru, Mongolia, Belize, Brazil, Panama, Cameroon, and the Ivory Coast to do leadership training. We also send teams to Belize to help at a Christian vocational school for boys.
The churches previous pastors were: Rev. Cecil Palm, founding pastor, 1959-1966; Rev. Lynn Green, 1965-1967; Rev. Robert Conrad, 1967-2003, and Rev. Robert D. Conrad, 1998-2006. Since 2006 God has graciously provided Oakwood with a plurality of elders to lead and feed His church. The current pastors are: Dean Bertsch and John Bollten.
Over the years we have seen several individuals and families from our church go into the Christian ministry: the Campbells, the Balstons, Mark Melhorn, the Farleys, the Wojciechowskis, the Mellards, the Waltons, the Conrads, the Bertsches and Melissa Yeakley. We praise God that our church is represented all over the world.