Oakdale Reformed Presbyterian Church

By: Roger Kemps © 2011


Installation Day - 1894


An early description, of the Oakdale Reformed Presbyterian Church, was written by the Rev. D. G. Thompson, in 1879, and was published in “History of Washington County, Illinois,” on page 42.


The History of the Oakdale Reformed Presbyterian Church includes three versions that were published, in various RP Church Newsletters:


·      The 50th Anniversary of the (Elkhorn) congregation, in 1884, was recorded in “Our Banner” Volume 11, on pages 402 & 403.

·      The 100th Anniversary of the congregation, in 1934, was recorded in “The Covenanter Witness” Volume 13, on page 256.

·      The 125th Anniversary of the congregation, in 1959, was recorded in “The Covenanter Witness” Volume 64, on pages 405 & 406.


The Covenanter Soldiers’ Record of Oakdale, Ill. includes a listing of fifty veterans of the Civil War who, at one time or another, had been connected with the congregation. This was published in the “Christian Nation” Volume 50, page 324, in 1909.


The “History of Oakdale Township” includes an updated combination of the 125th Anniversary and the Covenanter Soldier’s Record. It is on pages 29 through 35.


2007 photo from the RPCNA website


In 2006, the Minutes of the Synod reported that “the small, mostly elderly congregation in Southern Illinois continues to be served by Ray Morton, who also pastors the Sparta flock. The membership has held steady and the giving has been good. During the past year the congregation has had the opportunity to participate in a number of ministry opportunities either on its own or in conjunction with the UPUSA congregation in the community.”


Thomas McClurken (1756 – 1845) and his son, John McClurkin (1792 – 1874), were two of the three original elders of this congregation. John’s religious legacy was carried on by his family. Six descendants were ministers of the Reformed Presbyterian Church: sons, John Johnston McClurkin, and Hugh Park McClurkin; grandsons, John Knox McClurkin, Thaddeus Zwingle McClurkin and Albert Witsius McClurkin; and great grandson, Walter Clyde McClurkin. Samuel Rutherford McClurkin, another grandson of Thomas McClurkin, was also a minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church.


Members of the McClurkin and Kemps families were members of the Oakdale Congregation.


Reference Sources:

History of Washington County, Illinois  page 42

Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America

Reformed Presbyterian History Archives

Minutes of the Synod and Yearbook of the RPCNA 2006

Sources of Historical Information about the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.


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Last updated 2/27/2011