Our name grew locally from the very city we are called to serve. Bartow is appropriately known as the city of oaks and azaleas.
Our name also has roots in God's word as "trees" are a major theme in the scriptures. Matthew Sleeth writes in his book, REFORESTING FAITH: WHAT TREES TEACH US ABOUT THE NATURE OF GOD AND HIS LOVE FOR US:
“Other than God and people, the Bible mentions trees more than any other living thing. There is a tree on the first page of Genesis, in the first Psalm, on the first page of the New Testament, and on the last page of Revelation.”
Oaks are specifically prevalent in the Bible. One specific passage, quoted by Jesus describing his mission, focuses upon the Lord’s grace toward his people: “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” [Isaiah 61:3]. Notice the passive nature of these oaks. They are planted not by their own strength. They are watered and nurtured not by their own doing. These oaks are completely planted by the active grace of the Lord and the very righteousness by which they are designated is rooted in the work of the planter, Jesus Christ, our righteousness! This metaphor is a beautiful picture of the gospel and the foundation of our message at Oak City Church!