By Miriam Zehr
Retired associate pastor of Worship and Education at Oak Grove Mennonite Church

Oak Grove Mennonite Preschool has been in operation since 1975. It offers programming for three- and four-year-olds on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and for four– and five-year-olds on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings during the school year. We have had many connections with community families over the years. We now serve families of former preschoolers whose children are now students.

Oak Grove views the preschool as part of its outreach. Its mission is to provide a loving, safe and quality learning environment that is unashamedly Christian. An advisory committee which includes the associate pastor, an outreach commission member, and the parent of a preschooler serves as a liaison between the church and school. They meet with the preschool teacher and assistant to get regular updates and check on needs or issues that arise.

In 2022, the preschool was able to access a Child Care Stabilization Grant to update the facility which meets in the basement of the fellowship hall. With many hours of volunteer labor, the space had some major renovations. New restrooms were installed along with LED lighting, new furnace and air-conditioning plus paint and new carpet. The upstairs foyer and restrooms also got a face-lift. Parents and church members alike were astounded with the changes, the bright new spaces, and the updated look. Our teachers were especially grateful for the effort the church made to update the classroom space and make it more inviting.

In the spring the church hosts a brunch for the families of the preschoolers prior to the school day. Much appreciation has been expressed for the opportunity to gather for a meal. At the graduation program for the four-year-old class the church presents a Bible story book to each student.

We are grateful for the many years of dedicated service our teachers have given, some who have been members of our congregation. We look forward to continuing to offer quality programming to our local families through our preschool.

Oak Grove Mennonite Church in Smithville can be found at