Mission History

Convalescent Center in Blompark, South Africa

Oak Grove contributed in excess of $40,000 towards the construction of the Sorg Sentrum care center. The center was dedicated in the fall of 2009; 17 Oak Grovers were present for the grand opening.

From Dries Coetzee, former Associate Pastor at Oak Grove: This morning we were privileged to be a part of the dedication of a facility for the care of the elderly in the Blompark community near Franskraal, where Dries’s parents live. The Sorg Sentrum, or care center, was the result of the collective efforts of MANY people and organizations: land donated by one woman, municipal officials who worked to rezone the area, county officials who helped design the building, local people who were able to earn an income doing construction, members of the business community who contributed funds, and members of the community at large who donated furnishings for the rooms and pledged their time to help maintain the rooms.

What was particularly moving to Dries, was when an ouma got up and thanked Oak Grove, and said how wonderful it is for her people now to have a place, when they get tired in life, to have a place to come and rest… a place to come and die with dignity. This is what this project is about – giving people dignity.


Cornerstone was established in the fall of 1983 by a small group of passionate women and men dedicated to serving victims of domestic violence in South Hennepin County. One of those passionate women was Doodee Backstrom, long-time member of Oak Grove.


The Oasis for Youth Resource Center was established by community members as an all-volunteer response to address the barriers and lack of services for the rising number of suburban youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Established with the support of Oak Grove Presbyterian Church, Oasis for Youth opened its doors in July of 2010 as an innovative, entrepreneurial and grassroots intervention. Working closely with schools in Bloomington, Richfield and Edina, Oasis for Youth mobilized the volunteer and financial support of local community members, churches, and civic organizations to connect homeless and at-risk youth to services and supports.

Omar Bonderud Award

The Omar Bonderud Award is presented by the Bloomington Human Rights Commission to an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to ensuring the rights of people in Bloomington. Omar Bonderud was the first Chairperson of the Bloomington Human Rights Commission, formed in 1968.

In 2009, Oak Grove Presbyterian Church received the Omar Bonderud Award. Oak Grove was recognized as an outstanding community organization with a long history of working with community partners to improve the lives of the diverse residents of Bloomington.

Schools for Peace (Presbyterian Education Board)

From 2011 to 2013, Oak Grove raised $69,500 to build classrooms for girls in Martinpur, Pakistan. The project supported three classrooms and the purchase of desks and schoolroom supplies. In November 2012, five Oak Grovers attended the classroom dedication in Martinpur.