Biography written by Roxie Williams and Rev. Alyce French Johnson of Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church—Religion had always been an important in the life of our founder, the late Rev. John Thomas French. In his hometown of Athens, Alabama, he was a faithful member of the Oak Grove CME Church. Rev. John T. French and his family moved to Louisville in 1937. He and his wife, Mother Lucy Mae French, and their children united with the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. John T. French served as Sunday School Superintendent and teacher as well as the Chairman of the Deacon Board. In 1940, Rev. French accepted his call into the ministry.
In 1946, Rev. French was called to assist a newly established mission with three faithful believers at 1900 Cedar Street and then 1121 Magazine Street. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the mission was organized into a church with Rev. French being called as the Pastor. The church was named Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church. In 1951, Oak Grove purchased property at 1708 Magazine Street and converted it into a place of worship. After years of being a loving wife and helpmate to Rev. French and his ministry, Mother Lucy Mae French went home to be with the Lord on December 16, 1964. In 1969, Oak Grove purchased property at 41st and Vermont to build a church. In 1978, Rev. John T. French became ill, but because of his love for God and his love of the church, he was given the inspiration and fortitude to continue serving until his death on September 22, 1980.
Rev. Thomas Henry French is the third oldest of 15 children born to Rev. John T. French and Mother Lucy. After the death of his father, the Church called him to pastor on September 13, 1981. Rev. Thomas French served faithfully until August 6, 2017. The legacy of Rev. John T. French lives on with his granddaughter, Rev. Alyce French Johnson, who was installed as Pastor on August 13, 2017.
Rev. French is buried in Section A, Range 7, Lot 16 and Lucy is buried in Section 11, Row 15, Grave 14 of Eastern Cemetery. The photo of the couple is from Find a Grave user Robert M. Lewis Jr.