The Four Oaks Area History Foundation grew out of a concern to preserve the history and cultural heritage of the Four Oaks area. Jim Best, the father of the foundation, had a desire to preserve items related to Four Oaks history and eventually display them in a museum. In his own way, he worked on the project for years prior to the formal start of the foundation.

Jim approached Ron Sloan, as he knew of Ron’s love for history and historic preservation as an owner of two historic properties in town. The two of them met several times over a period of several months and assembled a list of persons who they felt may be interested in joining forces to make Jim’s dream a reality.

Jim Best, Ron Sloan, Calvin Edgerton, Ellen Adams, Joan Pritchett, June West, and Pat Jones all attended the initial meeting and began taking the earliest steps toward formally establishing a foundation. They invited Todd Johnson, Director of the Johnston County Heritage Center to work with them in an advisory capacity. The group elected Jim Best as president, Ron Sloan as Vice President, Joan Pritchett as Secretary, and Ellen Adams, Treasurer.

Raymond King, who had extensive knowledge of local history, joined the group and became Secretary after Joan Pritchett stepped down. Around this time, Sherill Allen also became an active member.

While they knew there were many obstacles ahead before achieving their shared purpose, this small group dedicated itself to the creation of a foundation, registering it as a 501c. They hope to someday see curated exhibits of collected items in a museum setting.