In 1939, Samuel Javins conveyed the land which was referred to as "Oakland Church lot" nine years earlier, to the Oakland Baptist Church, after the death of his wife, Florence McKnight Javins. She inherited the property from her mother, Harriet Stuart McKnight Shorts, one of the founders of the church. Family ownership of the land started in 1879, when Burr Shorts, Harriet's husband, began purchasing 10 acres after living here at least 9 years.
The Shorts-McKnight extended family was one of the principal founding families of "The Fort," a post-Civil War African American community. Family members continued living on some of the original Shorts land until the 1960s. Three McKnight family graves are the earliest known in the cemetery and predate church ownership of the land: James W. Terrell and Maria McKnight Blackburn (1925), and Burney Terrell, wife of James and sister of Maria (1930). A land exchange with the City of Alexandria reconfigured the burial lot, extending it to the north and shortening the west side.
Families living in "The Fort" and "Seminary" community with members buried in the Oakland Baptist Church Cemetery: Carpenter · Casey · Crone · Hall · Henry · Javins · Johnson · Lewis · Moore · Nelson · Randall · Roy · Rust · Simms · Smith · Terrell · Wanzer