1903 marked the beginning of a foundation that would save and serve a dying world; it was the beginning of the institution that is Mount Olive Baptist Church. Organized from the Zion Baptist Church, the start-up mission group started under the pastoral leadership of Rev. R. D. Grant. He served until 1906. For the next few years, there would be a host of leaders including Rev. L. W. Beatty, Rev. C. Harper, and Rev. R. T. James. In 1908, Rev. F. L. Tate took over the little church with 18 members. Five years later, the church’s location moved from Germantown Street to its current location on Pontiac Street. The first building on Pontiac Street was a simple, little white framed church. After Rev. Tate’s death, several years went by without a pastor.
In 1944, Rev. David W. McFarland was called to pastor. He oversaw the growth of a 12 member congregation into more than 1500 members shortly thereafter. The little white church became too small, and in 1954, ground was broken for our current edifice. God blessed the growing congregation in numbers, in spiritual knowledge, in faith and in finances. The mortgage burning ceremony for this building was held in February 1975.
Over the years, Mount Olive has undertaken a number of ventures that sought to reach out to the community at large, and to strengthen the family ties within. In March 1964, the first in-house monthly magazine was published under the direction of Sis. Pauline Goggins with help from Deacon Billy Young. In 1980, a Food Pantry was established to provide food and clothing for the needy in the community. Sis. Willie B. Spears and Sis. Bernice Tripp and countless others have worked tirelessly since its inception greeting those in need with not only nourishment for their bodies, but also food for their souls.
Mt. Olive’s Mission work has touched the borders of the world. Many lives are touched through the Pantry and One Stop Shop ministries.
Also, in an effort to help people in need right here at home, a scholarship fund was created in 1987, to help the youth of our church family pursue a higher education. To date, the scholarship committee at Mt. Olive has awarded dozens of students thousands of dollars in financial aid.
In 2005, Rev. C. Williams, M. Div. accepted the God-given assignment of Pastor and shepherd of the Mt. Olive flock. Attendance, giving, and ministry participation have all increased under his direction. Also in 2005, Mt. Olive opened its doors to the community in the form of the Drop-In Health Center. More than 900 individuals were served in a year’s time. Now in collaboration with a powerful Pantry Ministry, Mt. Olive offers the “One-Stop Center,” where the body and the soul are fed. Under the direction and leadership of the Holy Spirit, we will continue to build on our rich spiritual heritage.