Welcome to Mount Olive Baptist Church
HISTORY OF THE MOUNT OLIVE BAPTIST CHURCH
(FORMERLY MAIN STREET)
Twenty years after slavery was abolished in 1865, a small group of Christian pioneery left Virginia Street Baptist Church, and formed their own congregation.
The year was 1885, when Rev. Jack Majors and Rev. Jimmie Allensworth organized the Main Street Baptist Church. Rev. E. Richard who was the pastor of Virginia Street, became the first pastor of this church. The first deacons were: Deacon Jim Strong, Deacon George Campbell, Deacon G. Dupee, Deacon Bill Gray, Deacon Bill Ford, and Deacon Charlie Hardon.
The first Mother was Sis. Lucy Strong, the Sis. Hester Coleman and Sis. Mary Coleman Wright was the youngest at age 16. Other original members were Sis. Della Campbell, Sis. Lue Blair, Sis. Liddie Campbell, and Sis. Mollie Douglas.
They did not have a building in which to worship at first, so they would hold services at different members' homes adn sometimes at the Courthouse. After the second pastor, Rev. E. Silvery was called, they pruchased an old storehouse on Fourth and Main Streets. Services were held on the first floor and second floor was rented for living quarters. This building was destored by fire and so they had to go back to meeting at the Courthouse.
But as time moved on, they were able to construct their first building. It was crude in appearance with a tim top, and people would tease them about the building calling it the "Tin Top." But they just ignored the fun-making nam and continued on worshiping the Lord there.
It took 43 years from the time this church was organized for them to finally construct a building which was to be their home for a great many years, on the corner of 4th and Main Streets. Rev. M. Kirby was the pastor at that time. The Deacons serving were: Deacons C. H. Shelby, Richard Garrott, Walter Mumford, Bud Cayce, Melvin Brown, and Alvin Green. Trustees were: Brothers Henry Bracken, J. A. Quarles, George McReynolds, Ben Yancy, William Leavell, and Richard Buckner.
Also, during Rev. Kirby's pastorate, various auxiliaries were organized such as the: Pastor's Aid with Mother Linnie Hardon as president; Mission Circle #1, with Sis. Odie Elem as president; Senior Ushers, with Sis. Alice Gibson as president; Senior Choir, with Bro. Alvin Green as president; and the Main Street Male Chorus known as the M.M.C.'s
In 1932, Rev. J. R. Hunt was called to pastor this congregation and served 33 years, which to date is the longest tenure served by any pastor. During those years the church continued to grow with the help of faithful Deacons such as: Deacon Gus Oldham, Deacon Sexton Brewer, and Deacon Jasper Brown.
The Junior Ushers were organized during this time with Sis. Elizabeth Gray as the first president. At first, they worked along with the Senior Ushers. Later they became a separate organization, with Sis. Julia Wilson as their matron for many years. Other matrons have been Sis. Cora Sebree, Sis. Bobbie Lewis, Sis. Sarah Bradshaw, and Sis. Helen Taylor.
While Rev. Hunt was pastor, it was his dream that a new building be constructed, because more space was needed for future growth. Additionally the traffic flow at that intersection was affecting the structure of the church building. So he initiated a 'Building Fund Project' that resulted in the purchase of the land on which our currend structure stands. Although he retired before seeing his dream com to fruition, he is remembered with the Dr. J. R. Hunt Fellowship Hall.
After Rev. Hunt retired, Rev. G. L. Foston was called as pastor in 1965. It was during his pastorate that in 1967, construction was started on the new building and it was finshed on May, 1968. By the wish of the congregation, the name of the church was changed to Mount Olive.
Rev. C. E. Bagwell came to pastor this church in 1972, and served for 32 years and 6 months, almost tying Rev. Hunt's tenure of 33 years. Our church progressed and grew in many ways during the years Rev. Bagwell served. The Fellowship Hall and Church parsonage in Forest Park Subdivision were built during the early years of his tenue. Many programs were started under his daministration, and many souls were added to the Kingdom and to this church. We were one of the first churches to purchase a bus for the transportation of our members and others. We also purchased additional land on both sides of the this building and across the street.
Many improvements were made throughout the building during his tenure. Under the leadership of Rev. Bagwell, our church's outreach ministry involved nursing homes, medical facilities, foreign mission, feeding the hungry and other worthwhile community activities that were of service to mankind. In March, 2000, the Feed the Hungry program was renamed the "Sis. Bobbie A. Lewis Memorial Feed the Hungry Program" in honor of her involvement in initiating this program.
There were many faithful deacons who served during the tenure of Rev. Bagwell who have gone before us: Deacon Lucian Lacy, Deacon William Garnett, Deacon Robert Farrow, Deacon Jerry Valentine, Deacon Morehead, Deacon Eddie Green, Deacon Tom Hopkins, and Deacon Melvin Jackson.
Deaconess we remember include: Sis Clare Glenn, Sis. Dorothy Cartwright, Sis. Pauline Frazier, Sis Pauline Moore, Sis. Mary Garnett, Sis. Georgia Green, Sis. Bobbie Lewis, Sis Rose Bradshaw, Sis. Augusta Cox, Sis. Jennie Chiles, Sis. Annie M. Rogers, and Sis. Mary V Bailey.
Rev. Bagwell retired in September 2004 due to illness. He will long be remembered as a great leader.
On March 20, 2004 our sanctuary sustained damage caused by a fire which resulted in extensive repair work and renovations. Just like our ancestors we continued to meet and we stayed together during the period of the repair work. The church parsonage was also completely renovated in 2005.
We began a new chaptor in our history in May 2005, when Rev. Vernon Milner was called as the new pastor of Mount Olive. During Rev. Milner's short tenue, there have been a number of changes and improvements to our overall church functioning. We have established a Chruch Constitution and By-Lawas, and added many ministries and committes. Changes were made to our 11:00am Order of Worship and Sunday School. We also have adopted a Church Mission and Vision Statement: "Keeping It R. E. A. L. - Reaching, Equipping, Assembling, Launching."
In June, 2007, we purchased additional land adjoining the church's property on the east. We now own land for East 4th Street to East 7th Street. The church also purchased a two-story historical house whick will be used for our ministries. Also, in 2007, the church office was converted in a Computer Lab for us in our Christian Education Ministry, including classe on computer use.
We hosted our first Evangelistic Block Party in 2007. We co-hosted a Medical/Evangelistic Outreach in 2009 with Hillcrest Baptist Church, whick ministered to many individuals in the Community.
In November of 2009, our main parking lot was completely paved, further enhancing the appearance of our property and for the convenience of our members and visitors to our church. Our Media ministy has been improved to include: the purchase of a big screen television to be used in our Christian Education Ministry; a new church website; and Video/Audio Recording of our worship services.
In January, 2011 we began having 8:00am Praise and Worship Service on Sunday mornings. We have also added Praise Dance Ministry as a part of our Morning Worship. In 2013, the first females were added to our Church Trustees.
In 2014 we began special "5th Sunday Service." It is a "dress-down" day, where members wear Mount Olive t-shirts, and a Family Potluck Fellowship Dinner is served following Morning Worship.
The Following Ministries are at work here at Mount Olive, carring out the overall Ministry of the Church.
Deacons Ministry, Deacon Cletus Johnson, Chairman. Deaconess Ministry, Sis Austria Arnold, President. Music & Worship Ministry, Sis. Marcia Johnson, Director. Dance Ministry, Sis. Latasha Richardson, Advisor - Sis. Akia Johnson, Instructor. Usher Ministry, Bro. Frank Bland, President. Brotherhood Ministry, Bro. Frank Bland, President. Senior Ministry, Sis. Rosalind Harris, President. Youth Ministry (CYF), Sis. Marcia Johnson & Sis. Johnnie Fletcher - Youth Advisors. Wellness Ministry, Sis. Dorothy Payne, Coordinator. Homebound/Outreach Ministry, Sis. Joyce McCray, Chairman. Sis. Bobbie A. Lewis "Feed the Hungry Ministry", All Ministries. Benevolence Ministry, Currently Open. Transportation Ministry, Bro. L. Z. Pollard, Chairman. Greeters Ministry, Sis. K. Elaine Thomas, Coordinator. Media Ministry, Bro. James Bland and Sis. Regina Kelly, Directors. Women's Ministry (Sisters Keeping it R.E.A.L.), Sis. Marcia Johnson and Sis. K. Elaine Thomas, Coordinators. Trustees Ministry, Bro. L. Z. Pollard, Chairman
We also have a number of committees in operation that assist in the church's mission. We are furtunate to have numbers of members who have had continuous membership to this church for over 50 years.
Our church is very active in First District and the General Association of Baptist in Kentucky. A number of Mount Olive Members hold leadership positions in these two bodies.
Under the leadership of our Pastor, many souls have been saved and the Church continues to grow spritually and numerically as God Directs. We have strong dedicated leaders and faithful talented members who are always willing to use their gifts for the betterment of the church. More importantly, we have love and concern for each other. We are a family. We realize the importantance of working together as a team in order for us to accomplish the mission of this church.
This is by no means a complete history of this congregation. The humble beginnings of the Main Street Baptist Church, now Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, founded on faith, has served as a constant reminder of the commitment we have to continue the work begun by our founding fathers. We are making history with each passing year. The spirit of that original small group of dedicated Christians is still alive and will in our church today. We are 129 years old and still going strong with the help of the Lord. He has truly blessed us. "We've Come This Far by Faith, leaning on the Lord." And it is our prayer that this church will continue for generations to come as the torch is passed on. "The Lord has done great things for us, whereof, we are Glad." Thanks be to God for His Manifold blessing.