Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church
The Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church was founded in March, 1896, by the Reverend N.B. Williams, our first pastor. Mt. Olive is the oldest Black Baptist Church among the tri-cities, Delray, Boca Raton, and Boynton. Some of the early members and charter members of the church were: Deacon Ed Chambers and his wife, Elsie. Deacon E.L. Simms Smith and his wife, Emma Lou; Deacon Edward Smith; Deacon Arthur Youngblood and his wife, Mary; and a few others whose names we do not have on file.
The beginning was very small, like the community, but expanded from year to year. Soon a building for worship was erected that seated 150 Ė 200 members. Two years after Reverend J.W. Keyes (1926) was called, this building was destroyed in 1928 with a disastrous hurricane. But the spirit of the people was kept alive by prayers, faith, and hard work. Another building was constructed in 1929 with the seating capacity of 300-400. This building had its front door facing the North. Reverend N.A. Jenkins was called in 1949, and under his leadership and guidance, the church saw the need for a larger structure. In 1959, he enlarged the sanctuary. Under the leadership of Reverend G.W. Phillips, the church made many improvements and repairs. The largest acquisition was the purchasing of two lots south of the church which are presently being used for parking.
Many ministers have come and gone, but the spirit of the church was kept alive. From its founding to present, Mt. Olive has had eighteen pastors Our current Pastor, Lenard C. Johnson (1982 Ė Present ) , a man with a vision, has continued the Lordís work with expansion in building, growth in membership, commitment to Christ, and spirituality. He expanded our current sanctuary with seating for over 1000 members. Construction was completed with the help from Deacon Mathis Hunt, our building supervisor, on a 50, 000 square foot addition to the south side to provide for Christian School, classrooms, offices, day-care center for children, senior citizens, and many other ministries at a cost of 1.2 million dollars.
Throughout the last years, the Lord has blessed us spiritually financially, and has increased our Church membership. Many ministries have been added which include a senior citizen, education/worship/missions, music, leadership, social concerns, adult, young adult, youth, children (which holds a weekly Junior Church for our little ones), Spiritual Enrichment, recreation, and a audio/video tape ministry which provides a recording of weekly sermons to those who are unable to attend our church worship. Under Pastor Johnsonís leadership, through direction from the Holy Spirit, we are experiencing continued growth. He has made our dream and the blessings of the Lord, continue to shower down upon Greater Mount Olive, as we strive to do the Masterís will.