Church History of the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church
WE HAVE COME THIS FAR BY FAITH: 1886-2009
The Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church had its humble beginning One Hundred Twenty-Three years ago, under a grape harbor on Main Street, Clarksville, Tennessee.
Working and sacrificing with faith in Christ, a band of Christian laborers purchased this plot of land from John Waymon Robards for the sum of Four Hundred Dollars ($400.00), in November 1886. Officers who executed the deed were: Martin Ransom, Squire Moss, Henry Graves, Lewis Sharp, William Logan and Sepier Allen.
Led by the Rev. Daniel Jones, the church congregation built a shed for worship (“the Gospel Shed”) at the rear of the lot and furnished it with wooden benches. In 1889, the cornerstone was laid for a new brick building. The new church was called the Missionary Baptist Church - later Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church.
For One Hundred Twenty-Three Years, God has blessed Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church with ministries and bountiful blessings. A brief outline of our church’s historical progress is as follows:
- 1900-1902 - Stained glass windows were installed.
- 1904-1909 - Wooden benches were replaced with more comfortable pews, and the first choir was organized.
- 1909-1913 – Replaced kerosene lamps with electrical fixtures.
- 1913-1923 – Junior Choir and Sunshine Band were organized; Furnace was installed; Study built; Choir stand restructured; Annex added, and Parsonage was purchased.
- 1923-1937 – Baptismal pool installed; Laymen’s Chorus and Junior Missionary Society were organized.
- 1938-1946 – Heating system changed from coal to oil; added church dining room, kitchen and ladies lounge.
- 1952-1964 – Sanctuary and choir stand enlarged to current seating capacity; New pews and elevated baptismal pool; Remodeled men’s and ladies lounge, kitchen and dining area;
- 1964-1976 – Purchased organ, bus, van, parish house and adjacent lot; Pastor’s study was remodeled; Sanctuary and parsonage received air conditioning for first time.
- 1978-1982 – Hired first minister of music and organized mass choir; new van was purchased.
- 1988-1992 – Purchased property adjacent to parking lot.
- 1992-1996 – Brotherhood, Boys to Men and Imani ministries organized.
- 1997-1998 – Purchased land behind sanctuary; Mission statement revised and sent two youths to Africa.
- 2002-Present – God continues to mightily bless Mount Olive church and its ministries as we strive to meet the needs of His people. We truly thank God for all His spiritual and financial blessings as we continue to WALK ON BY FAITH IN HIM.
For some years, Mount Olive took an active part in Obion River District Association and the Stone’s River District Association, both a part of the Tennessee Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, a member of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A. Mount Olive is a current member of the Cumberland River, South Kentucky, Middle Tennessee District Association, where our current pastor, Rev. Dr. David D. Allen, has served as President of the Pastors’ Conference for the past five and a half (5 ½) years.
Since its inception, Mount Olive has been blessed with some dynamic pastors. With the exception of the first five (5), pictures of Mount Olive pastors (past & present) along with their years of tenure, are provided in today’s bulletin.
Rev. Daniel Jones 1881-1887
Rev. A. B. Wimberly 1888-1902 Rev. J. C. Lot 1902-1904
Rev. Eddie H. Smith 1904-1909 Rev. E. M. Seymour 1909-1913
Rev. J. S. Swift Rev. William Benton Rev. T. D. Howard Rev. L. R. Jenkins
1913-1923 1923-1937 1938-1946 1946-1952
Rev. L. A. Gragg Rev. J. F. Cunningham Rev. H. P. Willis Rev. Jimmy Terry
1952-1964 1964-1976 1977-1978 1978-1982
Rev. Charles K. Bender Rev. Gerald M. Young
Of the flock
Rev. James E. Victor Rev. Clifford Matthews Rev. Lawrence G. Vaughn
1992-1996 1997-1998 1999-2000
Rev. Dr. David D. Allen