To build the Family Life Center Project for the purpose of expanding our ministry so that we might be better equipped to do more of God's work and continue to increase the service and ministry we provide to people with excellence. Ultimately, we aim through various forms of ministry, to continue to lead people to Christ and to inspire and nourish their development in becoming Christ-centered Disciples.
As Disciples of Jesus Christ, we are commissioned to "preach the Good News to the poor, set captives free, provide sight to the blind and release the oppressed. "Our Family Life Center Project will enable the Mt. Olivet disciples to continue to pursue this quest into the future with expanded facilities and resources better suited to deliver this holistic ministry to people of all ages and throughout their lifetimes.
The Family Life Center Project is being developed to expand space for ministry in an effort to better address the needs of our congregation, the needs of the greater Central Ohio community, especially those persons and families living in poverty and generally considered to be at risk. We are also expanding our outreach in foreign mission fields and the Center will provide resources and space to better facilitate that. The Center will provide not only more space but resources better suited to serving the changing and growing needs of this community of people. The project is planned in the following phases:
The history of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church dates back to 1907 when it was founded by 13 disciples of Jesus Christ. Regular services were held in the Jacob Stern Warehouse on Donaldson Street.
The church purchased the current site at 428 E. Main Street in 1929, the year of the Great Depression. The church edifice had been known as the Friends Church.
In 1958, under the leadership of Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Sr., the original church structure was torn down and our present sanctuary and fellowship center were erected to the glory of God.
Dr. Charles Edward Booth became the ninth pastor of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church on July 30, 1977. He officially assumed his pastoral duties on January 1, 1978.
During the 1980s, the Church remodeled the sanctuary, fellowship center, restrooms and the balcony addition was constructed ('81); the Administrative wing addition was completed, a front parking lot constructed and a new roof was provided for the sanctuary ('83) and the Church purchased 443-445 E. Rich Street and constructed a parking lot ('86).
During the 1990s, the Church erected a two story Educational wing, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Chapel and expanded the H. Beecher Hicks Fellowship Center ('90); constructed a four bay garage ('91) and renovated and expanded the kitchen, utility area and restrooms.
During 2011 and 2012 the Church purchased the 456-458 Cherry Street property and the 427 E. Rich Street property.
At various periods of time in her history, Mt. Olivet has also experienced significant growth in her outreach to the Columbus community and various foreign mission efforts. This has led to the development of over 60 active ministries and the creation of 3 other legal, operating entities delivering a variety of services/ministry to people of all ages. We anticipate continued growth in the number of people served and in the variety of services/ministry the church and its affiliates provide. This growth is accounted for in the planning of the Family Life Center Project.
The space will facilitate increased capacity to serve and clothe homeless and other persons of need. Our Hunger Outreach (fresh, hot meals) and Food Pantry (dry goods and household staples) ministries will at least double in capacity. We will provide much needed counseling center space for 4 current ministries, namely, our public and member financial assistance ministry (Rose of Sharon), free legal clinic, Christian family counseling (Olive branch, LLC), our addiction support group ministry (FRIEND) and our emerging prison ministry. The Center will provide a facility for enhanced youth and children ministry and recreation and fitness education for our fully accredited primary grade school (Gloria S. Friend Academy) and a Head Start program, and will accommodate sorely needed community youth outreach activities.
The additional space that the Family Life Center will offer enhances our ability to collaborate with other service providers to offer needed services. Currently, Mt. Olivet has partnered with a number of community based agencies/entities to assist those seeking services through our church. Some of our partners include: The Gloria S. Friend Academy, The Urban Resurrection Community Development Corporation, the Olive Branch Counseling Center, LLC., Lifeline Christian Mission, IMPACT Community Action Agency, Wal-Mart, Mid-Ohio Food Bank, Kroger, the U.S. Veteran's Administration, Church Women United, the Otterbein College of Nursing, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority and the Columbus Child Development Center's Head Start Program, among others.