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FBC Mount Olive marks 125th anniversarycomment (0)

May 22, 2008

First Baptist Church, Mount Olive, in North Jefferson Baptist Association celebrated a huge milestone April 27 — it’s 125th anniversary. The church marked the occasion with a two-hour service that featured testimonies from former members and culminated in the baptism of 10 new members, including children, youth and adults.

From its beginning in 1883 through the end of 2007, 2,329 people were baptized at First, Mount Olive.

"That’s what the purpose is — to get people to Jesus," said Pastor Doug Moore, explaining why he wanted to end the anniversary service with baptism.

Since January, a committee of five had been working on the event, which also included a slide presentation of the church history and words from two former pastors. A dinner followed the service, capping off the celebration with food and fellowship in true Baptist style.

Moore has been pastor of First, Mount Olive, since 1986 and is the church’s longest-serving pastor. His time there has been marked by expanding and modernizing the facilities. The congregation began meeting in a log cabin. The church existed as a one-room structure through the 1940s and used a coal heater through the 1980s.

In the years since, the heating system and the building have been modernized as the congregation now meets in a facility with education space and a family life center.

That’s a long way from the tiny church that bought its property from the Louisville & Nashville Railroad for $3 in 1888.

The next building project for First, Mount Olive, is the completion of nursery and preschool space. Moore hopes these facilities will help bring in young families moving into the area, but he noted, "We try to minister to all ages and all ranks."

The church’s focus is on outreach. In addition to missions work in the United States and abroad, one of its major events is Judgement House during the last two weeks of October.

This will be the ninth year First, Mount Olive, has hosted the event, and during the past eight years, more than 3,000 people were saved, according to Moore.

The church draws on its long history to fuel its present and its future.

"What has happened in the past 125 years has given us the momentum and encouragement to go forward another 125 years," said Ed Helveston, minister of music. (TAB)

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