Olivet Baptist Church History

OBC Steeple SidebarAccording to the records and verbal reports from older members of the community, a rather large group of Baptists lived in what is now the Long Island and Sherrills Ford communities.  Most of these were members of Mt.Ruhama Baptist Church, twelve miles away, which in 1833 was a long distance to travel to attend church.  The group was more of a mission or as it was called in those days, “An arm of the church”.  They worshiped in the homes of the members and also under brush arbors.

The community of Long Island is named for a long island which ran from the bridge on Buffalo Shoals Road to Sherrills Ford.  In 1916, there was a flood which washed away the West Monbo Cotton Mill and the mercantile store.  The long island was broken into several small islands which still exist today.

On August 17, 1833, the above mentioned group was organized into a church, which was named Olivet Baptist Church.  It was properly and orderly constituted.  It is not known how many members composed both white and black members.  The blacks were slaves at this time, but even after the civil war they were allowed membership and were baptized along with the white.

Shortly after the organization of the church, a building was constructed near Sherrills Ford.  This wooden structure was used until 1884 when a new building was erected near what was then Brown School House, later known as Monogram School.  The location was changed in order to get the church nearer the center of the membership.  The 1884 church building was destroyed by fire on October 29, 1944.  On this same site a new church and educational building with thirty rooms was erected at a cost of $51,000.  Funds collected by the church made it possible to pay for the new church building without any indebtedness when completed.  Much of this money was raised while Rev. J.A. Hudson served as pastor.

Senior BYPU (Baptist Young Peoples’ Union) began a building fund on January 1, 1939, to build extra Sunday School rooms to the church.  This small group pledged $35.  On January 8, 1939, $42 was brought in and the movement gained momentum.  On January 29, 1939, the whole church joined the movement.

The Building Committee which served while the auditorium was being built in 1946 was:  Fred H. Lytton, Chairman and Treasurer, W.W. Ervin, A.D. Robinson, Bynum Eades, L.A. White, Betty Saunders, Magdalene Lytton, Wilma Alexander and Hazel Eades.  The Building Committee which served while the Educational Section was completed was:  Fred H. Lytton, Chairman and Treasurer, R. Oren Eades, Ross B. Elliott, Baines Williams and Coite White.

From 1833 to 1851 there is very little record.  The first pastor was Edward Hugh Quinn, the second was Paul Phifer.  There is no record of their work, but from this time forward records were kept, though at times very meager.

Record of Pastors

Rev. Edward Hugh Quinn     1833

Rev. Paul Phifer

Rev. Wade Hill     1847 – 1851

Rev. A.J. Cansler     1852 – 1853

Rev. R.P. Logan     1854 – 1857

Rev. Isaac Oxford     1858

Rev. L.M. Berry     1859 – 1867

Rev. Elijah Allison     1868

Rev. J.K. Howell     1870 – 1874

Rev. J.B. Marsh     1878 – 1892

Rev. C.C. Pool     1893 – 1895

Rev. J.A. Hoyle     1895 – 1902

Rev. J.W. Watson     1903 – 1905

Rev. Theo B. Davis     1905 – 1906

Rev. O.L. Springfield     1906 – 1907

Rev. R.D. Carroll     1908 – 1910

Rev. J.F. Mitchener     1910 – 1911

Rev. W. P. Campbell     1912

Rev. J.R. Pace     1913

Rev. J.S. Connell     1914 – 1919

Rev. L.A. Connell     1920 – 1922

Rev. J.P. Bennett     1922 – 1924

Rev. C.M. Robinson     1924 – 1930

Rev.S.A. Stroupe     1931 – 1937

Rev. K.D. Stukenbrok     1937 -1938

Rev. J.A. Hudson     1939 – 1942

Rev. R.G. Mace     1943 – 1950

Rev. Eli Smith     1951 – 1957

Rev. Clarence Bobbitt     1957 – 1968

Rev. Bill Hoffman     1968 – 1977

Rev. Thomas Haylett     1977 – 1979

Rev. Forrest Ridings     1979 – 1983

Dr. David Mills     1984 – 2003

Dr. John Marks     2005 – 2009

Rev. Matt Rummage     2010 – Present