According to past records Olivet had its beginning as a Sunday School where several Moravian families gathered together in a one room school house called Spanish Grove. (This was located in what is now Fleetwood Circle and Robinhood Road.)
The pastor of Bethania, Reverend F. F. Hagen, began coming to this group and holding preaching services occasionally and April 1851 marked the beginning of Olivet; however, a church building was not built until 1878.
As more families began to be interested in a place of worship, plans were made to build a House of Worship. Timothy and Jonathan Conrad offered a plot of land to build. (This land is located on Spicewood Drive.) When the work began, men from Bethania and Salem helped to make the work go faster. Joseph Conrad was employed to finish the building so that it could be ready for services at Christmas 1878. On Sunday, December 22, 1878, the building was consecrated and called Olivet Chapel, as it was a part of the Bethania Congregation.
This building was a one-room sanctuary with an attached kitchen. It was a wooden structure, was heated with two stoves, and had a big fireplace in the kitchen used for making coffee for lovefeasts and for warmth.
The years from 1878 to 1928 were growing years and it became necessary to expand to larger facilities. Since the Chapel was in need of renovation it was decided by the P.E.C. and church officials to select a more suitable location for a new church. Land was purchased from Irvin Doub and a new building was begun.
With a lot of free labor, a basement was dug with shovels and horse teams. The new sanctuary began to take shape with much work being done by members of the congregation. Many donations of lumber and other building materials were given. The new Olivet Moravian Church was dedicated on June 27, 1929. The total cost was around $15,000. At this service Bishop Edward Rondthaler preached the first sermon followed by a lovefeast.
On the 100th Anniversary of Olivet the first electric organ was donated and plans were made to add a new wing at the back of the sanctuary for more Sunday School rooms. Until this time the children s classes were held in the basement of the sanctuary. Later in the sixties another wing was added to take care of the needs of the church office, etc.
For 104 years, Olivet was a part of Bethania Congregation... pastors of Bethania served the congregation until Reverend Alan Barnes was called to be the first full time minister in 1955. A new parsonage was completed, and the Barnes family became a vital part of Olivet.
After five years, Reverencd Elmer Stelter came to Olivet, followed by Reverend William Gramley, Reverend Wayne Burkette, Reverend William Marshall, Reverend Philip Bauguess, Reverend Don Winters, Reverend John Rainey, Reverend Neal Jones, and the present pastor, the Reverend Douglas Rights.
Many changes have taken place since 1955 but Olivet is growing. A new Fellowship Hall was built in 1980 and the Church Sanctuary was completely rebuilt and dedicated in 1989 under the leadership of Reverend Don Winters.
Olivet offers a traditional Moravian style service on Sunday Morning at 11:00 AM. Using hymns and liturgies from the Moravian Book of Worship the worshiper is led to a point when the children have a special time with the pastor and then a Gospel Sermon is preached by the Pastor or the Pastoral Assistant.
Communion is offered some eight times during the year, and all professing Christians are welcome to participate.
News from Olivet, The Regional Conferences of Churches, The Southern Province, and The Moravian Church in North America
Olivet offers opportunities for growth and fellowship to a variety of ages. Contact our church office for more specifics, or check our calendar for dates and times.
9:45 Sunday School
Throughout the year Olivet highlights certain special themes and topics during the Sunday Service.
Articles from Olivet's print newsletter by Pastor Doug.