It’s been fifteen years since our Mt. Olive congregation undertook the significant building project to expand our facility with, among other improvements, nine new classrooms and a gymnasium. In looking back at our history we see a long progression of improvements and expansions designed to better serve the mission of the church.
THE HISTORY OF MT. OLIVE CONGREGATION IN 15-YEAR INCREMENTS
(Census numbers taken from previous Mt. Olive historical documents):
- 9 baptized members in 1928, 85 baptized members as of 1938
- Congregation organized and accepted into synod membership, June 1928
- Congregation incorporated and calls full-time pastor, 1935
- Lot purchased on Plum St. and parsonage built for $5,000 in 1938
- Mission congregation, Salem, started in Eagle Lake, 1942
1943 – 1958
- 196 baptized members as of 1949
- Christian Day School opened using a Bethany Lutheran College classroom in 1945 (25 students)
- School built on property at corner of Marsh and McConnell for $3,000, 1947
- Church built and congregation name changed officially to Mt. Olive Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1948
- Lot adjacent to Marsh/McConnell lot purchased, 1953
- School moved farther down McConnell St. and parsonage built on corner of Marsh and McConnell, 1955
1958 – 1973
- 346 baptized members and 52 CDS students as of 1970
- Sanctuary expanded by 10 pews and addition of 2 classrooms, 2 bathrooms, fellowship hall, conference room, narthex, pastor and secretary offices, furnace room and storage, 1970
1973 – 1988
- 565 baptized members and 75 CDS students as of 1980
- Redecorated sanctuary and basement classroom, 1975-76
- New sanctuary built, 1985
1988 – 2003
- 1,010 baptized members and 145 CDS students as of 2002
- Peace congregation formed (40 left to form nucleus of new congregation), 1998
- Old church building razed and new construction of 9 classrooms, media center, storage, new entry,
expanded narthex, gymnasium, expansion of kitchen, 2 restrooms, fireside room, 2001-2
2003 – 2018
- What will be written here?
With input from a wide cross-section of the congregation, the Building Committee has been able to identify the most pressing current needs and opportunities of today. These include an improved and expanded narthex and main entrance, better security for the school and church, additional spaces for meetings and fellowship, and a redesign of current spaces impacted by the expansion.
Mt. Olive has a rich history of willingly and enthusiastically taking up the tasks and opportunities that have presented themselves since the earliest days of the congregation. Each project undertaken has directly served the stated mission of the church. Like the generations before there are strengths, opportunities, and tasks at hand for us. Let us honor our history and move forward with energy and zeal to ensure that our facility is best equipped to serve our congregation and community as we carry out that mission.
With the apostle Paul we humbly acknowledge that all glory and credit belong to God alone as Paul wrote, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” I Cor 3:6-7