If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
by Patty Cheffey
Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church in Taylor, Mo., will be celebrating a special event as they recognize their 150th anniversary on Sunday, July 25, with a special service.
The regular Sunday School service at 10 a.m. and the worship service at 11 a.m. that day will be followed by a carry-in dinner, then a program on the history of the church will begin at 2 p.m.
The congregation of Mt. Olivet Church was organized July 30, 1871.
There were 12 charter members: John Mays, Mary C. Mays, John A Smith, Susan E. Smith, Dr. S F. Bonney, Mary Bonney, Elizabeth Hickman, Ellen Taylor, George W. Frazier, Thomas J. McKay, Sarah Ellen Smith and Felicia Smith.
Unfortunately, according to Brenda Shade, who is helping organize the special day, there are no known direct descendants of the charter members who currently attend the church.
Prior to having their own building, the newly organized congregation met at Shannon School, north of the present church, for a year before the church building was constructed.
Land for the new church was given by John Smith with the bricks being made on the farm of John Mays. Cost for the church building in 1872 was $3,000.
In an unusual move, a basement was added in 1951.
Men of the church removed the dirt to make room for a basement by digging it out and moving it by wheelbarrow until a space was made.
Later, an education wing which included a temporary parsonage was added to the church building in 1957.
A permanent parsonage was built in 1965 west of the church and is still in use today.
The first minister, James Penn, who undertook the task in 1871, was the only pastor to minister to just the Mt. Olivet Church.
In 1875, Mt. Olivet joined the LaGrange circuit and has shared a pastor with either LaGrange or Durham since. The current minister, who just began her duties, is
Rev. Helen McFarland.
In all, 65 pastors have served the church, including five women.
Being a church and church family to community members is not the only function of Mt. Olivet.
“The church has served the community in many ways besides having worship service,” said Shade. “It has long been a place for voting polls, 4-H meetings and community groups to gather.”
The church and its members also came together during recent catastrophic flooding events in the region, preparing and serving meals, collecting and distributing clothing and household goods to those in need and becoming a place for people to gather, pray, talk and rest.
“We are known as the ‘Church on the Hill’, and we serve the community in helping those in need and spreading God’s word,” Shade added.
The public is invited to attend the special event on Sunday, July 25.