Olivet Baptist Church was organized on April 6, 1850 under the name of Xenia Baptist Church with only a three member congregation. On April 6, 1853, Xenia Baptist Church was formally renamed Zoar Baptist Church and officially organized.
On December 22, 1861, Reverend J.F. Boulden and Reverend Tansbury formed a union and combined Zoar Baptist Church and Mt. Zion Baptist Church forming Olivet Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend J.F. Boulden. June, 1863 saw the exit of Reverend J.F. Boulden and entry of Reverend Richard DeBaptiste as the new shepherd.
By 1881 with a fully established footing in the Bronzeville community and a membership increasing daily, Reverend DeBaptiste resigned as shepherd after an 18 year tenure and Reverend James A. D. Podd was called to the pastorate. Reverend Henry Harrison White was extended the invitation to the pulpit on March 22, 1883.
From 1886 through the early 1900’s, Olivet experienced turbulent times. Despite the turmoil, there was consistent growth and development.
By 1916, Dr. Lacey Kirk Williams was called to the pastorate of Olivet. Dr. Williams was instrumental in leading Olivet to national and international prominence. He served as President of the National Baptist Convention U.S.A., Incorporated. Olivet’s membership grew and the church became known as the largest Protestant congregation in the world….TO BE CONTINUED….