Mt. Olive Baptist Church has twice the celebrations

Published 9:58 am Wednesday, March 20, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


On the same day Mt. Olive Baptist Church celebrates 109 years of service, it also holds a ribbon cutting for its new ministry; The Samaritan’s Closet.

According to Luke 10:33, But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.  The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

In the spirit of the Good Samaritan, the church is using the newest facility to outreach to the community and help those in need as the Samaritan helped the traveler.

A family, who wishes to remain anonymous, donated the building to the church. The property had been in their family for 95 years.

Mt. Olive Baptist Church Pastor Ronnie A.E. Crockett, Sr. had a vision to use it as an outreach ministry.

Samaritan’s Closet Outreach Ministry is located at 1009 Mill Street in Orange and is part of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church Family Life Center.

The church also hosts Feed the Hungry on Thursday from 12 Noon – 1 p.m. and now on Tuesdays will take care of other needs in the community from food, clothing, cleaning supplies and health-related programs available in the area.

Dawn Burleigh/The Orange Leader
Samaritan’s Closet:
Robert Teate cuts the ribbon for the grand opening of The Samaritan’s Closet Outreach Ministries located at 1009 Mill Street in Orange. The facilities will be open on Tuesdays.

“In the Samaritan’s Closet you will find new clothing, like new, cleaning supplies, baby goods, toiletries, and other supplies,” Peggy Richard said as she gave a tour of the four-room, with kitchenette and full bath facility.

Robert Teate was appointed over the project.

“We remodeled the inside and out,” Teate said. “We installed new floors, painted and added the handicap walkway.”

Teate added he thought the facility would be an asset to the community and the church.

“We will be able to assist and go forth,” Teate said.

Pastor Ronnie A.E. Crockett said the ladies appointed Project Manager, Cheryl Morris, and Ella M Ryas, as well as Debra Charlott appointed to Health Awareness, were the boots on the grounds.

Two years earlier, the team agreed to move forward with the missionary project.

“We were slowed down by the storm, like so many others,” Crockett said. “We were blessed we could serve from where we are in the community,” Crockett said.

Deacons of the church forged through the waters to check o the church after Hurricane Harvey and were able to report to the pastor the church was not damaged.

To help with Samaritan’s Closet, church members were asked to buy new clothing as they shopped in the stores and to empty their closets of clothing they no longer wore.

“Whoever comes is welcome,” Pastor Ronnie A.E. Crockett, Sr. said.

After holding the Ribbon Cutting ceremony at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, the congregation returned to the church at 3:30 p.m. to celebrate its 109-year anniversary.

While worshipping and reflecting on the church, Brother Dwayne Joubert gave a history on the church from when the congregation started meeting under an Arbour Tree on April 10, 1910, under the name of East Mt. Olive Church, the changing of the name to what it is today in 1918 when the church was rebuilt.

In 1975, the church was demolished by a tornado, but the congregation remained strong and was worshipping in a new sanctuary by March 29, 1959.

Under the direction of Pastor Ronnie A.E. Crockett, Sr. the church has seen former members reunited and new ministries begun, such as The Samaritan’s Closet.

After Hurricane Rita, services were held in the Life Center.

Hurricane Ike struck another blow to the church and the Life Center to the point a temporary location was found so members could continue in fellowship and worship despite the storms.

A year later, the church family was able to return to the church again.

In 2017, the church held a Burning Ceremony to celebrate paying off the note on the church.

“Harvey impacted the congregation,” Joubert said, “109 years, we continued to let the light shine. And we have another beacon of light with the dedication of Samaritan’s Closet.”