Our Historic Congregation
In the early 1870s, a small group of Presbyterians living in the village of Mount Olive, North Carolina, and the surrounding country petitioned then Wilmington Presbytery to organize a Presbyterian Church. On September 29, 1874, Rev. Alexander Kirkland met with others from the surrounding area to organize the new congregation of Mount Olive Presbyterian Church. Of the sixteen charter members, twelve were women.
Rev. Benjamin F. Marable, D.D. accepted the call to be the first pastor of MOPC following Rev. Kirkland who filled the pulpit from 1874-79. Dr. Marable gave his last twelve years and possibly the best years of his life to the service of Mount Olive Presbyterian Church. During his pastorate the church grew in membership, spirituality, and loyalty.
The current sanctuary was completed in 1916 to accommodate the growing congregation. The old church building was transformed into a manse following the completion of the new sanctuary.
Throughout the years, MOPC has been a support to and partner with churches in the area. During Rev. Baker’s pastorate an outpost Sunday School was established at Kornegay’s School House. The schoolhouse was bought from the Wayne County Schools in the 1920s by the church and then made into Baker’s Chapel. Subsequently, it was organized by Wilmington Presbytery into Baker Church.
Mount Olive Presbyterian Church has been led by many capable and strong leaders. Pastorally, we count the names of Marable, Knight, Purcell, Baker, Dotson, Williams, Parks, Nance, Carlisle, Frazier, and Wicks among them.
Mount Olive Presbyterian Church continues it strong emphasis in community leadership through local missions and supporting groups such as the Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts. The role of leadership through all ages remains an important part of life together at MOPC.
We honor our history by maintaining many of the strong values with which we’ve been entrusted for generations.