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Mt. Olivet Baptist Church
In the early years of the twentieth century, the Rev. Sedley E. Lee and a group of Rochester’s Third Ward citizens organized the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church of Rochester, New York. The old George Hall on South Avenue served as the first official church site. The church later moved to Odd Fellows Hall at 100 Caledonia Avenue, now Clarissa Street. Mt. Olivet was recognized as a church by the 83 rd Monroe Baptist Association annual session on October 14, 1910. In 1912 Rev. Lee resigned and the Rev. A. M. Kearney served as interim pastor until the Rev. Charles D. Hubert accepted the call to become Mt. Olivet’s second pastor. Rev. Hubert was the first African-American to attend the Rochester Theological Seminary. During his pastorate Hubert Hall on Adams Street (the current church site) was erected. In 1915 Rev. L. B. Brown of Chicago, Illinois became pastor. He was followed in 1918 by Rev. Singleton M. Batchlar of Tennessee. In 1920, the Rev. James E. Rose became pastor. He was a graduate of Howard University, and Rochester Theological Seminary. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Howard University. In 1923 the church began building, the new structure consisted of a sanctuary on the main level and classrooms, office, fellowship hall and kitchen on the lower level. The new structure was completed and dedicated on January 23, 1927. Rev. Rose was widely known as a fighter for social justice. He served Mt. Olivet faithfully for 22 years until his death in 1942. On August 13, 1942, Rev. Charles Boddie , a graduate of Colgate Divinity School, was called to pastor Mt. Olivet. He was installed as pastor on December 13, 1942. He earned a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Keuka College in 1950. He helped the Church liquidate its mortgage and organized the Rose Memorial Fellowship. During his tenure the church broke ground for the Mt. Olivet Education Building in August 1955. From 1956 to 1967, the Rev. Dr. Arthur L. Whitaker of Malden, Massachusetts served as pastor. Rev. Whitaker held degrees from the Harvard University Divinity School and the Andover Newton Theological School. During his tenure, the Mt. Olivet Education Building was completed and dedicated on March 5, 1958 On September 24, 1967, the Rev. Dr. Leardrew Johnson of New York City became pastor. Rev. Dr. Johnson is a graduate of Virginia University and Colgate Rochester Divinity School. During his pastorate, Mt. Olivet’s Scholarship Fund, Senior Citizen’s Fellowship and Building Fund, for the construction of a new sanctuary were created. In 1989 Rev. Dr. Johnson retired and became Pastor Emeritus. On December 17, 1989 Rev. Dwight E. Cook of Roswell, Georgia was called to serve as pastor. He was installed as pastor on February 4, 1990. Rev. Dr. Cook is a graduate of Tuskegee University, Morehouse College School of Religion and Drew University School of Theology. Under his leadership a Family Care Ministry was established. Ground was broken for the construction of the new sanctuary on May 24, 1998. The new sanctuary was constructed with a connection to the old sanctuary. The congregation marched from the old sanctuary to the new sanctuary on June 20, 1999 and the Dedication Ceremony was held on October 24, 1999. Pastor Cook accepted a new pastoral assignment in Hawaii and resigned as Mt. Olivet’s pastor in February 2006. Rev. Lawrence Hargraves served as interim pastor from 2006 until 2008. On November 2, 2008 Rev. Rickey Bernard Harvey of Memphis, Tennessee preached his first sermon as the 10th pastor of Mt. Olivet. Rev. Harvey was officially installed as Mt. Olivet’s tenth pastor on May 3, 2009. Rev. Harvey holds degrees from the University of Memphis, University of Phoenix and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelor of Divinity degree and a honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Tennessee School of religion. In 2012 Rev. Harvey received his Doctor of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, NY. Mt. Olivet is proud of its legacy, its leadership, and the support provided by God, our dedicated pastors and its members. With God’s blessing, Mt. Olivet continues its vision with willing hearts as we move into the 21 st century as one body confessing “Jesus Christ as Lord.”
Church History

1910 - A Hundred + Years of Serving God

We have no creed, but Christ - Preach no gospel, but Love - Have no purpose but to Serve.
© ChoiceServices Mgt.
Mt. Olivet Baptist Church
In the early years of the twentieth century, the Rev. Sedley E. Lee and a group of Rochester’s Third Ward citizens organized the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church of Rochester, New York. The old George Hall on South Avenue served as the first official church site. The church later moved to Odd Fellows Hall at 100 Caledonia Avenue, now Clarissa Street. Mt. Olivet was recognized as a church by the 83 rd Monroe Baptist Association annual session on October 14, 1910. In 1912 Rev. Lee resigned and the Rev. A. M. Kearney served as interim pastor until the Rev. Charles D. Hubert accepted the call to become Mt. Olivet’s second pastor. Rev. Hubert was the first African-American to attend the Rochester Theological Seminary. During his pastorate Hubert Hall on Adams Street (the current church site) was erected. In 1915 Rev. L. B. Brown of Chicago, Illinois became pastor. He was followed in 1918 by Rev. Singleton M. Batchlar of Tennessee. In 1920, the Rev. James E. Rose became pastor. He was a graduate of Howard University, and Rochester Theological Seminary. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Howard University. In 1923 the church began building, the new structure consisted of a sanctuary on the main level and classrooms, office, fellowship hall and kitchen on the lower level. The new structure was completed and dedicated on January 23, 1927. Rev. Rose was widely known as a fighter for social justice. He served Mt. Olivet faithfully for 22 years until his death in 1942. On August 13, 1942, Rev. Charles Boddie , a graduate of Colgate Divinity School, was called to pastor Mt. Olivet. He was installed as pastor on December 13, 1942. He earned a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Keuka College in 1950. He helped the Church liquidate its mortgage and organized the Rose Memorial Fellowship. During his tenure the church broke ground for the Mt. Olivet Education Building in August 1955. From 1956 to 1967, the Rev. Dr. Arthur L. Whitaker of Malden, Massachusetts served as pastor. Rev. Whitaker held degrees from the Harvard University Divinity School and the Andover Newton Theological School. During his tenure, the Mt. Olivet Education Building was completed and dedicated on March 5, 1958 On September 24, 1967, the Rev. Dr. Leardrew Johnson of New York City became pastor. Rev. Dr. Johnson is a graduate of Virginia University and Colgate Rochester Divinity School. During his pastorate, Mt. Olivet’s Scholarship Fund, Senior Citizen’s Fellowship and Building Fund, for the construction of a new sanctuary were created. In 1989 Rev. Dr. Johnson retired and became Pastor Emeritus. On December 17, 1989 Rev. Dwight E. Cook of Roswell, Georgia was called to serve as pastor. He was installed as pastor on February 4, 1990. Rev. Dr. Cook is a graduate of Tuskegee University, Morehouse College School of Religion and Drew University School of Theology. Under his leadership a Family Care Ministry was established. Ground was broken for the construction of the new sanctuary on May 24, 1998. The new sanctuary was constructed with a conection to the old sanctuary. The congregation marched from the old sanctuary to the new sanctuary on June 20, 1999 and the Dedication Ceremony was held on October 24, 1999. Pastor Cook accepted a new pastoral assignment in Hawaii and resigned as Mt. Olivet’s pastor in February 2006. Rev. Lawrence Hargraves served as interim pastor from 2006 until 2008. On November 2, 2008 Rev. Rickey Bernard Harvey of Memphis, Tennessee preached his first sermon as the 10th pastor of Mt. Olivet. Rev. Harvey was officially installed as Mt. Olivet’s tenth pastor on May 3, 2009. Rev. Harvey holds degrees from the University of Memphis, University of Phoenix and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelor of Divinity degree and a honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Tennessee School of religion. In 2012 Rev. Harvey received his Doctor of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, NY. Mt. Olivet is proud of its legacy, its leadership, and the support provided by God, our dedicated pastors and its members. With God’s blessing, Mt. Olivet continues its vision with willing hearts as we move into the 21 st century as one body confessing “Jesus Christ as Lord.”

1910 - A Hundred + Years of Serving God

We have no creed, but Christ - Preach no gospel, but Love - Have no purpose but to Serve!