In 1941, James E. Johnson came to Ypsilanti Michigan from Cypress, Alabama. In 1951, Brother Johnson united with St. John Baptist church where the late Frank P. Roberson was the Pastor. In 1954, James Johnson was called to preach. In 1957, he was ordained by the above Pastor and brothers as Reverend Clergyman.
In 1961, Reverend James Johnson revealed to his wife, Pearline and their children that God had given him a vision to begin a new Baptist Church body in Ypsilanti. His wife suggested the church be called, Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church.
On February 14, 1962, the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church was organized with fourteen members with the help of Reverend Ben Cartwright and the first church building at 948 Watling Boulevard was rented. Officers elected at the first meeting were: Reverend James E. Johnson, Pastor, Monica Fletcher, Church Clerk; Patricia Johnson, Church Secretary; Rose Swindle, Treasurer; Harry Fuqua Sr., Deacon and Chairman of the Trustee Board; Percy Tooson Sr., Secretary of the Trustee Board; James Walker, Trustee; Rosa Cartwright, President of the Pastor’s Aide and Mission Society; and Claude Pringle. Reverend John Wells and Pearline Johnson, led the Youth Department; Rose Swindle, was President of the Usher Board; Johnny Donavant, Program Chairperson and Mattie Wade, led the Helping Hands Fund. Pastor James Johnson worked for Central Specialty and many, many lunches were prepared and sold to employees at Central Specialty to help fix up the church building and raise a down-payment to buy the church building from Elder Horace Frazier.In 1964, Reverend Willie Moses was called to serve as pastor. On January 16, 1965, under Pastor Moses’ leadership, the church was incorporated in Lansing, Michigan. In 1968, Reverend E. T. Thomas was called to Pastor and the church continued to grow for a number of years. Reverend Thomas served as pastor for eight years at Mount Olive. In 1976, Reverend Thomas recommended to the church that they receive Reverend James Wilks as Pastor. During Pastor Wilks two years of service, many members joined under his leadership bringing the membership to 100+ members. In March 1979, Minister Garther Roberson Jr. from Second Baptist Church, was called to pastor Mount Olive. He was ordained on the same day he started as Pastor. On Mother’s Day in 1980, the Mount Olive membership (190+) walked into its new home located at 718 North Prospect under the leadership of Pastor Roberson, leaving the Watling building for new blessings. Under Rev. Roberson’s leadership, 1998, the church was able to purchase a six-acre plot of land with hopes of building a new worship facility. The spiritual health of the membership remained strong until 2010 when growth and retention took a declined below 100 active members, but the church marched on. Pastor Roberson retired after serving 38 years on August 5, 2017. He did serve as Interim Pastor for one year until the church selected a new pastor.
On August 20, 2018, Dr. Kevin Wade, LLC. was called out of Mount Belvieu, Texas to serve as our Pastor. His wife, Callie Wade, is the Minister of Music for the Youth, Women’s, and Combined Choirs. Since arriving, Dr. Wade has created the Elijah Project. This ministry is set in place to train and prepare teen boys and young men to walk and live according to the qualification of a Deacon listed in I Timothy chapter 3. Dr. Wade and Mrs. Wade have also created the Elvira Project. This ministry is developing sound and strong Christian women from the ages of 11 to 20 years old (Proverbs 31). Both ministries will be moving to teach the standards of Financial Literacy, First Aid and CPR, Self-Defense, and prepare those who would like to further their education in college or trade school with tours and lectures from Industry Professionals.
Dr. Wade has also spearheaded several needed building maintenance upgrades and has had several members champion project where concerns for member’s personal safety was questioned prior to his arrival. Since his arrival in 2018, Dr. Wade has brought the church into live streaming all of our worship services and Bible Studies through three online platforms. The Sound and Online services are manned by the members of the Elvira and Elijah projects. The experience gained from working the systems will aid in these individuals building their resume and professional experiences for the future. Dr. Wade believes in teaching Spiritual Formation and Discipleship during Thursday night Bible Study and Sunday School. As he states, “No one can have a close relationship with Christ Jesus until they recognize that the active relationship we have with God, needs to be the same when it comes to all our neighbors.” Mt. Olive is a supporting member of the Covenant Pastor’s Fellowship. We are a Metropolitan Baptist District Church lining up with the Wolverine State Baptist Association in Saginaw, Michigan. Nationally, we are a member of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.