Recognizing Mt. Olive Baptist Churchby Representative Brian Higgins
Posted on 2013-12-11
of new york
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Mr. HIGGINS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and congratulate
Mt. Olive Baptist Church of Buffalo, New York on celebrating the 90th
anniversary of its devout faithfulness and dedication to the
surrounding community. To commemorate this milestone, Mt. Olive will be
hosting a celebration on December 8, 2013 in Buffalo's historic
Under the visionary leadership of Pastor William Gillison, Mt. Olive Baptist Church has become a central pillar of Buffalo's African- American community through its good and tireless community works and initiatives to nurture educate and support generations of families. Known as one of the most active and ambitious churches in the region, Mt. Olive continues to build on its extensive and rich history. Its outstanding reputation is a testament to the inspiration of its leaders and parishioners.
Mt. Olive Baptist Church was organized in 1923 under the leadership of the late Pastor James Hamilton, inside the gates of Semet Solvay Company Plant in Tonawanda, New York. In 1924, under the leadership of Pastor Clinton N. Polite, the Church moved outside the company gates. When Semet Solvay closed in 1941, Mt. Olive relocated Clinton Street in Buffalo where the first service was held on the first Sunday in May with five families.
Reverend William Gillison was called to pastor Mt. Olive in June 1981, which marked the beginning of an unprecedented era of growth and community engagement projects within the Church. In February 1988, Mt. Olive purchased three and a half acres of land at 701 East Delavan Avenue and in 1992, additional acreage was added giving the church five acres for its new three million dollar home. Construction began in 1994 and upon completion, the new home of Mt. Olive Baptist Church included an impressive complex which seats 1200, 16 classrooms and an all- purpose hall for recreation and social occasions. It is of special note that this Church's decades long mortgage was paid in full in only six years.
Under this extraordinary pastoral leader and faithful following, Mt. Olive continues to experience extensive growth spiritually, financially and munerically. Multiple ministries and a separate faith-based organization, the Mt. Olive Development Corporation, have been formed since 1991. Mt. Olive's First Leadership School, which is recognized by the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education, was held in October 2007. In recent years a Health Ministry was instituted as was a Media Ministry with the addition of a TV studio. This year has also seen the construction of the William Gillison Fellowship Hall and the dedication of the YOMO (Youth of Mt. Olive) Athletic Field.
Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise today to honor, acknowledge and add my deepest appreciation to Pastor Gillison and the family and friends of Mt. Olive Baptist Church for 90 years of faith- filled service to its congregation, community, city and country. Its outreach to the least the lost among us provides us with a powerful example of faith and love that will only intensify to help our children be better prepared and be able to enjoy and embrace an enhanced quality of life.