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Mt. Olive AME's History


     Mt. Olive African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church was founded on April 28, 1870.  The AME Church was founded by Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the early 1800s, due in part because African Americans were not allowed to attend White segregated churches.  Richard Allen (who was born in slavery) became an educator, writer, and one of America's most active and influential Black leaders. 

     Being ordained the first bishop of the AME church in 1816, Allen focused on organizing a denomination wherein free Blacks could worship without racial oppression and slaves could find a measure of dignity.  Hence, the name for our denomination was born: AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. 

     Mt. Olive AME Church has been a part of the Emporia Community for over 150 years and is one of the oldest Black Churches in Kansas.




Mt. Olive History (read by Nadine Terry at the 150th church virtual anniversary, 1-22-21)


    God has blessed Mt. Olive to sustain and maintain for 150 years; what a blessing. In 1862 people migrated from the Southland to the Emporia, KS area and sought quarters in which to worship. For a short time, our old Lyon County Courthouse was used where both Methodist and Baptist worshipped together. Later, the entire worshipping group moved to a location at 6th & Sylvan St. in Emporia. As the years passed, there were thoughts and plans to establish a separate African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1870, Rev. John R. Carson purchased lot #32 at 2nd Ave. & State St., and a small, framed church was erected and called Mt. Olive AME. In 1882 a new location was purchased (lot #87) on the corner of 6th & Congress where the church was constructed and used up until Christmas Eve of 1923 when a fire destroyed the building. Our current building at 601 Congress was rebuilt in 1924, and we are still standing.

   Our themes throughout the years at our various milestone anniversary events have been as follows: Our 100th-anniversary theme was “Progress Through Years of Prayer”. Our 125th theme was “Celebrating Joyfully with Thanksgiving “, our 137th theme was “Still Striving” and our 150th-anniversary theme this year is “Think Big”. As you can see Mt. Olive has weathered fire and the storms over 150 years, and just like Noah and David, we keep on working and serving the Lord. We are very small in number, but the good Lord has seen to it that Mt. Olive has survived, and we are excitedly looking toward the next 150 years to come, as the Lord is not through with us yet. To God be the Glory!!

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