MOUNT OLIVE PENTECOSTAL CHURCH
CHURCH HISTORY – PART III
As Bishop Lowell E. Edney continued to labor in his roles as Pastor of Mount Olive Church and President of the New England District Convocation, he saw that churches in various cities were disappearing for many reasons. He wanted those areas to be reclaimed for the United Holy Church of America. In 1998, the New England District became increasingly passionate about Evangelism. The Executive District Development Committee was established and its plan was to look for areas in which the District could expand. Bishop Edney was instrumental in helping with Project Providence. In the city of Providence, demographic studies were done, weekly Bible Studies were held, and a Crusade was held. The entire process led up to the founding of Holy Zion UHC in Providence where Elder Donovan Woodruff was deemed the Pastor.
On July 6, 2000, the Lord called Bishop Edney home. His outstanding leadership is greatly missed. Mount Olive Church was not left without a shepherd. Elder Carter, the Assistant Pastor, was elected Pastor of Mount Olive Church in a special meeting chaired by our District Elder Dr. Marcus G. Bennett. He served as interim pastor for one year and was installed as Pastor of Mount Olive Church on November 11, 2001.
Elder Carter’s Vision: “Meeting the Needs of the Total Man and Woman While Sharing the Good News of the Gospel,” was representative of his eleven years as pastor.
Elder Charles L. Carter came to Worcester, MA in 1958 from his birthplace in Abbeville, AL. He and his family worshipped the Lord under the leadership of Bishop Albert C. Gibson, Pastor of Gibson Memorial Universal, COGIC. He received his Evangelistic License in 1963 and served as associate minister until Bishop Gibson relocated to the Boston area.
In 1971 Elder Carter and family came to Mount Olive Pentecostal Church where they joined about a year later. He served as an Associate Minister under the leadership of Elder Lowell E. Edney. Later he was ordained an Elder and appointed to serve as Assistant Pastor of Mount Olive Church.
Under Elder Carter’s leadership as Pastor, a Baptismal Pool Dedication Service was held on December 2, 2001. The baptismal pool was a desire of former Pastor, Bishop Lowell E. Edney. Former First Lady Sister Lillian G. Edney purchased the pool for the church. During the Service, we had three candidates for baptism: Minister Arnold G. Murphy, Sister Pamela Carter and Brother Herman Cherry. The Spirit of the Lord was present and this was a memorable and blessed day at Mount Olive.
During the next eleven years of Elder Carter’s tenure, there were more baptisms, weddings, new members, new converts, four deaths, members that moved away and members that left for other reasons. God is faithful. He has been with us all the way. New members classes was started. Follow-ups contact with our visitors and absent members continues. Bible church school, Sunday worship service, Wednesday night prayer and Bible study, and daily prayer and Bible reading was encouraged.
A Christmas Shopping/Buffet Fellowship was established which promoted fellowship and unity between members. We also continued the Annual Family and Friends Day Christmas Celebration that was established by Bishop Edney.
On August 28, 2005, Mount Olive had a Mortgage Burning Celebration. Many local and District churches were in attendance. The celebration speaker was Bishop John C. Wright, President of the New England District and Pastor of Mount Hope temple in New Haven, CT. Following the mortgage burning ceremony, our Fellowship Hall was dedicated in memory of Bishop Lowell E. Edney. It was a glorious celebration!
In 2007, Mount Olive acquired 501(3) C status. Also, new carpeting was installed in the sanctuary, the church roof was replaced in 2010 and the loan was paid in full on February 11, 2014. Many other rectory and church repairs were done as needed.
Mount Olive continues to be part of The Church. Many times the gates of hell tried to prevail, but God is faithful and with His help Elder Carter stood firm.
After much prayer, Elder Carter decided that it was time to pass the baton. To his Mount Church Family he said: “We came this far by faith, leaning on the Lord. Thank you for standing and praying with me, helping to win souls and build up the body of Christ.” So Elder Carter submitted his resignation as pastor of Mount Olive Church that became effective December 31 2012. To God be the glory!
Upon Elder Charles L. Carter’s retirement, Elder Esau Vance assumed the position of acting Pastor of the church in January 2013. Elder Vance’s love for Mount Olive has been reflected through his advocacy. He is observant of the general needs of the church and offers solutions to problems. Additionally, he has worked on Mt. Olive’s behalf through his great involvement with the Worcester Black Clergy Alliance.
As acting Pastor, Elder Vance’s primary goals were to see the church grow spiritually as well as numerically. He announced a growth plan to the congregation in which he asked current members to bring new members to the church. Elder Vance established several ministerial teams to aid in addressing the needs of the church. Elder Vance expanded the use of technology through installing a laptop computer with a cordless printer in the pastor’s office. Lastly, Elder Vance instituted daily pastor office hours from Tuesday to Friday.
On April 27th 2014, Elder Vance was made the Senior Pastor of Mount Olive at an Installation Service. The Installation Service was well attended by local churches, New England District churches and community officials. Bishop Victor J. Rush rendered God’s message in which he taught about the main roles and duties of a pastor, He spoke about how the pastor of a church must follow God’s directions by being a faithful leader of the congregation. After God’s message was delivered, Bishop John C. Wright and Elder Donovan Woodruff gave the charge and officiated the Installation of Pastor Vance as Pastor. This service was not only a joyous occasion for Elder and First Lady Vance but it was a celebration of the church’s legacy in the community. Over the years, God has provided His strength and instructions to Mount Olive through previous pastors such as Bishop Edney and Elder Carter. And we know that he will continue to guide Mount Olive as Elder Vance embarks on pastorate and tenure at Mt. Olive Church.
Sis. Jewell Carter
Deacon Lillian Edney
Min. Flora Miller
Sis. Monica Vanc