History of Olive Grove Baptist Church

Olive Grove Baptist Church was formed and organized by Rev George Odom in 1904, under a bush shanty, in a little village on Azalea Garden Road known as Little Creek, Virginia. During 1904, while Brother Geno White, a member of the church family, was busy as an overseer on the farms of Mr. Frank Whitehurst, God moved the heart of Mr. Whitehurst to donate a parcel of land to build a church. At the same time, God led Mr. Oliver, the owner of Oliver’s Farm, to provide the lumber to build the church. The church members showed their gratitude to Mr. Oliver by using the first portion of his last name for the first part of the church name – “Olive.” As the church prospered and grew spiritually, God supplied Pastors in the persons of Rev. J. Miles, Rev. V. Turner, Rev. J M. Johnson, Rev. S. L. Brown, and Rev W F. Hill.
The initial renovation of Olive Grove occurred in 1948 on Lamb Avenue under the leadership of Rev. W. F. Hill. In 1965, city zoning restrictions resulted in the relocation of the church to its present location on Albert Avenue. The Lord tremendously blessed and added to the church, thus resulting in an overflowing congregation Sunday after Sunday. Rev. Hill exhibited the character of a patient, kind, and true servant of God. He pastured Olive Grove until he retired on March 4, 1965, with these parting words of encouragement: “Don’t forget God.” The church, at this time, was led prayerfully under the faithful leadership of Deacon John Barnes.
A few months late, Rev. Raymond Dean was elected Pastor. He was ordained by his Pastor, Dr. C. H. Jordan of Third Baptist Church, Portsmouth, Virginia. The Lord abundantly blessed Olive Grove. The church prospered, and additional auxiliaries were organized during Rev. Dean’s eight years as Pastor. In March, 1973, he resigned, and Chairman Deacon, John Barnes, and other faithful speakers officiated the services.
In March 1974, the church elected Rev. Moses L Davis, Sr. as Pastor. Under his leadership, the church continued to grow in God’s grace. On November 5, 1965, the church purchased some land that was adjacent to the church. Rev. Moses Davis pastured Olive Grove for four years, leaving as his farewell remarks, “Let us not be led into temptation,” a portion of The Lord’s Prayer.
Once again, we were without an earthly leader. Deacon John Barnes officiated the services until October 19, 1978, when he was stricken with a stroke. The Vice-Chairman, Deacon Earl F. White, Jr., the Deacons, and other dedicated speakers they officiated the services.
On Sunday, September 2, 1979, the church elected Rev. Harry A. Davis as Pastor. He was officially installed by his Pastor, Rev. Harold Cason of First Baptist Church Campostella, on October 14, 1979. Rev. Davis was truly an anointed man of God. His love for God first, as well as his love for his church, was constantly exhibited as he continued to lead souls to Jesus Christ until his death on February 23, 2007.
For the next two and a half years, Chairman Deacon Thomas Wadley provided leadership, and several dedicated licensed ministers within our church family officiated services. God remained faithful to our congregation, and in His timing, he brought our current Pastor, Dr. Larry Williams, Sr., who was officially installed on September 27, 2009. We thank God for His continued faithfulness!

History of The Church


Church Roots

Five Hundred years ago (1517) a Roman Catholic Monk, Martin Luther expressed outrage with the Roman Catholic Church.  His announcement took the form “95 Theses” each of which expressed Luther’s displeasure with the Roman Catholic Church.  Luther’s goal was to rid the church of corruption in the papacy and the priesthood, and to establish belief in the Bible as the source of spiritual authority. We remember Luther’s bold act as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. The movement carried intellectual, political and cultural implications that would reshape the power of the Roman Catholic Church throughout Europe. Reformer’s use of the printing press was instrumental in spreading the message of reform far and widely.

Soon after Luther’s proclamation (for which he was kicked out of the Catholic Church) Ulrich Zwingli initiated a Reformation movement in Switzerland. Not much later a French Theologian, John Calvin developed his, “Institutes of Christian Religion” which continue to influence Protestant thinking about predestination and Christian values today. Much of what Baptists believe has Calvinist similarities.

Reformation Sunday is observed each year on the Sunday closest to October 31


. Luther’s hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God” remains the signal hymn of the Reformation and will be sung in Protestant churches all on the world on October 29, 2017, Reformation Sunday.  Other Lutheran gifts to the Church are the idea of salvation by faith, not by works, and the notion that every believer is a priest and may enjoy open access to the Bible and direct approach to God.

As the Church continued to morphe, the name “Baptist” was used to label certain people who stood out among various non-Roman Catholic Believers. The name stuck and today Baptists and Protestants share some beliefs, though Baptists are decidedly different. Here is what Baptists believe:

BThe Bible is Our Authority.
We are not bound by traditions,  decrees, creeds, or other books. We take the BIBLE as our ONLY rule for faith and practice. We teach that the Scriptures are sufficient for ALL things and God has provided us with everything necessary to nurture and sustain spiritual life in the Scriptures.   That means we are committed to teaching and to preaching from the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:23; 2 Peter 1:20)
AThe Autonomy of the Local Church
Each church is self-governing. The church answers directly to Christ, the Head of the Church. (Colossians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 5:13; Matthew 18:15)
PThe Priesthood of Every Believer
Each believer has direct access to God through Christ, our only Mediator. (1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9; Hebrews 4:16)
TTwo Offices: Pastor and Deacon
We recognize two offices: Pastor and Deacon. (1Timothy 3:1-13; Philippians 1:1)
IIndividual Soul Liberty (you have a free will)
We believe that the individual believer will give an account only to God for their own life before the Judgment Seat of Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Romans 14:1-23; 1 John 2:27)
SSaved Membership and Security of the Believer
We teach that church membership is limited to those who have publicly professed that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior, have obediently followed the Lord in Believer’s Baptism by immersion, and have evidenced true conversion by a changed life. Each member, regardless of age, must have a testimony of salvation by grace through faith. Additionally, we believe that the true believer can never lose their salvation. (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 10:28-29; Romans 8:29-35)
T Two Ordinances—Baptism by Immersion and Communion
Baptism by immersion, is our outward public sign of confession and commitment to Christ as our crucified, dead, buried, and raised all sufficient savior. As we partake in the Lord’s Table, we examine ourselves, publicly renew our commitment to Christ, and proclaim His death until He comes again. There are no sacraments—something (a work) that conveys salvation. (Acts 2:41-47; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:14-16; Romans 6:3-5)
SSeparation of Church and State

The church is not separated from the state (she is active as a voice in policy-making decisions and should vote, etc.). The state is separated from the church and has no power to enforce unbiblical statutes upon the church or does it have the right to have a state-sponsored church. (Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1-8; Acts 4:17-19;