About Mt. Olivet
Mt. Olivet UCC , is deeply rooted in the community of North Lima, Ohio.
We are situated in the heart of the Mahoning Valley, south of the Youngstown-area of northeastern Ohio,
just west of the Pennsylvania border.
Our beginnings date back to 1810, and we've gone through many changes throughout our history
to later become a United Church of Christ denomination in 1957.
Our congregation welcomes without prejudice, and affirms the dignity and worth of ALL people.
At MTO, you will find a loving, accepting & supportive church family.
No matter what your life situation has been, our goal is to help you succeed with your relationship with Christ.
Folks of all ages and backgrounds comprise our active church,
planning fun activities and service projects. There is something to interest every member of the family.
The MTO Chancel Choir meets on Thursday evenings
and sings each Sunday morning September through May.
They also perform on Christmas Eve for the Candlelight Service.
The Youth & Adult Handbells practice on Thursday evenings before choir practice,
and perform during Worship Services monthly September - May.
The Contemporary Team is made up with a few talented members,
and led by Pastor Michael and his wife, Synthea.
The group practices on Thursday nights and performs every Sunday, year round.
(schedules have changed due to Covid)
Mt. Olivet has a thriving youth membership that participates in group activities for
fun, learning, as well as Act of Service to help the community.
Our church participates in the Community Day Camp of North Lima program,
which presents a week-long day camp, that our church hosts, late July to early August.
This project is supported by our fellow churches - Good Hope, North Lima Mennonite, Paradise, Calvary,
along with Christian-based summer camp and retreat, Camp Frederick in Rogers, Ohio.
We hold popular events to fundraise for this mission like the Strawberry Social, Baked Potato Dinner,
Grab & Go Soup sales, Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner, Shop-with-a-Cop dinners, and more.
We open our church doors to community service organizations like the Boy and Girl Scout groups,
Al-Anon, Alcoholics Anonymous, and others as a safe and effective area to hold their meetings.
If your group is looking for a meeting space, call the office for availability!
Our worship service blends traditional and contemporary themes and music styles.
We use a PowerPoint program on a large screen television
to highlight Scripture, give music lyrics, illustrate maps & people, and show humorous memes.
It allows visual learners to get the most from every message.
Pastor Michael builds a Kid's Time message into every sermon, which
gives the children a hands-on task to complete
or a mystery to solve that works with the weekly theme.
Mt. Olivet recognizes the importance of people having the opportunity to share their faith stories.
We have annual Stewardship Testimonials for volunteers to share what Jesus has done in their lives.
Our Adult Sunday School program encourages participants to have open-discussion
in the group as they delve into encouraging literature and film.
Many times throughout the year, the church invites various local, charitable organizations to come
in as guest presenters to tell their stories and present us with their needs.
You don't want to miss our stunning Candlelight Christmas Eve service,
as we praise the Birth of Christ, our Savior.
The emotional energy of everyone singing Silent Night in unison will open your heart and soul.
And speaking of music, you also don't want to miss Music Sunday
where the whole service is focused on singing praises to our Lord,
accompanied by a local high school choir and our own choir and handbells groups.
Our church is governed by a Consistory board that decides matters on church business.
We have an elected/appointed President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
All positions are done voluntarily and include other acts of service to the church such as Elder and Deacon.
There is a Spiritual Council committee that oversees the spirtual needs of the church,
as well as a Stewardship Committee that organizes the Time & Talents of the members of the church for volunteering efforts. Mt. Olivet is big on being of service, as the Lord has commanded us to do.
Although it can be hard on modern, busy schedules,
we offer a lot of service opportunities that you can accomplish without feeling overloaded.
The church is very proud of its Women's Guild,
of which every female member of Mt. Olivet belongs to automatically.
This versatile social group holds much in the way of entertainment.
There are a variety of annual and special events throughout the year,
and most notably, they hold their Spring & Fall Rummage Sales.
Their efforts and the graciousness of the donors, bring needed funds to our church, as well as to several
charitable organizations each sale. Families that come to the sale are sure to find amazing bargains with which to outfit their home and wardrobe. This many decades long event is the cornerstone of our church.
1800s: The first settlers arrived in Beaver Township before 1800, and the Germans from Pennsylvania came later. The early settlers had no minister but assembled every Sunday. The early church was a union congregation, Lutheran and Reformed. First trustees were elected in 1806, and this was been adopted as the date of the organization of the congregation. The congregation bought land Oct. 13, 1810, and the site is now Union Cemetery. A log church was built on this location in 1810. It was named Good Hope Church, which became the current Lutheran Church at North Lima. The first pastor was the Rev. J. P. Mahaenschmidt in 1811. In 1831, the Rev. Henry Sonnedecker became pastor and oversaw the development of Sunday School. In 1861, a part of the congregation separated; the Rev Reinhart is credited with the name Mount Olivet, which he said meant “Where our prayers ascend Heavenward.” The congregation decided to build a church west of the old one.
1900s: The Rev. L. J. Rohrbaugh became pastor Nov. 1, 1904, and his ministry lasted more than 40 years. He promoted knowledge of the Bible.
1910s: A Sunday School orchestra was begun. The west wing of the church was built and electric lights installed.
1920s: Another addition was begun in 1928 for $18,000. The congregation raised $2,500 to build a Mount Olivet Chapel in Hunan, China.
1930s: Evangelical Synod of North America and Reformed Church in the United States merged; the church became Mount Olivet Evangelical and Reformed Church. A combined service of Mount Olivet and the Lutheran churches celebrated the 125th anniversary.
1940s: The Voice, a weekly publication, was first printed. A youth fellowship was organized.
1950s: In June 1957, the “Voice” expanded to include a monthly Voice Magnified. The church became a member of Youngstown Council of Churches. During this time, discussion was underway for the merger of the Evangelical and Reformed Church with the Congregational Christian Church. The Rev. Larry J. Dunnewold of the newly formed denomination, United Church of Christ, was pastor and encouraged new programs of service to the church and community. The choir was expanded. In 1958, the congregation built a new parsonage on land adjacent to the church.
1960s: Sesquicentennial observed. An educational wing was erected. The Rev. W. O. Keeler, who became minister in 1965 introduced “Chester the Church Mouse,” a contributor to the Voice Magnified. A new Christmas tradition was begun when members made the first Christmons, various symbols of Christ, to hang on the Christmas tree. Women’s Guild was organized and began a prayer group and volunteered at Protestant Family Service. North Lima Senior Citizens first met at Mount Olivet UCC. In 1968, the youths organized a singing group, “The Olive Pits.”
1970s: The parking lot was paved, and North Lima Preschool opened in 1974.The Bell Choir began in 1978. The first Shrove Tuesday pancake supper was in 1979,
and continues. An outdoor worship service in 1976 was at the church grove, and outdoor services continue. The South Range Council for Church and Community
( 3C’s) was established in 1979.
1980s: The Allen organ was purchased in 1984, replacing the Hammond organ installed in 1947. The installation of the Allen organ led to the design and crafting of a white reredos in the Greek Revival style. In 1984, as a prelude to the sanctuary renovation, a handicap-accessible ramp was built on the east side of the building. The bell tower was refurbished. The 175th anniversary was marked with a barbecue and square dance, and the Women’s Guild published its third cookbook. A new Steinway piano was purchased for the sanctuary, which was remodeled. A pavilion was constructed and is the site of outdoor worship services and other activities. The first worship service in the newly remodeled sanctuary was Easter Sunday, 1987. The Friendly Followers Class began to deliver Meals on Wheels to residents in the Youngstown area.
1990s: The Women’s Guild volunteered at various times at the Rescue Mission. Blankets were donated to Church World Service. Chapel lighting was updated. A painting and redecorating program was begun in 1994. An elevator was added.
2000s: New windows were installed in the Sunday School wing and improvements made to the parsonage. The church joined the Family Promise program. The church sent several disaster- relief teams to areas in need including after Hurricane Katrina.