Mt. Olive Lutheran, Hickory Celebrates 130th Anniversary
The people of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Hickory rejoice in celebrating our 130th year of ministry with a slate of worship and service opportunities that began in August of 2015 and will continue through the end of this year. The official homecoming worship will be held on Sunday, October 11, 2015 when we join together in one unified service at 10:00 a.m. in the church sanctuary at 2780 North Center Street, Hickory. All previous members and friends of the congregation are invited to join us for the events on that day as well as upcoming events. For homecoming worship:
- The Reverend Eric Childers, Ph.D., a former Vicar at Mt. Olive and current pastor of St. John’s Lutheran, Cherryville will preach at the unified homecoming worship.
- Worship artist Stephanie Burke will create a commemorative painting during worship, working to the music of Faith Out Loud, Mt. Olive’s contemporary music ensemble.
- Mt. Olive’s current pastor, The Rev. Dave Keck will lead worship and our new Director of Youth and Family Ministry, Heather Langan, will present the children’s sermon.
- Organist and Choir Director Andris Rozukalns will provide musical leadership on the church’s repaired and improved pipe organ. The Chancel Choir and other church ensembles will also offer special music for the day.
Brief Church History
Mt. Olive Lutheran originated as a branch of the St. Stephens Lutheran Church, which is located in the Springs Road area of Hickory. People who lived in the current Viewmont neighborhood had to travel around four to five miles (one way!) by foot or carriage to worship at St. Stephens. Sometime in 1885, a group joined together to organize a Sunday School for their children that was closer to home. Early records of the congregation were lost and it is not known why the new church was named Mt. Olive. But Mt. Olive and St. Stephens shared a pastor for a number of years and continued a fruitful relationship that lasted more than fifty years.
Current Life of the Church
While the buildings, staff, and members have changed a great deal over the years, our dedication to serving God and our neighbors has not changed. Mt. Olive has participated in numerous ministry projects, community charities, and mission trips as we seek to be God’s hands in the world. We have rejoiced and mourned in our lives together in the absolute certainty that God is always with us. We have prayed for God’s guidance and will continue to seek together God’s will for the life of the believers who are called at this point in time to be Mt. Olive. We invite you to join us as we celebrate our previous 130 years and humbly ask God to grant us another 130.
Upcoming Anniversary Events
- Sunday, Oct. 25 at 8:30 & 10:45 a.m.: Reformation worship featuring our new Bishop Tim Smith and special music. Come celebrate God making all things new since the time of the Reformation and continuing even today!
- Sunday, Oct. 25 at 4:00 p.m.: Reformation Hymn Festival featuring Unifour Brass, Andris Rozukalns – organist, Charles Smith – timpani, handbells, a massed choir, guest conductors, and hymns from the Reformation era, as well a few modern pieces. This promises to be a hymn-sing like Mt. Olive has not experienced before – an inspiring service of music and reflections! Area Lutheran churches are invited to join the massed choir or attend this hymn festival.
- Sunday, Nov. 22 at 7:00 p.m.: Contemporary Christian music concert featuring Agape, Rachel Kurtz, and Joe Davis as part of the Rise Up Together tour. These musicians inspired our youth and adults at the Detroit event last summer. Come & let them inspire you!
- Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4:00 p.m.: Organ Re-dedication & Advent Lesson and Carols featuring Andris Rozukalns, organist and the music ensembles of Mt. Olive. Usher in the holiday season as we rejoice and rededicate our repaired and improved organ, hear the “old, old story,” and sing the Good News!
For more information about Mt. Olive Lutheran’s anniversary and homecoming events, please contact the church at 828-324-6198.