Over 50 Years of Ministry to the San Diego Community
On Sunday, October 18, 1964, a meeting was held for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church in Southeast San Diego, CA to reach the unsaved for Jesus Christ. Among the meeting attendees were Mrs. G. Blankenship. Mrs. H. Porter, Mrs. A. Fitzgerald, Mrs. L. Scott. Miss E. Blankenship and Miss Jannie Harris. Also in attendance were Rev. Joseph Scott, Dr. Charles Hampton and Rev. Marvin C. Hines. Mount Olive Church started out over 50 years ago under Pastor Joseph Scott. A motion was made to form a new church and the name, Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, was approved. Mrs. Porter nominated Rev. Joseph Scott to be the first pastor of Mount Olive Church and the motion was approved.
Pastor Scott was responsible for growing the church membership and developing a strong community outreach ministry. his efforts helped to mentor other young pastors and Christian leaders within the Southeast San Diego church community. Under Pastor Scott’s leadership, Mount Olive purchased its current facility at 36 South 35th Street in order to meet the worship needs of a growing congregation. Pastor Scott also hosted the Baptist Ministers’ bi-monthly meetings with over 15 local pastor using our current facilities. In the fall of 1989, Pastor Scott retired after providing 25 years of faithful pastoral leadership. On December 7, 1989, members of Mount Olive met to select Rev. Thomas Smith, Jr. as their new pastor. In March 2007, Pastor Smith resigned and Rev. Larry Thompson became interim pastor until June 2007 when Dr. Willie E. Manley, Sr. was called to be Mount Olive’s interim pastor.
In September 2007, Pastor Timothy J. Winters, D. Min. (Bayview Baptist Church) and interim Pastor Manley asked Rev. Brian D. Clater, who at that time was Director of Christian Education with Bayview Baptist Church, to submit his name for candidacy of Mount Olive Baptist Church. On October 7, 2007, Mount Olive was lead by God to call Pastor Clater to be her fifth pastor.
Pastor Clater’s “high-definition” preaching style and straight-forward gospel messages have been received enthusiastically by the congregation. In the five years that Pastor Clater has served Mount Olive, our membership has grown numerically with over 104 baptisms in just 60 months of his tenure. Pastor Clater continues to encourage the congregation to walk by faith as he has revitalized church school classes, men’s and women’s ministries and reorganized new member classes. In addition, he has started youth Bible study classes and our youth choir ministry.
Mount Olive has always had a strong music ministry. In fact, many musicians that now play for other churches in San Diego started their music careers at Mount Olive. We are blessed to have that legacy continue this day under the leadership of Sis. DeShun Dunn, Choir President, Sis. Barbara Dunn, Choir Director, and Deacon James Denny, percussionists.
Pastor Clater is blessed to have Deacon James Denny (Chairman), Sis. Ruthie Pargo, Trustee Chairperson and Sis. Sandra Shields, Special Projects Coordinator, working with him to faithfully serve the members of Mount Olive. Pastor Clater has also expanded the social media ministry at Mount Olive to include such services as Twitter, Facebook, and a webpage as well as broadcasting our services on public access television.
In addition to the ministries that Pastor Clater has revamped, the church has remodeled its sanctuary and updated its kitchen facilities. the church has also modernized its fellowship hall to accommodate adults and children for church-sponsored activities and events. Mount Olive continues to feed our community with free food and distributes clothing to families in need. We are so grateful to God for our past and look forward to God for a great future.
On December 1, 2019, Pastor Clater retired from the pastorate at Mount Olive. Rev. Antonio Johnson will succeed Pastor Clater on December 8, 2019 and he will be officially installed in March 2020. Pastor Johnson is a dynamic preacher and faithful servant of Jesus Christ. Pastor Johnson was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He was baptized at the Providence Baptist Church and was called to preach at the age of 12, preaching his first sermon at 13 years old. Pastor Johnson is a man of God, with a passion for the Word. Pastor Johnson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies. Prior to coming to Mount Olive, Pastor Johnson served at the Macedonia Baptist Church under the leadership of Dr. J.V. Bennett, as an assistant minister, youth minister, and finally Executive Pastor from 2016-2019. He is married to Lanee’ Johnson and they have one daughter, Natecia Johnson.