Olivet United Methodist Church had its origin in the old St. John’s Church located on the Sollers Wharf Road. The St. John’s Church was built around 1829 and was itself a successor to an old log church known as Richardson’s Chapel which had been built around 1789. The St. John’s Church and the church on Solomon’s Island, which had been founded in 1866-68 by Richard Norwood, were a part of the Calvert Circuit until the Baltimore Conference of 1882 constituted them as a Charge, the Solomon’s Island and St. John’s Charge.
Feeling a need for a church within the community, the Olivet Chapel was built in 1884 under the pastorate of the Reverend J. F. F. Gray on land purchased in 1884 for five dollars from Ellen and William T. Lusby and Sarah and George B. Lusby. A chapel for Olivet Methodist Episcopal Church was dedicated in 1885, free of debt. Parishioners soon outgrew the chapel space.
In October of 1912, the new Olivet M.E. Church across from the chapel was dedicated, and it serves as our sanctuary today. A 1913 storm damaged the original chapel to the extent that it had to be torn down and, from its timbers, a social hall was built. By the mid-20th century, this structure was replaced with a fellowship hall that served all families living in the Olivet hamlet, regardless of religious affiliation. In 2007, expansion effort culminated with dedicating The Good News Center that provides – in addition to the fellowship hall - Sunday School spaces and other meeting rooms, as well as office spaces.
Drawing on its richly woven fabric of families living nearby, Olivet United Methodist Church today represents many communities beyond walking distance, which largely defined its sphere in earlier days.
Parishioners from Solomons, St. Leonard, Port Republic, Prince Frederick, Huntingtown and Owings join those from Lusby in forming the Olivet family. We are older, younger and in between. Our skin is light, and it is dark. Our political views reflect conservative and liberal thoughts. Some are married, some are single, others are in long-term committed relationships. We come to church clothed in jeans and t-shirts, while others wear suits and ties, or dresses and high heels. We are an eclectic bunch.
What binds us together? Our love of God, and our love for each other. Our passion for sharing the great news about God’s mercy and grace. Our desire to enjoy fellowship with each other. Our prayers for one another and our community, asking for God’s love, courage, strength and forgiveness on a daily basis.
Yes, Olivet is a physical church, a place to worship, but we, the people, are the church.
Olivet is a gathering place. Olivet is a reaching-out place. Olivet is a family. Olivet is God’s love and mercy reflected in each other.
We invite you to come see for yourself!