Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Baytown dedicates new worship place post-Hurricane Harvey

The Mount Olive Baptist Church in Baytown, Texas, dedicated its million-dollar new worship house on March 5, more than five years since Hurricane Harvey destroyed the congregation’s old building. Image: John Middelkoop|Unsplash

Mount Olive Baptist Church, one of Baytown, Texas’ oldest churches, held its Dedication Service on Sunday, March 5, to formally open its new million-dollar house of worship.

According to a report by Baytown Sun, the service lasted for four hours and was the celebration of “a work five years, five months in the making.”

Phoenix Rising

The church’s new $1.4 million building is like a Phoenix rising from the ashes; only that first did not destroy the original structure but a devastating hurricane.

According to a Baytown Sun article, Hurricane Harvey left at least 68 people dead and damaged properties worth $125 billion.

The report said the 2017 hurricane was the state’s deadliest in 98 years. In Houston’s Harris County alone, Harvey killed a staggering 36 individuals. Baytown Sun added that Hurricane Harvey ranks second to Hurricane Katrina as the most devastating hurricane in U.S. history. 

Harvey submerged 5,300 homes in Baytown City and left 4,300 houses with water damage.

A separate Baytown Sun report disclosed that Community Resource Credit Union (CRCU) and Carnes Engineering rebuilt the church’s structure in a new location. Incidentally, the two contractors sent their representatives, Thomas Hast and Morgan Myers, to the Dedication Service.

“We worked together for five long years, because of the pandemic. This church was housed out of a school cafeteria at one point. A lot of the members stopped coming because of Covid,” CRCU Senior Vice President Hast commented.

Details of the Dedication Service

Meanwhile, the same report disclosed that the March 5 Dedication Service at the new Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church building at 3746 N. Hwy 146 featured the Mount Olive Inspirational Choir.

The gathering also had city officials and dignitaries from the Baptist Ministers Association of Houston and Vicinity. Church members and congregation members from 15 nearby churches also graced the occasion and celebrated the dedication with Mount Olive’s congregants.

The church’s senior pastor, Rev. Jonathan Taylor, expressed his satisfaction with how the service went.

“They were rocking in there, that’s for sure. We had a good time celebrating all that God has done for us in Baytown,” Baytown Sun quoted Reverend Taylor saying after the service.

The new house of worship reportedly seats 327. It is located on a hill just above Cedar Bayou, where the church’s old building once stood before Hurricane Harvey’s onslaught in 2017.

Brandon Capetillo, Baytown City mayor, reportedly issued a proclamation declaring March 5 this year as the “Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church Day.”

“I do a lot of proclamations but usually not on Sundays and usually, I don’t get the opportunity to express my faith and my love of Christ. I get to do that today. As you can see all these faces with me today among our brothers and sisters in Christ, we’re a faith community today and that’s important. I believe it is so important,” Mayor Capetillo told the crowd.

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