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These Storied Walls

The Church United

1939 was a significant year for all of Methodism. C. J. Goodman attended the October 1939 Uniting Conference in Greensboro, along with delegates from the Western North Carolina Conference of the M. E. Church, South, the Blue Ridge-Atlantic Conference of the M. E. Church, and the North Carolina Annual Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church. The new Western North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church had 490 ministers, and more than 200,000 members. Mt. Olivet came in with 350 members, including local preachers. The Church building was valued at $20,000.00, the parsonage at $4,700.00, and other property at $600.00, with no debt at all.

In 1939, Rev. F. W. Kiker replaced Rev. Randall, and served the congregation until 1943. During the war years, much of the history of the church is preserved in the Minutes of the Board of Stewards, which begins at a special meeting held on November 3, 1941, to organize the Board for the coming year. H. L. Fink was elected Chairman, B. F. Waddell as Assistant Chairman, and R. L. Shinn was elected Secretary. The Board agreed to set Reverend Kiker's salary at "a minimum of" $2,000.00 for the coming year, and to pay him a bonus of $200.00. At the March 1942 meeting, Reverend Kiker suggested starting a building fund and the suggestion was adopted by the Board on 14 April 1942. The Board of Christian Education was directed to contact all Sunday School classes to see how many would carry shares for one year. In May, the Board decided to buy War Bonds instead of building and loan shares for the building fund. Even though the church was concentrating on its own building program at that time, the Board decided to raise at least $100.00 to help Flowe-Harris Presbyterian Church in the Winecoff community with its building plans. The church ended 1942 with a surplus of about $500.00, a considerable accomplishment in that time. The Board voted to give the Young People the old song books for use in the basement, to paint the small room in the basement, and to make screens to divide one of the Sunday School rooms.

During 1944-45, under the leadership of Rev. C. B. Newton, Bible School was held in May, a Youth Caravan was planned during the summer, A Family Day observance scheduled and a Welcome Committee appointed. Mrs. J. B. Hough organized a Junior Choir and robes were donated by Woman's Society No. 1. At the September 1944 meeting, R. D. Goodman, L. W. Earnhardt, and Mrs. A. C. Dayvault, along with Miss Roxie Fink were appointed "to study and have charge of Young People's Recreation at the church." The music program at the church was discussed, and the following month Miss Ailene Dayvault was elected Choir Director, with Mrs. Worth Beaver as Pianist, assisted by Miss K. Lee Scott and Miss Mary Murph. The Stewards decided to pave the walks around the church, to have the drive curbed at the parsonage and the church, and ended the year by buying a "machine to print bulletins," and a stove for the parsonage.

The Methodist Men, some 25 to 30 strong, met on the first Monday night of each month, with refreshments and a speaker. The group raised money to purchase a bicycle for Miss Louise Avet, a missionary who spoke at one of their meetings. The W. S. C. S. reported that their service to the church continued, and was in fact increasing in numbers and interest. The group boasted 71 members in 1946, with $325.00 raised for foreign mission work, according to the report of Mrs. R. W. Measmer, President.

The need for suitable recreational facilities for the young people of the community continued, and the church’s application for permission to construct a Recreational Building was granted in August 1945. Under the watchful eye of contractor Earl Fink, the church saved almost half the cost of construction. Led by Marvin Cook, volunteers from the congregation did the painting. Bob Measmer and Macy Sherrill organized volunteers to donate labor on the building. By the end of 1946, the building was substantially completed and an insurance policy purchased.

Church and community joined together to furnish the building. Efird's Department Store donated the light fixtures and the piano was given by the Men's Brotherhood. The Ethel Kiker Circle furnished the linoleum, and joined with the Margie Goodman and Betty Hough Circles in buying dishes for the kitchen. Various members of the congregation furnished chairs, and Miss Kathleen Stewart donated a picture in memory of Reverend J. N. Randall. The new building was dedicated to the honor of the 60 men and women of the Mt. Olivet family who served their country in World War II. A son of the church, Craig Lackey, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. R. Lackey, died during the war, and Rickard Rodgers, a church steward, was held prisoner by the Germans. Fred Barringer received a battlefield commission and was a First Lieutenant by war's end; he continued his military service and returned to his home congregation upon his retirement as a Colonel.

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