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Rev. Mitchell R. Oleavia 


Served as acting pastor until he was called to the pastorate in February, 1971.  Having answered God’s call to preach the gospel, Rev. Mitchell R. Oleavia, tutored by Rev. Jones was ordained in 1969 and became Rev. Jones assistant where he served faithfully until Rev. Jones was called from labor to rest. 

St. Albans Baptist Church mourned over a year and called Rev. Mitchell R. Oleavia as the new and second pastor.  He served as pastor for 12 years and during those years, the following ministries were added:  The Helping Hand; Busy Bees and The Busy Bees Children’s Choir.  In spite of the new additions, the other ministries continued to flourish.  Rev. Oleavia loved to teach Bible Study, especially the Adult Sunday School Class, and his tenor voice alone was enough to stir up the gift in others.  Rev. Oleavia was a counselor, not only to the members of St. Albans Baptist Church, but to the community as well.  In 1980 Rev. Oleavia was responsible for obtaining a federally funded lunch program for St. Albans and the community.  In 1976 he appointed Sis. Ruby Lowman Minister of Music over the Young Adult and Senior Choir and Sis Jesse Stillwell was appointed the president. 

Under the pastorate of Rev. Oleavia the following deacons were ordained:  John Boyd, Jr., H. Darby, W. Meadows, Horace Miles, Samuel Snyder and Kevin Woods; Deaconess Charlotte Allen, Ruby Boyd, Lula Campbell, Mary Clark, Sadie Darby, Lessie Evans, Josephine Freeman, Lizzie Graham, Bessie Highsmith, Mary Hooker, Thelma Ross, Christine Seabrooks, Gloria Snyder, Maggie Stamps, Martha Starks, Blanche Stevens, Dorothy Walker and Rosie Williams were consecrated. 

As our church continued to grow under Rev. Oleavia’s leadership, the dream of building a new edifice continued.  He continued focusing and nourishing that dream.  The building fund increased from $26,000 to almost $300,000 by June 1983.  Unfortunately, Rev. Oleavia was stricken by sickness and was unable to continue the ministry which God has laid to his charge.  After many stays in the hospital he deemed it necessary to step down.  So, in October 1983, Rev. Mitchell Roy Oleavia retired as the second pastor of the St. Albans Baptist Church and subsequently was bestowed the honor of Pastor Emeritus.  His wife, Sis. Ethel Oleavia remained a member until her passing. 

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