Located in the small Southern town of McConnells, South Carolina, Olivet Presbyterian Church has been a beloved part of this rural community for more than 170 years. God has richly blessed the congregation through the decades. Today the church has 171 communing members on its roll. Each Sunday Olivet is filled with worshipers of all ages, giving glory to God for His goodness and love.
Pastor John M. "Chip" McArthur
Chip McArthur has been Olivet’s pastor since 1992. He and his wife Donna are both natives of Jackson, Mississippi and in fact, grew up in the same church there. They married in 1979. Chip is a graduate of Belhaven College and Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson. Prior to coming to Olivet, he served churches in Clayton, AL and Magee, MS. Donna is a retired educator . The McArthurs have two grown children: Webb, who along with his wife Whitney and son Thatcher, lives in Washington, DC, and Katie, who along with her husband Tim Blumenstein and their son Owen and daughter Harper, lives in Charlotte, NC.
Associate Pastor John Franklin
John Franklin has served the people of Olivet since July of 2015. John’s childhood years were split between Brevard, NC and Salisbury, MD. While growing up in a PCA ministry family, John was blessed to have a wonderful front-row seat in seeing the joys that come with serving the people of God in a vocational setting.
In 2013 John graduated from Bryan College in Dayton, TN. He then spent the next five years serving in different PCA local churches in South Carolina while he attended Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte. In July of 2015, John moved to McConnells and served as the Ministerial Intern at Olivet for three years. John graduated from RTS in May of 2018 with two masters degrees: a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Christian Counseling. Soon after graduation Olivet called John to serve as their first Associate Pastor. John loves God, God’s Word, and the Church. He loves people, nerding out over theology, sports (especially Braves baseball and Clemson football), ultimate Frisbee, laughing out loud, and he really loves puns.
John and Morgan, his new bride, are both excited to start life and ministry together as they love and minister to the Olivet congregation in this new phase of marriage and ministry.
Christopher W. Arnold Roy G. Clinton, Emeritus David R. Currence, Emeritus
Jeffery E. Fairfax, Emeritus E. John Franklin, Assoc. Pastor Daniel H. Harshaw
James M. Hawley, Emeritus Robert B. Mendenhall John M. McArthur, Jr. Moderator
Michael A. Nance Jason M. Petty Richard B. Summerville, Jr.
W. Lee Summerville, Jr., Clerk
James R. Clinton. S. Douglas Cobb, Jr., Emeritus Malcolm Harshaw, Treasurer John F. Hawley Don L. Johnson David W. Kelley Larry M. Plyler, Chairman
The Women in the Church
Laura Frame, President Rebecca Howell, Treasurer Susan Petty, Secretary
Susan Harshaw, Historian Marsha Plyler, Pastor's Aide Donna McArthur, Missions
Goldean Cobb, Chair-Circle 1 Frankie Guempel, Chair-Circle 2 Katie Summerville, Chair-Circle 3
Kathy Fairfax, Nursery/Children’s Church
Ministry Committees, 2021
Discipleship Ministries Committee
Class of 2021 Daniel Harshaw, Chairman (2022) Brian Carlisle
Class of 2022 Bryce Laws Megan Covington
Class of 2023 Chris Arnold (2024) Brenda Nance
Advisory Member John Franklin
Class of 2021 *Rick Summerville, Chairman (2022) Ellen Walyus
Class of 2022 Dennis Krueger Donna McArthur
Class of 2023 Bobby Mendenhall (2024) Susan Petty
Class of 2021 *Jason Petty, Chairman (2022) Ann Hawley
Class of 2022 David Currence Brent Christenberry
Class of 2023 Michael Nance (2024) Laura Frame
Olivet member Mrs. Mary Wells wrote a wonderful history of our church in 1986. Click here to read her work.
Important dates from Olivet's history:
Olivet Presbyterian Church was founded by Rev. Robert Young Russell on September 17, 1842 as a part of the old Independent Presbyterian Church.
The first church was a small wooden building situated about three miles west of McConnells on what is now Highway 322. Mr. Thomas Burris, a member of the church, made the pews which are still in use today.
The old church building was abandoned and worship began in the present building on September 19, 1886. Accounts read that “the new brick church is in the town of McConnellsville not far from the railroad. It is of Gothic style and is beautified with shrubbery, green lawns, and cement walks.”