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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.

 

Pastors 

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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.    

Church Leadership

The Session

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     

The Diaconate

 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

 
Missions Committee

Class of 2021                                  *Rick Summerville, Chairman (2022)                               Ellen Walyus

Class of 2022                                  Dennis Krueger                                                        Donna McArthur

Class of 2023                                  Bobby Mendenhall (2024)                                               Susan Petty

Witness Committee

Class of 2021                                  *Jason Petty, Chairman (2022)                                         Ann Hawley

Class of 2022                                  David Currence                                                      Brent Christenberry

Class of 2023                                  Michael Nance (2024)                                                    Laura Frame

Church History

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.”

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