About Mount Olive
Mount Olive is a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod(LCMS), which was formed in 1847. Mount Olive, the first LCMS church in the state of South Carolina, celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2008.
Mount Olive is a confessional Lutheran church that affirms the BOOK OF CONCORD (1580) to be faithful and true interpretations of the Holy Scriptures, the sole source and norm of all Christian teaching.
Our church is as committed to Christian education, outreach and evangelism, as it is to worshiping the Triune God with the traditional liturgy of the Church. We hold true and respond to the love of the Triune God:
- The Father, creator of all that exists
- Jesus Christ, the Son, who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan
- The Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments
These Three Distinct Persons of the Holy Trinity are co-equal and co-eternal, yet only one God.
GRACE, FAITH, AND SCRIPTURE
We affirm the threefold emphasis of the Lutheran Reformation: Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone:
Grace alone: God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.
Faith alone: By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.
Scripture alone: The Bible is the inspired Word of God (II Timothy 3:16), in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine.
ABOUT MARTIN LUTHER
Martin Luther lived in the 1500’s and is known as the “Father of the Reformation.” He was a pastor who helped change to the Church to focus its attention on Jesus and His saving grace and love for us. During Luther’s time, the Bible and worship were conducted in Latin, but he wanted all people to have these in their own languages so they could read God’s Word for themselves. He was not trying to create a new church, but to reform the existing Church into what Christ envisioned it to be. The reforms of Martin Luther helped shape today’s Church.
ABOUT THE CHURCH YEAR
The Season of Lent
During Lent, the Church’s worship assumes a more penitential character. The color for the season is purple, a color often associated with penitence. The “Hymn of Praise” is omitted from the liturgy. The word “Alleluia” is usually omitted as well.
By not using the alleluia — a joyful expression meaning “Praise the Lord” — until Easter, the Lenten season is clearly set apart as a distinct time from the rest of the year. Additionally, it forms a powerful contrast with the festive celebration of Jesus’ resurrection when our alleluias ring loud and clear.
Finally, the penitential character of Lent is not its sole purpose. In the ancient Church, the weeks leading up to Easter were a time of intensive preparation of the candidates who were to be baptized at the Easter vigil on Holy Saturday.
This time in the Church’s calendar was seen as an especially appropriate time for Baptism because of the relationship between Christ’s death and resurrection and our own in Holy Baptism (see Rom. 6:1-11).
This focus would suggest that the season of Lent serves not only as a time to meditate on the suffering that Christ endured on our behalf but also as an opportunity to reflect upon our own Baptism and what it means to live as a child of God.
[Content taken from LCMS.org, FAQ’s about the Church Year.]
Read more by clicking on the LCMS blog, Breaking Down the Church Year.
About Pastor Walter J. Harper
Pastor Walter J. Harper was installed at Mount Olive on October 27, 2019, Reformation Sunday. He is a second career pastor, having previously worked as an investigator in the U.S. Department of Defense.
After joining an LCMS parish in Alexandria, VA, Walt began reading and studying the Lutheran doctrines and liturgy. Soon his friends and wife, prompted by The Holy Spirit, encouraged him to go to seminary. He finally listened and enrolled in Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Upon his graduation in 2010, Pr. Walt began serving at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Danbury, CT where he served until being called to Mount Olive.
Both Walt and his wife, Renee, are excited to begin a new ministry among the people of God at Mount Olive, and look forward to joining with the congregation to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
The Harpers are the parents of two grown sons and are grandparents to two precious boys.