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:
Three in one

  • 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.


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.

Reformation symbol

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.


Drawing of 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.


The Season of Lent

Lent is a 40-day period of stillness, focus, and repentance leading up to Easter, or Resurrection Sunday. Lent is an important tool that can help you stay attuned to God’s voice as you reflect on His sacrificial love.

Based on Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, Lent is a solemn penitential season of the Church Year when we focus on the passion of our Lord and His sacrificial death and resurrection for the salvation of the world. The Lenten season starts with Ash Wednesday, a reminder of our beginning as dust from the earth. This Church season helps prepare our bodies and spirit through prayer, repentance, and a contrite spirit as we look to the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord on the cross of Calvary.

The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have, to renew their repentance and faith.

[Content taken from LCMS.org, FAQ’s about the Church Year and The Lutheran Service Book- Ash Wednesday.]

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 three precious boys.

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