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Convention History

The early formation of the Black Baptist churches in New Mexico was under the auspices of the Southern Baptist Convention.  The convention was founded by Reverend. J. B. Bell, missionary under the guidance of the Northern Baptist Board to New Mexico and Arizona, an affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention.   The organization was named Mt. Olive for the church with the largest membership, Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church of Albuquerque.  It was agreed that the body would affiliate with the New Mexico State Baptist Convention, which was under the Southern Baptist Convention.  Aid was promised by Dr. P. W. Longfellow of the SBC to churches in Albuquerque, Gallup, Roswell, Raton, Blackdom and Las Vegas, New Mexico.  The total membership of the member churches was 200.  Members voted to meet in 1912 in Albuquerque.  Later we hear of the organizations of the Bethel Second Baptist Church, Corinth, Mt. Olive in Carlsbad, Bethlehem in Clovis, Ebenezer in Hobbs, Antioch in Santa Fe, Valley Grove in Vado and Mt. Zion in Clayton.  During this time records indicate that there were four district associations and they were combined to be the Mt. Olive State Association, but after 1934 the name reverted to the Mt. Olive State Convention.   The present two affiliated District Associations are Jerusalem (Organized 1948) and New Hope (Organized 1941). 


The year 1915 brought a great split amongst black Baptist, and we hear of no other churches in the National Baptist Convention of America until the organization of the Pleasant Green Baptist Church of Hobbs and Macedonia Baptist Church of Albuquerque.   Early records of the Southern Baptist Convention have revealed that the Convention met with the Southern Baptist Convention, but records are sketchy as to the involvement and when exactly the young convention ventured out on its own.  However, representatives were sent to preach and give aid and direction to these young churches. 


Our earliest auxiliary is the Women’s movement.   Their history unfolds with Mrs. A. J. Clayton as president.   History reflects the Congress was developed under the leadership of Bro. A. E. Jackson.  The Ushers’ Auxiliary was organized under the leadership of Reverend F. R. Williams with Mr. A. E. Jackson playing an integral part organization of the ushers.  The Music Auxiliary was last to be organized in 1986. The organizers were Mary R. Lewis, Joycelyn N. Lewis and Andrew L. Trotter.


Records reflect the purchase of our Vado property in 1924.  The convention was also gifted property in the Manzano Mountains by Reverend J.S. Patten.  This property is now known as Camp Patten.  The Vado property was the home of the Mt. Olive Academy, a training school for boys and girls.   Reverend C. T. Hughes of Valley Grove Baptist Church in Vado, was the headmaster. The work of building facilities at Camp Patten has always been a dream for the convention.  The camp as it stands today was constructed during the tenure of Reverend James E. Forney.  Persons instrumental in overseeing of the building of camp are Glen E. Chelf, Shirley Ragin, Robert McBeth and Zollie Williams.  Both properties remain under convention control. 


Convention Presidents:  Formal records indicate that Dr. J. B. Bell was the first president of our state convention.  His tenure was followed by E. F. Jones, A. B. Mellon, M. D. Ware, C. R. Brewster, O. F. Dixon, Reverend J. S. Patten, Reverend F. R. Williams, Reverend L. E. Hightower, Reverend J. R. Shiner, Reverend James E. Forney and Reverend Joe Callahan.  Reverend David Walker now leads the Convention. 


Congress Presidents:  The first areas of Christian Education where called the Sunday School and Baptist Young Peoples Unions (changed to Baptist Training Union, Nurture for Baptist, and now back to BTU) Those leaders were Reverend G. B. Oliver, P. M. Walker and C. T. Hughes. The later leaders were A. E. Jackson, Reverend Wilson Holly (under his leadership it was renamed the Congress of Christian Education to get in agreement with the National Congress), Reverend J. T. Wilson, Dr. Richard Gorham and Reverend James Russell.   


Secretaries of the convention have been Professor Francis M. Boyer, S. T. Richards, Reverend J. H. Horton, Glen E. Chelf, Reverend B. J. Choice, Joycelyn N. Lewis, Andrew L. Trotter and Reverend Brian Harvey. 


Treasurers have been C. Eubanks, D. A. Austin, F. R. Williams, James E. Forney, J. A. Hopkins, Winston Lee, Ruby Dudley and Vernice Adams. 


Financial Secretaries:  Mrs. Clayton Brown, Merdest Bradford, Isaac Jones, Thomas Spikes, J. R. Shiner, Willard Avery, and Shirley Ragin. 


Women’s Presidents:   Mrs. I. B. Foster. Mrs. D. A. Austin, Ella Boyer, Anna J. Clayton, Florence Napoleon, Stella Jones, Lurline Trotter, Jeane B. Spencer, Gwen Harris and Linda McPherson.  


Laymen’s Presidents:  A. E. Jackson, Will Wynn, Glen E. Chelf, Meron J. Wilson, Zachary Hightower and Michael Davis. 


Usher Presidents:  Willie Lou Holly, Delores Williams, Ruby C. Dudley and Candice Wilson.

State Choir Directors: Andrew Trotter, Cynthia Jackson Laughlin, Kendall Bell.


The Mount Olive Baptist State Convention of New Mexico, Inc. is a New Mexico non-profit corporation, first incorporated December 4, 1934 in New Mexico.  Prior to the expiration of the Mount Olive Baptist State Convention of New Mexico’s corporate status, the corporation merged into a new corporation with a slightly different name, Mount Olive Missionary Baptist State Convention of New Mexico, Inc.  On February 6, 1998, the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist State Convention of NM, Inc. was incorporated with the New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission as a non-profit corporation.   The Mount Olive Missionary Baptist State Convention of New Mexico, Inc and its Auxiliaries is a 501 (c) (3) since June 26, 2003. 


No convention of our tenure could function without the devoted work of the pastors, preachers, laymen and women who have served admirably past and present. We cannot list them all, but we thank God and remember their work amongst us in carrying the banner of our Lord from our humble beginnings to present day.

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