Mt.Olive Baptist Church was envisioned in the late 1870’s by Dr. William Harris. Dr. Harris had a vision for a church on this spot while waiting under a black jack oak tree for his son Irvin, who had planned to go hunting with him. Upon his son’s arrival, Dr.Harris said to Irvin, “I want to be buried under this oak tree when I die and I want you and others to get busy and build a church here on this spot of land.” In 1879 Dr. William Harris died and was buried as he had requested under the oak tree.
The people of the area had worship services in a brush arbor for a period of time. Soon, a log church was erected and worship services were led by Elder D.T. McLeod, missionary of the South Florida Baptist Association and J.T. Sparkman, missionary of the American Baptist Publication Society. The church was organized and petitioned the South Florida Baptist Association for membership. This was granted on October 7, 1882.
The years moved on and the log building was replaced by a board structure. In 1946, the church voted to build a block structure, and April 4, 1954, the dedication of the new building took place. Additional rooms were erected later along with the fellowship hall and additional facilities. This work was completed in conjunction with the Centennial Celebration, October 7, 1982. The church continued to serve many families in the Polk City area. Again time came for change and growth. A new building was started in 2001 and was completed 2002. The dedication was held on May 5, 2002.
The church has been here serving this community for 137 years, and looks forward to many more decades of service to the people of Polk City.