Mt. Olive Baptist Church
Marker No: 14151
Texas Historic Cemetery Marker
Geographic: 30.10563, -97.42776
Location: 250 Mount Olive Road, Bastrop
Marker Text: African American citizens of Bastrop established Mt. Olive Baptist Church in 1874, first meeting in a brush arbor. After a short time, Mary Francis Handly donated land and a small sanctuary was built, with a split cedar log pew for the congregation. This house of worship served the community until 1895, when a small frame sanctuary was built. Elm Grove School was established in 1897, with Ben Clayton, F.W.R. Thorne and Abe Yancey as trustees. The rural school enumerated 89 pupils and shared the same frame building as Mt. Olive. Soon the frame sanctuary also proved too small for the growing church.
Under the leadership of Reverend H. W. Luckett (1874-1924), Mt. Olive purchased three acres at this site from Jim Franklin in 1909 for a new church property. Trustees George Brooks, Samuel Franklin Thorne and Henry Barnett bought the acreage for thirty dollars. Mount Olive Evergreen Cemetery was also established on the land, just northeast of the church building. In 1912, trustees Abe Yancey, Tom Anderson and F.W.R. Thorne bought an additional acre from Samuel Franklin Thorne and built an addition perpendicular to the sanctuary as a dedicated classroom. Classes continued at Elm Grove until 1957, when the school consolidated with Bastrop.
The 1909 sanctuary is a front gabled rectangular plan building with an offset entrance and spire, shiplap siding and peaked windows. The 1912 addition, built perpendicular to the chancel, is side gabled with banks of double-hung windows and board and batten siding. The church has continued to serve the community as a cornerstone of worship and social activities. (2008)