WHAT WE DO
To bring the unity and love of Jesus Christ to all who enter through Olive Branch A.M.E. Church's doors.
Teach the word of God to the modern saints of Jesus through preaching, ministry, and local outreach
We serve the community of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
One of the oldest churches in Mount Pleasant, Olive Branch A.M.E. Church just celebrated its 150th birthday. Dating back to its inception on March 23, 1870.
In 1816, the African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded by Richard Allen and Absalom Jones. Shortly afterwards, the African Methodist Episcopal Church came into existence in South Carolina. The African Methodist Episcopal Church returned to the South in 1863 with the Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne as Presiding Prelate.
In 1865, during the same year as the abolishment of slavery in the United States, the South Carolina Conference became one of the largest conferences of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The conference oversaw the Mount Pleasant District, which included Olive Branch.
In 1910 the Palmetto Conference was established. Olive Branch became part of what was known as the Mount Pleasant Circuit.
The property which became Olive Branch was purchased from John and Ann Hamlin, owners of a plantation adjacent to what became the church. The purchase date is noted to have been March 23, 1870 in Christ Church Parish. The property is bound on the North and West by Willock, on the east by Georgetown and Mathis Ferry Roads, on the South by Georgetown Highway.
Trustees during the purchase were: J.W. Venning, Robert Curtis, Jacob Swinton, Sires Howard, Lot McNeil, David Dyall, Charles F. North and Mingo Ward.
Rev. John Graham was the minister in charge at the time. Graham erected a pole building at first and around 1885, a board building was erected. Olive Branch began a circuit and shared the following pastors with Goodwill AME Church: J.B. Greer, Jack Singleton, F.E. Rivers, W.F. McBrown, M.A. Hollings, A.C. Brown, E.E. Jones, S.S. Bruington, William Taylor, W.P. Carolina, C. Lindsey, C.S.T. Mollette, W.T. Murray, E.P. Butler, William Jackson and J.J. Taylor.
Services were held at Olive Branch on the first and third Sundays and at Goodwill AMEC, our sister church on the second and fourth Sundays.
The congregation at both churches grew rapidly. To fulfill the spiritual needs of each congregation each church was assigned their own pastor. In 1962, Rev. JJ Taylor was appointed to Olive Branch and served until he was transferred to Goodwill AMEC in 1970.
Olive Branch A.M.E. Church has been pastored by Reverend Richard Harkness since November 2014.
Originally born in Abbeville, he and his family moved in his early childhood and became members of an AME church in Columbia. This is when Harkness found his calling as a pastor. Since being assigned to pastorate Olive Branch, Harkness said he’s never been part of such a congregation that has such an active commitment from 70-years-old and older.
Harkness established various ministries within Olive Branch.
Those ministries are as follows:
10 Most Wanted Ministry
Golden Heirs Ministry
Young Adult Ministry
Noon Day Bible Study
Afternoon Tutorial Program
Harkness is a strong believer in bringing all Christians together despite race, in the wake of the mass shooting that claimed the lives of nine African- Americans during an evening Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015. He had been pastor at Olive Branch for only seven months when the tragedy struck. Long time friends with the late Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, senior pastor at Mother Emanuel and representative of S.C. Senate’s 45th District, Olive Branch hung a permanent banner in their fellowship hall to honor and memorialize the “Emanuel Nine.”