I often say that doing this blog is a lot like doing improv, you never know what’s going to happen and it’s always just best to roll with the flow. A couple of weeks ago, I took a jar of Mt. Olive Pickles to Mt. Olive Church on University Street to be blessed. I admit, it was a goofy thing to do, but hey, I’m a goofy guy! Well to no one’s surprise, I didn’t get in the door and a woman told me to call Pastor Mark about the whole pickle thing. So I did what anyone would do, I came back home and had a conversation with the angriest ice machine in the world.
A while later I called the number she gave me, but I was told Pastor Mark wasn’t in and I left my phone number and much to no one’s surprise, I didn’t hear anything. But then a funny thing happened that Sunday, I got a phone call from...Pastor Mark!
I explained to him about the pickle blessing and he told me that they don’t bless things at Mt. Olive, but in spite of that, he invited me over for a chat and a tour of the church. Well, this is a first, I haven’t been to a church for the blog, much less been invited to a church, so let’s put on our Sunday best and head back over to Mt. Olive Church and meet Pastor Mark!
I thought I'd bring Gumby along for the ride, he's never been to a church, so it's time to broaden his horizons.
And it's off we go towards Mt. Olive Church.
And here we are!
I got the jumbo jar of Mt. Olive pickles to present to Pastor Mark. I don't do things halfway here at MBIP!
Here's the church, which overlooks University Street. The office is off to the left, let's go see if Pastor Mark is here.
Here's the doors to the office, which we couldn't get into last time and we have an unintentional obligatory mirror shot as well. I always love that!
Well, this time the doors are opened and that's Pastor Mark welcoming us inside of Mt. Olive Church!
This is Pastor Mark's office where we had a nice chat. Pastor Mark's full name is Mark Douras and he's been the residing Pastor at Mt. Olive for the last four years. He's from Detroit and has been involved in the missionary since 1982. He told me the main goal of the church is to make the teachings of Jesus Christ known to the world. He and his family have traveled and lived in such diverse places as Russia, Finland, France, Venezuela and now, Peoria, spreading the word and teaching the beliefs of his faith.
Mark was pleasantly surprised by the giant jar of Mt. Olive pickles and said they might make their way into this Sunday's sermon. I just may have to get up early and go to church for the first time in over 40 years to see this!
And here's Gumby getting in on the action. Okay, time for a tour of Mt. Olive.
Here's the lobby and welcome podium as you enter the church.
There's a flat screen TV in the lobby which shows announcements and other happenings that are going on when church is in session.
This is the Connection Room off to the side of the main area where people can come and meet to discuss topics and have meetings.
Mark told me that in this room...
They have coffee and doughnuts before the Sunday Worship.
And here's the doorway leading into the main room of the church where the Sunday Worship and Wednesday prayer meetings are held.
Mark told me that Mt. Olive has been in this location since about 1970. It's a modest church and they haven't moved because they prefer to use the money that's generated in their missionary work rather than use it to build a fancy new church. I respect that line of thinking.
Here's the front pulpit area and as you can see, they utilize music in their services and I like the instrumentation on stage. That's not your typical church organ there!
I've seen pianos in churches before...
But I've never seen a set of drums in a church! They rock out in here!
They have a big screen on the back wall and Mark told me there's a lot of visual interaction during the Sunday services here.
I really like the stone walls in here, it's a cool retro look they have going on.
The arched wooden ceiling in here is very nice.
Mark took the giganzo jar of Mt. Olive pickles and put them front and center in the pulpit area and said they might be part of this Sunday's service. Okay, that does it, I'm getting up early and going to Mt. Olive this Sunday at 10AM. Who else wants to join me? I'll bring the doughnuts! We'll see you all tomorrow if not this Sunday!