We stopped by Mt. Olive Apostolic Original Holy Church of God in Menlo Park’s Belle Haven neighborhood early this afternoon during the church’s open house and community BBQ, where music was provided by members of the youth choir (above). Mt. Olive has been an active part of the Belle Haven community since 1961, but this is the congregation’s first open house, according to one of the organizers, Ophelia Wray, who took us on a tour of the sanctuary (left) and other church buildings that provide space for their many programs and services.
In addition to worship activities – Sunday services are at 11:00 am and 7:00 pm – church members are involved with various outreach efforts, which include feeding the homeless, providing assistance in hospitals, visiting residents of Lytton Gardens and hosting meals at the Ronald McDonalds House.
In the day’s program, founder and pastor Dr. H.L. Bostic writes, “I’d like to briefly highlight one of the programs founded by our church to specifically address the issues in the Belle Haven community. Our Crime Prevention Narcotics and Drugs Education Center serves the community through educational programs designed to help both youth and adults reach their full potential…For over 40 years, CDNDEC has kept up the momentum of breaking through the barriers of poverty and violence and continuing to fight against these destructive forces in our community.”
Thanks to the church members manning the various informational tables and displays, a spirit of welcome pervaded the day’s festivities. Not surprising for a church whose motto is “The friendly church with the friendly pastor!”