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Church Relations at University of Mount Olive

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The University of Mount Olive and the Original Free Will Baptist Church have always enjoyed a strong, close working relationship. In 1951, the Church gave birth to the College, and not long after being born, the College has served as a resource to the Church. At the heart of the mission of the University of Mount Olive is service to our founding church. The College serves its students, its founding church, and the community. We serve the Church by preparing ministers, musicians and educators for service. At the same time, the University of Mount Olive educates all of its students with an eye to effective citizenship in the kingdom of God.

The mission of the Office of Church Relations is to cultivate a strong working relationship between the University of Mount Olive and the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists.

This office was first created to assist the Church as it faithfully provided financial support to the University of Mount Olive. As the office has developed and grown, we have actively sought ways in which the University of Mount Olive can be an effective resource to the Church. This includes providing preachers for Sunday worship services, musicians who help lead worship, and the portfolios of College alumni who are eligible to serve congregations in ministry. At the same time, the Office of Church Relations helps the University understand the mission and needs of the Church so that the University can serve its founding Church more effectively.

Church Dinners

From its beginning, one of the main focuses of this office was the annual fund campaign known as the “Church Dinners.”  The dinners are held each fall in a 20-county-wide area of Eastern North Carolina.

This program has helped to cultivate the relationship between the Church and the University. The dinner program also provides an excellent source of continuing interaction between the Church and the University. Since the dinners began, the Church has consistently supported the annual fund program with more than $14 million through this program alone.  

In more recent years, a focus has been on Bridge Builders. A Bridge Builder is an individual or church organization that gives an unrestricted gift of $150 or more at their county dinner. Six categories are included as Bridge Builders:

Golden Club $2,500 and above
Founders Club $2,000 to $2,499
Trustees Club $1,000 to $1,999
Presidents Club $500 to $999
Heritage Club $250 to $499
College Club $150 to $249

Donors contributing $1,000 or more qualify as University of Mount Olive Society members.

Serving the Church, Our Students & the Community

Service to the Original Free Will Baptist Church

  • Offers an educational program for ministers (both traditional and nontraditional formats)
  • Offers the course, “The Free Will Baptist Church,” which includes a study of the history, policy, doctrine and programs of the Free Will Baptist denomination
  • Offers research information through the Free Will Baptist Historical Collection, which houses over 15,000 items relating to the history of all Free Will Baptists
  • Partners with Campbell University Divinity School to offer course work toward a Master of Divinity degree


Financial Assistance for Free Will Baptist Students

  • Provides grants for licensed and ordained ministerial students
  • Provides an annual grant of $3,000 to qualified Free Will Baptist students who are enrolled full time in the traditional program at the Mount Olive location


Outreach Services

  • Provides microfilm services to preserve church records/minutes
  • Each February, provides opportunity for churches to attend a basketball game at FWB Church Night
  • Provides educational and spiritual enrichment lectures, conferences and institutes at UMO, Cragmont Assembly, and at FWB Churches
  • Offers buffet lunch in the dining hall on Sundays from 11:30-2:00 pm at a cost of $8.50 for adults and $4.25 for children under 12
  • Provides facilities that serve as a meeting place
  • Provides entire campus for the annual Convention of Original Free Will Baptists