Mount Olivet, Lytham - Pentecostal
Mount Olivet Pentecostal Church was formed in 1922. The first Pastor was Pstr. James Hawkins. My grandmother Letitia Holding (maiden name Hardman) and my father and his sisters lived at no 10 Preston Rd and it was with this family that the pastor, a bachelor, resided for his full term. My great grand father James Hardman was amongst those who helped form the church. The builder was Eli Berry of Warton Street Lytham. In 1938 it was Eli's son Harold Berry who left the church as its first and only full time missionary in the then Belgian Congo. Harold met and married Alice Salter, she was grandaughter of Smith Wigglesworth, a well known and much quoted envangelist from Bradford. Harold Berry learned the building trade for his dad and employed his skills building churches and preaching in them. The present generation of his family still have a church and ministry in the Halfway House area near Johanesburg. The present pastor Peter De Finn is Harolds grandson. Both Harold and Alice are deceased. The Berrys spent there whole lives in Africa and although briefly retiring in Dorset UK they returned and ended their days in Africa. The building at 10 Preston Rd Lytham was very different from the present, it was basically two rooms, the main sunctuary and a back room where prayer meetings etc were held. There was a gallery and vestry and a kitchen, the toilets were out outdoors. Much later Pstr Alan Hocking added the new foyer and side rooms circa approx 1975. The present pastor Mario Mariani came from Zimbabwe 20 yrs ago and his first act was to connect the two rooms of main building into one, a move that was wise as numbers grew. My family were mostly involved as I will catalogue.. My maternal grandfather Tom Cowgill played violin along with Eli Berry, my Nanny Tom's wife washed the floors etc. my father Kenneth and his sister Dorothy were both good singers, dad was treasurer succeeded by his sister. Dorothy was Sunday school Superintendent and teacher booked visiting speakers and much more. Up to date I am treasurer and involved in ministry having just retired from much more. My two twin sisters are part of the congregation and other family members are loosely connected.
Information provided by Dave Holding
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