History of Mt Olive


Hoisted high, the workers place the outdoor cross into position.
LCMS cross is lift­ed into posi­tion in 2012.

A New Congregation 1965

Rev. Richard Raedeke began pro­claim­ing Christ Jesus to the res­i­dents of West Yaki­ma and the West Val­ley area in June of 1965.  By Sep­tem­ber he had inter­est­ed 50 fam­i­lies in start­ing a new con­gre­ga­tion.  On Sep­tem­ber 21, 1965, one hun­dred, twen­ty-four peo­ple gath­ered at Sum­mitview School for the first wor­ship ser­vice as Mount Olive Luther­an Church.

Present Location 1967

The Holy Spir­it guid­ed this new fam­i­ly of believ­ers, giv­ing them a vision of what could be. Dur­ing the next two years they con­tin­ued to use Sum­mitview School as the base for the min­istry God had giv­en them until they ded­i­cat­ed the present site and build­ing to the Lord in 1967.

Locat­ed in Yakima’s West Val­ley area, Mt. Olive con­tin­ues to reach out to the greater Yaki­ma area. The church expe­ri­enced steady growth since its found­ing in 1965 but lost some num­bers from about 2012 to 2014 dur­ing the peri­od we searched for a new pas­tor.

We are qui­et­ly deter­mined “to be active dis­ci­ples of Christ by attract­ing and lead­ing the non-churched to Christ, encour­ag­ing uncom­mit­ted Chris­tians to con­se­crate them­selves to God’s plan for their lives, while pro­vid­ing a cli­mate for spir­i­tu­al growth which equips believ­ers for wor­ship and a dynam­ic min­istry serv­ing the Yaki­ma area and beyond.” 

Constitution -2002

Click on this link to view.

Mt. Olive Luther­an Church Con­sti­tu­tion and Bylaws

Photo of the A-Frame Sanctuary as seen from the street
Sanc­tu­ary seen from Tieton Dri­ve before the cur­rent LCMS cross was installed


Mount Olive Luther­an Church’s orig­i­nal build­ing only includ­ed today’s sanc­tu­ary.  Over the years since the found­ing of Mount Olive Luther­an Church and build­ing on the cur­rent site, we have expand­ed our build­ing sev­er­al times to meet the needs of a grow­ing fam­i­ly of believ­ers.

The east wing, which includ­ed class­rooms and a small fel­low­ship hall, then the

Photo from the Narthex of the Fireside Room entrance including young ladies with palm branches in their hands
Fire­side Room entrance on Palm Sun­day

Fire­side Room, and then the Narthex were built dur­ing the first decades after our found­ing.








In Sep­tem­ber 1992, Mt. Olive estab­lished a Chris­t­ian Preschool.

West Wing

Photo of the west wing showing the NW entrance with gravel parking lot
West Wing addi­tion to our build­ing near com­ple­tion in1995

Photo of a crane lifing roof trusses into place during construction of the west wing

Con­struc­tion began in April 1995, with Labor­ers for Christ, on the West Wing class­rooms.  They fin­ished that project in the ear­ly fall of the same year.  Mem­ber Dick Thomas served as the project man­ag­er.

Aeral photo of Mt Olive Church with the west wing unfinished and the current Child Care building across the parking lot.
This Aer­al pho­to was tak­en while the Preschool wing was still under con­struc­tion.

We also hired a con­trac­tor to build the house to the north of the main church build­ing, orig­i­nal­ly used as a par­son­age, that now hous­es the Son­Shine Child Care pro­gram.

Photo of the Preschool Wing from Tieton Dr before the playground was built or the driveway paved
Preschool Wing from Tieton Dr. before the dri­ve­way was paved or the play­ground equip­ment installed.

Fellowship Hall

Our Fel­low­ship Hall project was begun by the con­gre­ga­tion, again with help from Labor­ers for Christ, in April 2006. In all of these build­ing projects many mem­bers of the con­gre­ga­tion con­tributed a great deal of the labor.  On the new Fel­low­ship Hall, Dick Thomas was again project man­ag­er for his home con­gre­ga­tion. He said that 50 peo­ple from our con­gre­ga­tion par­tic­i­pat­ed in help­ing to lift the first wall into place by hand. The ded­i­ca­tion of our new Fel­low­ship Hall was held in ear­ly 2007.

Picture of the plaque placed on the newest addition to our building saying "Built to the Glory of God with the help of volunteers and Laborers for Christ April 2007"
This plaque com­mem­o­rates the con­tri­bu­tions of the mem­bers of our con­gre­ga­tion and the Labor­ers for Christ to build­ing our new Fel­low­ship Hall.



Pho­tos of pre­vi­ous pas­tors who have led our con­gre­ga­tion are dis­played in the hall­way to the Fel­low­ship Hall. Rev­erends:

Richard Raed­ke 1965–69, Robert Nicho­lus 1969–1978, Lyle Stuer­hem­berg 1978–84, Wal­lace Mis­terek 1984–1993, James Zirkle 1994–96, Paul Schmitz 1996–98 Vacan­cy Pas­tor, Toby Joeck­el 1998–2011, Vic­tor Lil­lich 2005–2011 -Vis­i­ta­tion Pas­tor.

Photo of a framed portrait of a smiling man with a pastor's collar
Richard Raed­ke 1965–1969
Photo of a framed picture of a man with glasses wearing a tie and jacket
Robert Nicho­lus 1969–1978
Photo of a framed picture of a man seated wearing a jacket and a pastor's collar
Lyle Stuer­hem­berg 1978–1984
Photo of a framed picture of a man with glasses and a mustache wearing a jacket and a tie
Wal­lace Mis­terek 1984–1993
Photo of a framed picture of a man with a beard and mustache and wearing a pastor's collar
James Zirkle 1994–1996
Photo of a framed picture of a man with glasses wearing a jacket and tie
Paul Schmitz 1996–98 Vacan­cy Pas­tor
Photo of a framed picture of a man with a mustache dressed in black with a pastor's collar
Toby Joeck­el 1998–2011
Photo of a framed picture of a man with a white shirt and jacket
Vic­tor Lil­lich 2005–2011 -Vis­i­ta­tion Pas­tor

The mem­bers of Mt. Olive are grate­ful and thank­ful for all the God­ly men who have guid­ed and led our con­gre­ga­tion through the years.

Our current Pastor Ken:
Protrait of Kenneth L. Williamson
Pas­tor Ken

Ken­neth L. Williamson is the cur­rent pas­tor 2014—present.

Pas­tor Ken summed up the his­to­ry of Mount Olive Luther­an Church in prayer at a recent ser­vice:

Heav­en­ly and gra­cious Father, I thank you that you are a faith­ful God, that the sto­ry You are writ­ing here at Mt. Olive is a tes­ti­mo­ny to Your faith­ful­ness and how You have guid­ed us along step by step, all the way, since 1965 with the found­ing, to the build­ing of the edu­ca­tion­al wing in 1995, through the build­ing of the fel­low­ship hall in 2007 and now with your call­ing of me as your 8th pas­tor.  Lord God, we trust You com­plete­ly to guide us in the future.”  —30 Mar 2014 Ser­mon

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