By Joy Cain and Elizabeth L. Phillips
The Mount Olivet Baptist Church (MOBC) in Peekskill is experiencing significant changes in 2014. Just a few weeks after celebrating its 121st Church Anniversary as a house of worship, MOBC’s Senior Pastor, the Reverend Dr. Adolphus C. Lacey, announced he is leaving to take on a new Pastorate assignment at Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn. His retirement from Mount Olivet is effective April 27, 2014. It is a transition that leaves both pastor and people feeling somewhat adrift.
“I’m torn,” says Rev. Lacey. “ I’m comfortable at Mount Olivet. I certainly love Mount Olivet and I know that Mount Olivet loves me. But I believe it is the move of God for me to go to Brooklyn. It’s not a promotion, it’s an assignment.
“ I don’t leave disappointed. I don’t leave angry. I’m not running. I’m not being chased out. And I refuse to believe that God would bless me and punish Mount Olivet. Mount Olivet is better now than it was when I got there, and it will be even better when the next pastor—he or she--gets here.”
Reverend Lacey came to Peekskill in 2005 with great anticipation and excitement. Accompanied by his beautiful wife, Minister Cheryl Matthews Lacey, and their two children, Cameryn and Matthew, the family quickly became an integral part of the church’s fabric. At the same time, God’s call on Pastor Lacey’s life was evident to the congregation in many ways. As a Spiritual Leader he taught, encouraged and helped guide congregants in the midst of life-changing events—births and deaths, weddings and funerals. Whether giving comfort in times of sorrow, sharing in celebrations, or providing guidance in times of uncertainty, Pastor Lacey has served MOBC faithfully and well.
“Mount Olivet taught me how to be a pastor. Nine years ago, I came here wet behind the ears. Being the Senior Pastor of MOBC has taught me patience; it taught me to temper my anger. It taught me skepticism, to trust and to verify. It taught me to love. It taught me forgiveness. It taught me resilience, to not to give up. It taught me how to dream.”
When some pastors transition to a new church, they barely hang around the old church long enough to preach a final sermon; not so in this case. From the time of his announcement, Rev. Lacey will have shepherded MOBC through eight weeks of normal church activity, including Bible study. He will also conduct this year’s Palm Sunday and Easter services. “Mount Olivet is a wonderful, unique place; we defy all of the paradigms and stereotypes,” Rev. Lacey says. “We’re not shutting down, we’re ramping up.”
The MOBC Church officers and members will use this transitional period to honor Pastor Lacey and his family for their dedication to the congregation and community. A Farewell Tribute Reception will be held on Saturday, April 26th, from 2pm - 6pm at the Villa Barone Hilltop Manor on Rt. 6 in Mahopac.
The festivities will include small plate hors d'oeuvres and a DJ and is open to the community, however tickets are required. Reception tickets are $30 per person for youth and adults alike. Reservations are required by April 16th and no tickets will be available at the door. In addition, a Tribute publication is being compiled; to have your name listed in this keepsake edition, an additional donation of $100 is requested. Please call the church office at 914-737-7567 or visit the church website for more details at www.mountolivetbc.org
About Mount Olivet Baptist Church
Under the dynamic leadership of its 14th Pastor, Reverend Dr Adolphus C. Lacey, Mount Olivet builds on the ideas and principles of his predecessors. It is Rev. Lacey’s prayer that Mount Olivet will be able to tap into resources and souls throughout Westchester county, including the poor, sick, wounded and afflicted. MOBC is not a building but a people, who are overflowing in God’s grace. Stay current and connected with MOBC by visiting the church website at www.mountolivetbc.org.