Oklahoma City pastor is grateful for clergy mentors
The new senior pastor of Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church in Oklahoma City is grateful for his clergy mentors and ready for the challenge of leading a church in the 21st century.
Editor's note: This story is part of an ongoing series about new clergy leaders in the metro area.
The Rev. Ray Douglas said he has a healthy respect for the preachers who came before him.
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Douglas, the new senior pastor of Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church, said the church's previous leader was one of his greatest mentors, and another well-known clergyman also gave him much guidance.
Douglas, 47, became the fourth senior pastor of Mount Olive, 1020 NE 42, in March after serving as an associate pastor from 2004-2011 and assistant pastor beginning in July 2011. The late Rev. A. Glenn Woodberry, the church's longtime pastor, died in September 2011 after serving in the position since 1984.
“I came to Mount Olive, and Pastor Woodberry sent me to a lot of places on his behalf,” Douglas said.
“He really embraced and cared about younger preachers. Oftentimes, preachers don't have time to mentor younger pastors.”
Before Woodberry, there was the Rev. J.A. Reed, senior pastor of Fairview Baptist Church, 1700 NE 7.
Douglas said he grew up at Fairview, and Reed baptized, mentored and ordained him into the ministry. He said he also served as Reed's assistant for several years.
As Douglas prepares for the church's 102nd anniversary celebration on Sunday — the first with him as pastor — he said he is grateful for the years he spent with the two older men and his time at Mount Olive before becoming its senior pastor.
“I think Mount Olive is the best church this side of heaven,” he said, smiling. “I think everybody should be at Mount Olive.”
Douglas and his wife of 22 years, Angela, have four adult children.
He said he grew up in church and can identify with many third- and fourth-generation Mount Olive members because of that.