Under the leadership of the Reverend Joseph G. Lennon, a Methodist “circuit rider,”a group of residents set about to establish a church in Manteo. The first parcel of land on which Mount Olivet United Methodist Church now stands was purchased for $26.50 in May 1887 and consisted of “one half acre more or less.” A wooden church 32×50 feet was constructed in the fall of 1887 for $1,500. It was a one-room building with a steeple, a vestibule and two s.
In 1907 classrooms and a choir loft were added and about the same time the first library in the area was established in the church. In 1947 an educational building was added on property previously purchased, and in 1978 the current fellowship hall, offices, and kitchen were constructed.
1983 Services were temporarily moved to the fellowship hall, and with great attention to maintaining the historic appearance, a major enlargement was made to the sanctuary. The exterior walls were moved outward, and a narthex was built with a new entrance.
The old stained glass windows were relocated, and many new stained glass windows were added. 1985 The new sanctuary was dedicated. Stephens and Francis, the architects, won the Dumont Award for their work on the renovation of Mount Olivet. 1994 A newer parsonage was purchased on Meekins Dr. 2005 A donated pipe organ was rebuilt, installed, and dedicated. The old parsonage, called the “Fish House” by many, was converted to a youth house. The stained glass windows were extensively refurbished.
2009 Handicapped accessible changes were made, including paving the parking lot and installing an elevator.