Our Story

The Mount Lebanon Baptist Church was organized and founded on May 24, 1924 by Reverend Hiram Edmund Smith. The church with five founding members met in a 10' by 10' room at 1410 Ward Street. Rev. Smith was ordained on June 20, 1924 and he led the congregation for 40 years – from May 1924 to May 1964. Because of church growth and greater opportunities, Pastor Smith led the church in four moves; 1925, 1933, 1940 and in 1954 to 2320 Reisterstown Road, the last location under his pastorate. The church known as “The Church with the Family Atmosphere” grew spiritually and numerically. We worshipped at that location for the next 34 years. On a Sunday in June 1961, Pastor Smith, introduced the Reverend Olin Preston Moyd to the congregation, the man destined to become our second Pastor. Reverend Moyd, his wife Marie and their four daughters joined the church in June 1961.

Pastor Smith passed away in May 1964 and in June 1964, Rev. Moyd was unanimously elected Pastor. Pastor Moyd continued the great vision for the church and immediately began to create ministries to address the needs of the people and carry us into the 21st century. In 1976, the congregation purchased land at 2812-14 Reisterstown Road, but it was not until July 24, 1988 that we finally moved into our multi-million dollar edifice.

Following the path that Pastor Smith had paved, Pastor Olin Preston Moyd set a goal for himself to lead the Mount Lebanon congregation for forty years. In addition to organizing a Christian Education Ministry, he led the congregation into establishing a Federal Credit Union in 1972, Project ’81 and Freedom ’21 all focused on developing the people spiritually, morally and physically. Known as the Pastor who went from G.E.D. to Ph. D, Pastor Moyd led the area in Christian Education and involvement in State and National Conventions. In May 2004, Pastor Moyd, realizing that his 40 th Anniversary was approaching and that his health was failing, appointed our third Pastor, the Reverend Franklin Lance. In July, 2004, we celebrated the 40th Pastoral Anniversary of Pastor Olin P. Moyd, an “occasion second to none.”

On the First Sunday, July 3, 2005, Pastor Moyd received his eternal reward and went home to be with the Lord.

Expanding the vision...

Our third Pastor, Reverend Franklin Lance, D. Min., was appointed Pastor in May 2004. He joined the Mount Lebanon Church in 1988. He knew he had a calling to preach and gave his initial sermon in December 1990.

Pastor Lance was installed as our third Pastor in January 2005 and our period of “Latter Rain” began. He, his wife, First Lady, Benita Hicks Lance and their son David, continue to lead us in the Smith and Moyd traditions. Pastor Lance is known for his preaching on Sundays at 7:45 am and 10:45 am is also known for his great teaching “TNT” (Thursday night teaching) each Thursday at 7:00 pm. The church comfortably seats approximately 900 people, has two 10’ by 10’ screens to enhance the worship experience, and a masterful mix of cedar and burgundy which make the sanctuary a beautiful place in which to worship. As a result of Mt. Lebanon's historic vision and wonderful use of architecture, every seat in Mt. Lebanon is a good seat and each one provides a great view of the pulpit and baptismal pool. Mt. Lebanon has a full service kitchen with a 180 seat capacity dining hall, bridal suite, state-of-the-art-media room, apparel store, conference
rooms, 4 classrooms, and a fully furnished chapel located in our lower level.