The Mt. Olive Baptist Church, located at 307 North 16th St., will honor Pastor Llewellyn E. and Sister Darlene Terry on their Silver Anniversary with special services this Sunday.

The Mt. Olive Baptist Church, located at 307 North 16th St., will honor Pastor Llewellyn E. and Sister Darlene Terry on their Silver Anniversary with special services this Sunday.
The Rev. Dwayne Courtney, associate minister of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church of North Little Rock, will be the guest speaker for the morning worship at 11. The guest speaker for the 3 p.m. celebration will be Dr. Christopher Bullock of New Castle, Delaware.
Terry was born on June 30, 1956 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to the late Rev. A. William Terry and Mrs. Romanetha Terry. He is the eldest of four children; Reginald, John and Angela.
“I’m what you call a ‘P.K’ (preacher’s kid). People say ‘P.Ks’ are the worst kids. I don’t know why they pick on us, but we are no different from anybody else,” Terry said.
He and his family moved to Arkadelphia when he was seven. He completed first and second grades in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and the remainder of his public school education in Arkadelphia. He surrendered to the call of the gospel ministry in 1982 and was licensed and ordained in the ministry at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in 1983, under the pastorate of his father. Prior to accepting the call to the preaching ministry he served as a deacon, trustee, usher and choir director. He remained in Arkadelphia to attend Ouachita Baptist University and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion in 1986.
After graduation he and his family moved to Kentucky. In May of 1990, he received a Masters of Divinity degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. While living in Louisville, he and his family became members of the New Zion Baptist Church, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. A. Russell Awkard. It was there that he gained valuable experience in the ministry as he served in the capacity of Coordinator of the Leadership Council, hosted the radio and television ministries, and participated in other ministries, as time allowed, as he was also a full-time student.
Terry received the call to serve as pastor of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church in June of 1992 and was installed as pastor on the fourth Sunday in August. He succeeded his father, the late Rev. A. William Terry, who passed away on April 15, 1992.
As the son of a pastor, Terry said it was not initially assumed that he would follow in his father’s footsteps as a minister of the gospel.
“They probably expected my brother Reginald, but probably not me,” said Terry.
In addition, Terry said he was not pressured to become a minister. Llewellyn preached his first sermon less than one year before his brother Reginald. Their youngest brother, John, started preaching years later.
Terry describes the call to return to Arkadelphia to serve as the pastor of the church his father started as a “challenge to think about.”
Terry said he was contacted by his father in January of 1992. The elder Terry contacted Llewellyn regarding the possibility of returning to Arkadelphia to assist him at Mt. Olive.
“I’m not so sure if he was aware that he was sick,” said Terry, who added he took some time to think about and pray over the proposal given by his father.
“I had to figure this out. How am I going to come back and help him? This is a small church in a small town and I have to take care of my family,” Terry said.
Shortly after extending the call to his son for assistance, A.William found out he only had a few weeks to live.
After the death of his father, Terry said he had no idea that Mt. Olive would extend the call to him to serve as their next pastor.
“I still had to pray long and hard because I’m coming back to my hometown, everybody knows you and it means I have to work,” said Terry.
At the time, Terry was looking to settle in a larger city and was a pastoral candidate for a church in Detroit. He was also a finalists for a church in Topeka and for another church in Des Moines.
“It just wasn’t for me to go, but the experience was good,” Terry said.
After much prayer, Terry accepted the call to return to Arkadelphia to pastor Mt. Olive.
“I prayed long and hard and 25 years later, I’m still praying long and hard,” said Terry.
According to Terry, serving as pastor of your home church can be challenging. The call to pastor Mt. Olive was his first pastorate.
“I can’t figure out why, to this day, I am still here other than I am listening to the voice of God to stay here,” Terry said.
Terry said there have been accomplishments at Mt. Olive during the last 25 years. He noted a time during the 90s when attendance for Wednesday night Bible Study was approximately 50.
The church experienced an increase in college students and had a young adult ministry who was heavily involved in tutorial programs at the church.
Recently, the church has undergone renovations to its sanctuary and fellowship hall under The Nehemiah Project. The project also contained new wiring of the entire church.
Recently, Mt. Olive receive a $4,000 gift from the Canaan Baptist Church, of New Castle, Delaware, under the leadership of Dr. Christopher Bullock. This gift allowed the church to purchase and install the new signage in August of this year which now stands in front of the church near the 16th Street front.
The Nehemiah Project will be complete upon the pavement of the parking lot and the liquidation of the churches’ $50,000 debt which is less than half over. The next phase of ministry is to erect a multipurpose building on the adjacent property that was given to the church. Terry’s vision is to reach every child and adult through the ministry of the church.
In addition, the church has given to local, state and foreign missions and strives to meet the needs of the community.
Terry has dedicated himself to the gospel ministry through his preaching here and abroad, to community involvement, and to his educational achievements. To the latter, he has recently reached another pinnacle by earning a second advanced degree. In May of 2016, he earned his Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
His experience as a hospital chaplain was another milestone, as he completed the Clinical Pastoral Education Program (CPE) certification at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas. His core area of work and interest was the Emergency Room (ER) and he served as the Chief Resident of Chaplains there. It was then that he learned that the role of the hospital chaplain entails more than reading scriptures and praying with the patient. He realized that it was more about developing core relationships with others and allowing oneself to be used by God in everyday situations.
As pastor he continues to stress personal responsibility and accountability through discipleship training in new member classes, bible study and Sunday School. He has completed Bible study lessons over several New Testament books and topical lessons as well.
Pastor Terry’s commitment to community involvement has lent his talents to the Clark County Branch of the NAACP. He is also a former member of Arkadelphia 2025 Commission, a former United Way board member, and was appointed Pro-Chairman of the Census 2000 Committee for Arkadelphia.
He has served as the graduate advisor of the Theta Alpha Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi., Inc. on the campus of Henderson State University and presently the Vice Polemarch of the Alumni Chapter. Rev. Terry currently serves on various boards in Arkadelphia and is a volunteer chaplain for the Clark County Sheriff’s Department. He is presently employed by Rainbow Junction, where he serves as a Direct Service Provider (DSP).
He and his wife are the parents of three children and have three grandchildren. Part of his vision for the Mt. Olive family includes a consistent prayer life within the church. His vision also includes a strong Bible study and Christian Education Program. Pastor Terry is a firm believer in the words of the hymn, “Only What You Do For Christ Will Last”.