David P. Olcott, beloved pastor at the Rose Hill Baptist Church in Marietta, delivered his last sermon in May 2011 before retiring at age 84.
Olcott was born in Oak Hill, N.Y. He joined the U.S. Army shortly after World War II, and was stationed in Germany. After serving his term, he returned to Marietta where he met his wife, Bernice. They were married in October of 1949, and Olcott decided to follow his father's footsteps and attend Bible school to become a pastor.
Olcott preached at the Rose Hill Baptist Church for a total of 36 years. He began in July 1956 and immediately went to work bringing positive changes to the church. During his first years as pastor, Olcott had repairs done to Rose Hill Church such as repainting, re-shingling the roof and installing a new heating system. According to the church's records, Rose Hill saw "an increase in attendance in both Sunday school and the morning worship service" during Olcott's time at the church.
Olcott remained at Rose Hill for 12 years until he left in 1968 to start a new ministry in Angelica, N.Y. Twenty years later, Olcott returned to the Marietta church, where he preached every Sunday until last month.
"This church was the alpha and omega of his career," said Michael Plumpton, member of Rose Hill Baptist Church since 1988. "The beginning and the end."
Alongside his wife, Bernice, Olcott once again went back to work both preaching and renovating Rose Hill Baptist Church to better suit its members. In June of 1994, Olcott proposed an expansion of the church to include a new wing, which would feature a nursery, kitchen, dining hall and recreation room. Construction began in 1997 and was completed in April of 1999.
According to James Dye, long-time member of Rose Hill Baptist Church, Bernice also had a hand in bringing welcomed changes to the church.