Val Verde County Historical Commission
Del Rio’s African-American population has been part of the Del Rio community since the community's beginnings, appearing in the 1870 and 1880 Censuses. The early church history of these African-Americans is mostly lost to memory. A church listed as the "First Colored Baptist Church" bought property on Block 4A in 1890. Considering 1890 predates the establishment of the Catholic, First Baptist, Episcopal and all but one of the Methodist churches, this could be the second church established in Del Rio. Still, within a decade, the church disappeared before 1899.1 A number of other African-American congregations existed in Del Rio in the early twentieth-century.
Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church is the longest lived of the congregations associated with Del Rio's African-American community. When organized during the 1920s and during the 1930s, the 1940s, and the 1950s, the congregation resided on West Peirce Street, several blocks west of the downtown area. During the 1940s, the word "Greater" was added to the church name. In the late 1950s, the church moved to 911 Peirce. In 1974, the church moved to its present location, 920 North Main Street. In 2005, the congregation enlarged the building, and the church continues to serve the community today.2
1. Deed Records, Vol. 4, page 53; Vol. 7, page 567; Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1917, 1924, 1930, 1930-1948; City Directory, 1938; Deed Records, Vol. 4, page 53 (and Vol. 2, page 116; Vol. 3, pages 539, 295).
2. Telephone Directory, 1933; City Directories, [various]; Deed Records, Vol. 276, pages 206, 268.
The next pages are a copy of the congregation's history of Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church, maintained and updated by the congregation.