Church Support

The mission of the Office of Church Outreach is to cultivate a strong working relationship between the University of Mount Olive and the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists.

The office was first created to assist the Church as it faithfully provided financial support to the University of Mount Olive. As the office has developed and grown, it has actively sought ways to be an effective resource to the Church. At the same time, Church Relations helps the University understand the mission and needs of the Church so that the University can serve its founding Church more effectively.

UMO Sunday

A key focus of Church Relations is the annual fund campaign known as the “UMO Sunday,” which are held each fall in 20 eastern North Carolina counties. Since 1963, this program has helped to cultivate the relationship between the Church and the University. Over the past 55 years the Church has consistently supported the annual fund program with gifts totaling more than $15 million.

In more recent years, a focus has been on Bridge Builders. A Bridge Builder is an individual or church organization that gives an unrestricted gift of $150 or more. Six categories are included as Bridge Builders:

Donors contributing $1,000 or more qualify as University of Mount Olive Society members.

Golden Club $2,500 and above
Founders Club $2,000 to $2,499
Trustees Club $1,000 to $1,999
Presidents Club $500 to $999
Heritage Club $250 to $499
College Club $150 to $249

If you would like to donate to UMO Sunday online, click here!

Serving The Church, Our Students, & The Community

Academic Courses

The University of Mount Olive provides courses in theology, biblical studies, pastoral leadership,  church history, and a course in the history of the Original Free Will Baptist denomination.  A grant of $3,000 yearly is given to qualified Free Will Baptist students who are enrolled full time in the traditional program.

Free Will Baptist Historical Collection

  • Offers research information through the Free Will Baptist Historical Collection, which houses over 15,000 items relating to the history of all Free Will Baptists.
  • Provides microfilm and scanning services to preserve church records/minutes. Efforts are underway to provide digitization as well. In addition, churches are encouraged to deposit their original records to the Manuscripts collection.

The Barrow Family Endowed Fund for Christian Ministries

The Barrow Family Endowed Fund for Christian Ministries was established in 1981 as a memorial to John Owens Barrow and Ida Harrison Barrow, and in honor and memory of their children.

The expressed purpose of the Fund is to foster the relationship between the University of Mount Olive and the Original Free Will Baptist Church and to promote Christian scholarship.

The Fund established a Barrow Professorship in Biblical Studies at the University.

In 2015, Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter, former President of the University of Mount Olive, established the Barrow Center for Church Leadership.

The Fund has supported many different ministries of the University, including the annual Barrow Lectures and the Challenge: Exploring God’s Call for High School Students.

Additional Outreach Services

  • Each February, provides opportunity for churches to attend a basketball game at FWB Church Night
  • Provides educational and spiritual enrichment lectures, conferences and institutes at UMO, Cragmont Assembly, and at FWB Churches
  • Provides entire campus for the annual Convention of Original Free Will Baptists

Mantle Bearers Project

The Mantle Bearers Project serves eastern NC ministers through interpersonal and professional development opportunities. Such opportunities include a year-long cohort, Mantle Bearer Meet-Up Meals, and coaching training within the International Coaching Federation model. For more information, email Dustin Bannister, Director of Thriving in Ministry, at