Mt. Olive Baptist Church has served Albuquerque’s Black community since before New Mexico’s statehoodLeila Chapa and Paloma Chapa | February 26
When Tabytha Watson moved to New Mexico from Texas in 1898, the state did not have a Baptist church. To fill that need, Watson began organizing prayer days and Sunday school classes in her Albuquerque home located on Fourth St. and Copper Ave., according to Historic Fairview Cemetery. However, her ministry didn’t end there. One year later, Watson sought expansion and led the formation of the Mount Olive Baptist Church. Together with her church members, Watson raised enough funds to purchase a $135 lot on Lead Ave. Soon after, services moved from Watson’s home to the new building in Downtown Albuquerque, according to Historic Fairview Cemetery. Today, Mt. Olive is recognized as the first Black Baptist Church to open its doors in New Mexico.