Mt. Olive gets new pastor, family

Published 9:40 am Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pastor Damion Sneed is the new pastor at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Ironton. The Tribune/Jessica St. James

Mt. Olive Baptist Church will have an official installation ceremony Sunday for its new pastor. Already he and his family are settling into life in Ironton.

The Rev. Damion Sneed began his pastorship a few weeks ago. A native of Dayton, Sneed was not familiar with southern Ohio until he got the call to come here.

“A year ago after I was ordained I got a call from another pastor who was a deputy in the Ohio Baptist General Convention,” Sneed explained. “He said ‘there’s a church in Ironton I want you to put in for.’ The chairman of the deacon board set up a time for me to come. I came in August of last year. I guess they liked me. They invited me back in October, January and March and then they voted in April.”

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Sneed is a 2005 graduate of Cedarville University. He served after that as director of Christian education for Greater St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton.

Sneed said he hopes to focus on discipleship in his new position. As inspiration, he points to the first verse in the Book of Acts, Chapter 2, which reads, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord and in one place.”

“I think this is very important to us as Christians,” Sneed said. “Jesus told us to go into all the world and make disciples. So it’s incumbent upon all of us as Christians to (be good disciples). I feel we need to work on ourselves before we can work in the community. I’m not saying we can’t be witnesses in the community but we’ve got to get our own house in order before we can make a deep impact on the community at large.”

He pointed out that Jesus spent much time with his disciples and gave them the opportunity to go out into the world and be agents for change — but first he trained them.

Sneed and his wife, Jennifer, have been married eight years and have two children with one on the way. His daughter, Soteria (the name is Greek for “Salvation”) will be 5 this week. Jeremiah is 2. Baby number three is due in December.

The installation service will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at neighboring First Baptist Church of Ironton, corner of Fifth and Vernon streets. More than 200 people are coming from his home church in Dayton for the service.