The Mount Olivet Cemetery in Baltimore is the pre-eminent burial site for the Methodist Church in the United States, and perhaps the second most important graveyard for religious leaders after Princeton Cemetery in New Jersey. Among the notables interred here are numerous early church leaders and bishops, including luminaries such as Francis Asbury and John Emory. Mount Olivet is sometimes known as “The Resting Place of Methodist Bishops”.
The Mount Olivet Cemetery was one of the first major Methodist burial grounds and arguably the most famous. It was established in the mid 19th century outside of Baltimore, which was close to many of the earliest Methodist churches in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. A large number of eminent Methodist figures were buried there in the 1800s.
One of the first important burials at Mount Olivet was that of Robert Strawbridge. Strawbridge, a Protestant immigrant from Ireland, is credited with being the first true Methodist to resettle in the American colonies. While he died in the 1700s, his body was moved to Mount Olivet at a later date.
The 19th witnessed a number of important burials, most notably that of Francis Asbury, close friend of John Wesley, and the first true leader of the Methodist Church in the United States. Like Strawbridge, Asbury’s body was interred here years after his death. He was followed by prominent leaders Enoch George and John Emory. The latter became the namesake for Emory University in Georgia, an early seminary and now one of the leading colleges in the United States.
Prominent burials slowed after 1850, though not completely. Beverly Waugh, one of America’s best-known pastors of the mid-19th century, was buried here in 1858. Eli Stanley Jones, one of the most famous Christian missionaries in India at the end of the colonial era, was an associate of Gandhi and instrumental to changing western ideas about India. He was buried here in 1973.
Mount Olivet Cemetery is a large burial ground which, despite its age and history, still has significant unused areas. There is a groundkeeper’s house and cemetery office on the south side along Frederick Avenue.
Most of the major burials are near each other. The four early bishops, Francis Asbury, Enoch George, John Emory and Beverly Waugh, are all clustered together. Unfortunately, Mount Olivet Cemetery has been showing its age in recent years. Efforts are underway to improve the current condition of the burial grounds.
Mount Olivet Cemetery is located in a densely built-out suburban area approximately ten miles west of downtown Baltimore. As of this writing no visitor information was available. Web: http://lovelylane.net (official site of the church associated with Mount Olivet Cemetery).
Mount Olivet Cemetery is associated with the Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, the oldest Methodist church in Maryland, which is about two miles north of downtown Baltimore.