Dr. Jeff Olive has spent the last 15 years coaching and training pastors from Texas, across the country and throughout the world as church planters. And now, as Executive Pastor of Church Planting, he brings that vast knowledge and experience to The Woodlands Methodist Church.
“I feel incredibly blessed that our church is thinking beyond itself and wants to multiply the Kingdom and not just multiply its membership,” he says. “This speaks to a level and a depth of Christian discipleship that all churches strive toward.”
However, growing up in Scurry, Texas, where his father owned a chemical company, Jeff didn’t always feel the call to ministry. In his early twenties, while working for his father, he moved to Conroe to open a new warehouse. It was in Conroe, when he was 21, that he walked into a Methodist church and joined a Discipleship 1 Bible study. While participating in that study, he came to believe in Jesus and was baptized.
He also met his wife Sharla in that church. After they were married, he says, “I began a journey of exploration of Christian discipleship and growing in faith, eventually sensing the best and highest purpose for my life would be serving Christ in full-time ministry.”
After completing his bachelor’s at Sam Houston State University and pastoring a church in Splendora, Jeff and Sharla moved to East Texas. He pastored two churches while attending seminary, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 2003.
Jeff completed his Doctor of Ministry degree in 2009 while planting Dayspring Methodist Church, where he served as pastor until 2013 when he was named Director of New Church Development with the Texas Annual Conference. With a doctoral emphasis on church planting, Jeff was a great fit for his new role in the conference. While in that role, he helped plant TWMC’s Woodforest Campus.
After time serving as pastor of First United Methodist Conroe, Jeff was named Central North District Superintendent with the Texas Annual Conference. He supported 50 established churches in the conference but also began work to expand new congregations, starting several Hispanic congregations and helping district congregations move toward campus expansions.
In his role for TWMC, Jeff sees his position as having a two-pronged approach: recruit, assess, train and deploy new church pastors to start congregations, and look for strategic opportunities for campus expansions.
“We believe that starting new churches is one of the greatest opportunities to reach new people with the good news of Jesus,” he says. “I have invested much of the last 15 years in church planting and am excited to see what God does next.”
Jeff and Sharla live in The Woodlands and have two children: daughter Avery and son Anson.