A Look Back on the Life of Mount Olive Baptist Church Senior Pastor N.L. Robinson
By Office of Communication
Posted on April 28, 2017, April 28, 2017

Pastor N.L.

Mount Olive Baptist Church Senior Pastor Dr. Norman Lee Robinson
Photo Credit: Mount Olive Baptist Church website

Dr. Norman Lee Robinson's congregation was only 17 members total when he began pastoring Mount Olive Baptist Church in 1966. But under his decades of vision and leadership, the Downtown Arlington church grew to more than 12,000 members strong and launched dozens of ministries that helped make Mount Olive a cornerstone of the community.

Senior Pastor N.L. Robinson, a well-known and beloved community leader, died on Friday, April 28. He was 96.

Mount Olive Baptist Church, 301 W. Sanford St., celebrated a century of service in 1997. Among its many ministries, the church created the nonprofit Water from the Rock, which assists economically disadvantaged individuals, and Arlington New Beginnings, a housing complex to serve low-income seniors.

The Rev. Robinson, a United States Army veteran who served during World War II, worked for the Dallas Housing Authority from 1946 until his retirement in 1976, according to his church biography. A graduate of the Southern Bible Institute of Dallas, Dr. Robinson began his ministry at St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Grand Prairie in 1962. He was also briefly a pastor at Lucille Baptist Church in Palmer before joining Mount Olive Baptist Church in Arlington in 1966.

In recognition of his years of service to his congregation and the community, the Rev. Robinson received keys to both the City of Arlington and the City of Grand Prairie. In 1992, the City of Arlington also renamed a section of North West Street which runs alongside Mount Olive Baptist Church as 'N.L. Robinson Drive.'

The City of Arlington lowered its flags half staff from Saturday, April 29 to Saturday, May 6 in memory of the Rev. Robinson.

The Rev. Robinson is preceded in death by his wife Pearl Marie Taylor Robinson. He is survived his three daughters and their spouses, as well as numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

In 2015, the Rev. Robinson sat down with the City of Arlington's Office of Communication to talk about living his American Dream and how he and his church have helped others in the community. You can watch that video here.

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