Dr. Olivier Bala was born on March 23 in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa. He immigrated to the United States in 1977 when he was 14 years old. Accepting Jesus Christ, at age of 13, he knew God’s hand was on his life and became diligent in spending much time in prayer, which is the pillar of his life and ministry.His favorite song is Trust and Obey; and one of his many favorite verses is John 15:16 “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” With this, he is always ready to lead others to his Savior.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Gordon College, Beverly, Massachusetts in 1987; his Masters of Divinity in 1995, and his Doctorate of Ministry in Spiritual Formation in 2013 from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton MA.
He has been on the church pastoral staff since 1988. In 1995 he was ordained by the American Baptist Church of Rhode Island (ABCORI) and has been the pastor of Mount Hope Community Baptist Church, Providence, Rhode Island for the past 25 years, and the Senior Pastor since 1996.
Part of Dr. Bala’s vision is to make MHCBC a “house of prayer for all people,” and to encourage the congregation to be passionate about prayer, recognizing that God has given us this invitational promise in Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
In 1990 he married his wife Lydia. They have two adult daughters, Christine and Kelsey.
Christine A. Monteiro is the Children and Youth Director at Mount Hope Community Baptist Church. She was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island and grew up here at the church.
She has always had a heart for children and has felt the call to work with the youth of the church to help them grow closer to God and reach their personal and spiritual potential. Some of her duties, as the Children and Youth Director include planning, coordinating and supervising all Children and Youth Ministry activities, including field trips, conferences, fundraisers, and Vacation Bible School. Ms. Monteiro also counsels students one-on-one, and organizes and teaches middle school and high school classes.
She attended Eastern Nazarene College for a year where she studied communication and theater; but it was not until working, for Lifespan/Gateway Healthcare in Arcadia Home for Children, as a Milieu Therapist where she realized the impact she could have on youth. As a Milieu Therapist, Ms. Monteiro worked with children and adolescents with various developmental disorders and trauma including autism, psychosis, ADD/ADHD, OCD, ODD, sexual abuse, physical/emotional abuse, learning disabilities, and neurological disorders, just to name a few. She is also certified in CPR/first aid and trained in Safetycare Behavioral Safety, Unsafe Item Search, Solution Oriented Therapy, and Trauma Informed Care. It was during this experience that she began to pursue a degree in Psychology at the Community College of Rhode Island.
To unwind during her busy schedule, she loves to sit down with a good book or watch a movie. She also enjoys baking and putting together origami creations!
Maria (Valles) Anderson was born to Cape Verdean parents in the Fox Point section of Providence on February 1, 1937. She is one of seven children of Domingo and Jennie Valles. She has lived in Rhode Island all her life and attended Providence schools, graduating from Hope High School in 1954.After graduating from Hope High. Ms. Anderson started her career as a secretary in the Providence School Department in September 1954. After retiring from that position in July 1996, she began working as secretary of Mount Hope Community Baptist Church in September 1996.
Ms. Anderson has two sons Marc and Todd, and two grandchildren and two great-grand children.