Our Founding Pastor Dr. James E. Lightfoot


Late Dr.James E. Lightfoot, Founding Pastor 1968-2012 is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ed Lightfoot of Bryan, Texas. He was born in Columbus Mississippi. He began his formal education in Columbia, Tennessee and graduated from E. A. Kemp High School in Bryan, Texas with honors. He holds a B.S. Degree from Texas Southern University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy. He started toward a major in Philosophy but had to change to psychology when the school no longer granted degrees in Philosophy. He holds a certificate in Pastoral Ministries from Southern Seminary and has done advance work at Southwestern Seminary. In these, his concentration was philosophy and ministry. He has completed a Master of Education in Administration at Texas Southern University. He holds a Master of Divinity from Houston Gradate School of Theology and a Doctorate of Ministries from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. At Houston Graduate and Austin Presbyterian the emphasis was on the philosophical implication of ministry as it is affected by today’s culture. He has done advance training at both Texas Southern University and Houston Graduate School of Theology in Counseling. He did an internship at Bellaire Columbia General in the Rapha Unit.

He served as a lecturer in church administration in the Central Baptist Convention and teaches Pastoral Ministry in the Sunday School and B.T.U. Congress. He was a conferee to the Transitional Church – Church Conference/Southern Baptist Convention. He was a conferee to the Victor Glass Conference, Louisville, Kentucky. He served as third Vice President to the Independent General District Sunday School and B.T.U. Congress. He serves as lecturer in the National Baptist Sunday School and B.T.U. Congress. Here he deals with the philosophical implications of Peace and Justice issues for the church in today’s world. He served on the Long Range Planning Committee 90/95 of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He is also serving on the Center for Counseling Committee of the Union Baptist Association of Houston, Texas. He serves as lecturer in the area of Family Ministry and as a Family Marital Counselor. He is chairman of the Pastoral Counseling Board of the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.. He is adjunct Professor at the LeTourneau University, Houston, Texas where he teaches Bible and Family. He is adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at Texas Southern University.

Rev. Lightfoot also served on the Mayor’s Affirmative Action Committee and he served as chairperson of a Black Ministries Committee of the Union Baptist Association. He served as member of the Christian Life Commission of the Union Baptist Association. He also serves in many civic and community affairs.

Rev. Lightfoot, in the month of January of 1988, had the distinguished honor of being the first black minister (as a member of the convention) to address the Baptist General Convention of Texas – Evangelism Division to an attendance of over 20,000 persons. In January of 1992, he was guest preacher for the Mississippi Baptist State Evangelism Conference and delivered the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day sermon at Austin Presbyterian Seminary, his alma mater. On February 6, 2001, Rev. Lightfoot received from Prairie View A&M University’s Annual Ministers Conference the “Outstanding Minister” Award for exceptional leadership in the Church and the Community.

For 44 years, Rev. Lightfoot has been the founder and pastor of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. He also served as Chief Administer of the Mt. Zion Christian School and Day Care Center. He is married to Velma Mitchell Lightfoot and the father of seven children, one adopted daughter, grandfather of eight grandchildren and the great grandfather of six.

The diversity of his training and his interest in developing people makes him immanently qualified to serve as adjunct Professor (Master Teacher) at Letourneau University in Bible, and Psychology at Houston Community College.