In May of 1968, a group of concerned Christians met for prayer and Bible Study for several weeks in the homes of the group. Mrs. Elizabeth Frazier introduced Rev. James E. Lightfoot to Sis. Lena Allen, who was a part of the group who invited him to share the Word of God with them. After much prayer and discussion, the group was led to form a church. This momentous decision was finalized in the home of Bro. & Sis. Taylor Gray with Bro. & Sis. C. Earthly, Sis. Lena Ruth Allen, Sis. Gladys Alexander and Bro. Thomas King were in attendance. The meeting was held in the home of Bro. & Sis. Taylor Gray and led by Bro. Gray who was an ordained deacon having served at Pleasant Grove and at Fontaine First Baptist Church. Rev. Lightfoot was supposed to have met with them but the thought of forming and leading a new church was frightening and he decided to go to teachers meeting at Jordan Grove and to visit with Pastor Banks. He was finally reached at Rev. Banks house about 10 o’clock. The group was still present when he finally arrived. Bro. Gray informed Rev. Lightfoot that they were ready to form the church and wanted him as pastor. The first question asked by Rev. Lightfoot was, “Were they sure they wanted him as pastor?” They assured him that they did, and his response was that I will have to be “pastor!” We then set in motion plans for the forming of the church. This meeting was scheduled for Friday night, July 12, 1968.
On July 12th, the group met in the home of Tommie and Elizabeth Frazier at 10411 Rebel Road for the purpose of organizing a church. Rev. W. H. Banks was invited to counsel with those present regarding the organization. He called the meeting to order with the reading of Romans 12:1-10 and prayer. Rev. Banks discussed the quality of the church, its economic responsibility and basic Biblical tenets. He also recommended that the Church Covenant be adopted and the Church abided by the covenant.
The church was named Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church by Sister Mary Earthly. Rev. James E. Lightfoot was called as pastor and a temporary organization was established. The charter members were Bro. Christopher Earthly, Sis. Mary Earthly, Carlos Earthly, Barbara Earthly, Bro. Thomas King, Bro. Taylor Gray, Sis. Jennie Gray-Caldwell, Carol Gray, Bro. Bob Allen, Sis. Lena Allen, Bro. Cleo Palmer, Sis. Christina Palmer and Sis. Gladys Alexander. The doors of the church were opened with singing of “Near The Cross” and Sis. Elizabeth Frazier and Sis. Jeanette Williams joined by Christian experience; Sis. Velma Lightfoot, Edward V. Lightfoot, Aleicia Lightfoot and Keith Lightfoot joined by letter. It was decided by Rev. Banks that other ministers were needed for the formal organization.
Mt. Zion held its first worship service on July 14, 1968 at the residence of Bro. Tommie and Sis. Elizabeth Frazier, following the organizational meeting.
Prior to the formal meeting scheduled for July 21st, property was purchased at 10747 Seneca Drive. Our scheduled meeting was held at this location on July 21, 1968. A council of four ministers presided over the formal organizational meeting: Rev. W. H. Banks, Rev. J. Royster Powell, Rev. Sol Alexander and Rev. J. S. McKnight. The first officers of the church were Deacons: Christopher Earthly, Taylor Gray, and Thomas King; Sunday School Superintendent: Bro. Taylor Gray; Women’s Missionary Union: Sis. Mary Earthly; Choir President: Bro. Thomas King; Usher Board President: Sis. J. Williams; /Treasurer: Bro. Taylor Gray; Financial Secretary: Bro. C. Earthly; Musician: Sis. J. Gray-Caldwell; Adult Sunday School Teacher and Church Clerk/Secretary: Sis. Elizabeth Frazier; Children’s Teacher: Sis. Lena Allen.
On December 16, 1973, with a membership of 152, we moved from 10747 Seneca to our present location; 9318 Homestead Road. In August 1974, we opened the Mt. Zion Day Care Center with Mrs. Siveria Douglas as Director. The school was a vital ministry of our Church and proved to be a fertile field for evangelism and nurturing. Many parents brought their children and became members of our church.
We look forward to the future with great anticipation. We are going to complete the work on our church, establish housing for the elderly, expand our school, establish a ministry to the illiterate, offer training and help with job skills, expand our evangelistic efforts and our scholarship program. We believe with all our hearts that “something really happens when the church prays.” We are praying and we know that it is really going to happen in this place and we are going to be a part of that which God is doing and will do. “To God Be The Glory” for the Great Things He has done!
Our twenty-fifth year had been an exciting one. We were able to reestablish our employment ministry and expand our evangelistic work by forming a ministry headed by Rev. Quincy Rodgers, Rev. Sidney Newman and Rev. Edward Lightfoot. The Evangelistic Teams were involved in community visitation and street ministry.
To God Be The Glory for all He has done! We entered our new building On July 11, 2004, the Mt. Zion family assisted by many community persons, friends and Brookhollow Baptist Church with its esteemed pastor Dr. Ralph West entered at 6:15 p.m. The entrance service in every way was an awesome experience.
We entered under the theme “Realizing The Vision” because neither our facilities nor our work is complete. We are reminded by Habakkuk that the vision awaits completion, but we are to remain faithful because the God of Heaven will give us success. On Founders Day we named our new multipurpose building the “Mary-Elizabeth Family Life Center” after two of our founding members, Sis Mary Earthly & Sis. Elizabeth Frazier. The ribbon was cut by Deacon Christopher Earthly, Deacon John Bland and Master Jerome Pannia (Sis Callie Bell’s grandson), which represented our past, our present and our future. On July 18, 2010 we will celebrate our 42nd Church Anniversary.
“To God Be The Glory”
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