Mt Zion Baptist Church

Creating A Christ Centered Community

Church History

Rev. Reuben Parker and a few dedicated men and women held a meeting in a building in Hoper’s Court in 1887. They organized what is now known as Mt. Zion Baptist Church. As the membership grew they moved first to a little building on York Road, then to a regular church building on Talbot Street (now known as Brentwood Avenue.)

Rev. Parker labored well for many years. Under his leadership ground was purchased from Mr. Edward Felton expand the church. In 1918 the founder passed away. He was succeeded by Rev. J. C. Sweeney, under whose pastorate the edifice at 3132 Barclay Street was built and occupied.

Our pastors recorded in our church history are Rev. William H. Gray, Rev. Horace Minor, Rev. Luke G. Reynolds, Rev. Smith Gilbert. Rev. Dallas Wright, Rev. J. C. Garrett, and Rev. W. H. Dawson.

Down through the years we have been zealous in our work of Kingdom building. Our efforts have touched the lives of many people. Now we continue under the inspired leadership of Rev. Mark Riddix, Jr., who was unanimously elected as pastor in 1967. He came to us with a mission and a vision. Irresistibly these are unfolding before us.

Under the excellent leadership of Rev. Mark Riddix, Jr., the congregation soon out grew the small church on Barclay Street and purchased property at 2ooo E. Belvedere Avenue.

On 1977 the congregation marched to their new church. Leaving old Mt. Zion at 9:00 a.m., they walked for more than 20 blocks to meet the rest of the congregation at Lock Raven and Belvedere. At this point, “the last mile of the way,” they arrived to find the church bus filled with our senior citizens and young children, many members in their cars lined up behind it, several members on foot, and a police escort waiting to clear the way.

As the procession began its last mile, led by the police escort, and followed by the Deacons, Trustees, Ushers, Choirs, Our Pastor and the rest of the congregation, we joined hand-in-hand singing and praising God in song. After the Pastor led the procession into the Church, we were followed by better than 400 visitors who had come to share this day with us. What a glorious Day-Thank God for the great things He has done!