In 1863, our forefathers sought God’s guidance. From house to house, these former slaves raised their prayers to God. Led by Reverend William Thornton, they put together slabs to make a humble dwelling where they could praise God for His many blessings. This building served well for their weekly prayer service and Sunday Worship Service until the little band outgrew itself by hundreds of baptized converts.
In 1871, the American Missionary Association – through their representation George Whipple – sold Zion Baptist Church ½ acre of land in the amount of eighty dollars ($80.00). Frank Diggs, Harry Armistead, and Abraham Chisman were appointed Trustees to hold the legal title for the benefit of said church, which was erected on County Street. It was remodeled in 1899, 1900 and several times later. But this old building suffered the ravages of time and was torn down. In 1950, our former edifice was dedicated to God’s work. In 2005, a new sanctuary and office complex were built. It was in the hallowed walls of these buildings – dedicated to God that the most significant things happened. It was truly the changed hearts of those who came to learn of God’s love to all mankind that the Christian influence spread to family and community – even to faraway community where the Zion Christian resides. Zion stands today – 156 years from its birth as a Christian Beacon Light to guide men, women, boys and girls to God’s Eternal Plan.
In 156 years, Zion has only had eight Pastors. They are the Reverend Dr. William Thornton, founder, Reverend O.P. Felder, Reverend C.C. Cloe, Reverend Dr. A.A. Graham, Reverend Dr. J. Dett Marshburn, Reverend Dr. Edwin Miller, Reverend Dr. Browlee Hailstock, Jr., and our current pastor, Reverend Joshua N. King, Sr.
Three of these servants of God received the vision from God to build a new edifice to the glory of God. They are the Reverend Dr. William Thornton, representing the beginning, Reverend Dr. J. Dett Marshburn representing the former sanctuary, and Reverend Browlee Hailstock Jr. representing the new edifice.
On Sunday, December 7, 2013, after four months of faithful service, Reverend Joshua N. King, Sr. was officially installed as Pastor in a Victory Service and Installation Ceremony conducted by the Reverend Dr. Sonny Bridges of Bethlehem #1 Missionary Baptist Church, Conway, SC. God showed his favor by leading Pastor King to facilitate the campaign to burn the second mortgage on August 17, 2014, within nine months of his pastorate, retiring the full obligation of over $56,776.37.
Certainly, the members of Zion Baptist recognize Pastor King for the vibrant man of God he is. In October, 2018, the Global United Fellowship also acknowledged his dedication, perseverance and commitment by appointing him as the Director of Compassion for the Mid-Atlantic Province. The achievements made under his vigorous leadership have been nothing short of remarkable.
The Lord has blessed us over the last five years, we purchased a new van; completed the Audio/Visual Installation Project to modernize the facility with televisions, upgraded keyboard, microphones, sound board without the church incurring any debt; initiated the Security Ministry by installing cameras and significantly upgrading lighting in the parking lot; partnered with Transitions Family Violence Services, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Compassion International; we have licensed seven Ministers of the gospel; ordained eight new Deacons and affirmed seven new Deaconess, and increased the size of the active church membership! We are grateful for what God has done and will do in the years to come!
Zion Baptist can be viewed on the world-wide web. Our website is www.zbczone.org. We are also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Our weekly live radio broadcast on Praise 104.9 offers the morning worship service to touch the homebound, compel the lost, and support the saints. We are committed to employ multiple avenues to minister love to our community and the world.
The Lord gave Pastor King a vision to renovate our old edifice. We renovated our former sanctuary, kitchen, classrooms, and administrative office. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, he facilitated the completion of $1,100,000 renovation project with televisions, a fully commercialized kitchen, nursery, washer, dryer, state of the art classrooms, stage, microphones, and sound board as well as several other repairs to create a relaxed and visually appealing environment.
We will remain steadfast toward our goal of Building God’s Kingdom By Building Disciples. Please pray for us as we continue to follow Him and allow the Holy Spirit to use our ministry for His glory. We give God the glory for what He has wrought in Zions’ congregation. We believe the vision continues! To God be the Glory!