Church History

The NEW MOUNT ZION BAPTIST Church, located at 17450 Coal Kiln Road, is an edifice of the living God.  Early in the year of our Lord, 1881, thirty (30) members from Shiloh Baptist Church, Boston, Virginia (organized in 1875) met to organize this church because they had to travel so far to attend a worship service.  Most of them traveled by foot, thus seeing a need to organize a church closer for persons living in the Belle Haven and Painter communities.

On Sunday, September 4, 1881, the following determined, hard working and spirit filled Christians held their first worship service under a bush bower located near the home of the late Deacon Walter Rogers Sr.: Deacon George LeCato, Deacon James Smith, Deacon Harry Smith, Deacon Henry Fosque, Deacon Peter Tankard, Brother Delaware Kellam, Brother Henry Francis, Sister Lettie Rogers, Sister Isabelle Jubilee, Sister Mary Smith, Sister Ellen Bell, Sister Irene LeCato, Sister Donna Smith, Sister Emma Heath, Sister Henny Harmon, Sister Henny Ayers, Sister Tennie Burton, Sister Jane Jubilee, Sister Annie Mapp, Sister Ann Fletcher, Sister Lousie Smith, Sister Rachel Fosque, and Carlania Savage.

They soon realized that the Bush Bower was not sufficient for inclement weather.  Immediately they proceeded to gather materials to construct their first church building.  This church building was a ten-foot structure, where the members proudly and sacredly held their worship services.

Rev. Jasper Savage conducted their first baptizing service at Round Rock.  Five persons were baptized at that service and all of them joined the Mount Zion Baptist Church family.

Initially, members of the church invited ministers to come in and conduct the morning worship services, but it was soon realized that more expense was incurred than they had anticipated.  In light of this it was agreed that a minister be sought.

The first regular pastor was the Rev. Levi Duncan.  Under his administration another ten feet was added to the building.   The membership grew and the church family soon realized that they needed to build a larger sanctuary.  The old building was converted into a public school.

During this era the Rev. Nickerson became our pastor and severed faithfully and fervently until his health failed him.  Upon completion of the new sanctuary, Rev. Dickerson was called.  The membership continued to work and serve faithfully and furnished their new church.

In 1910, Rev. Isaiah Arnold assumed duties as pastor.   Three years  (1913) later the church was remodeled and the first Missionary Circle was organized.  The first missionary meeting was held in the home of Sister Lottie Smith.   Mrs. Laura Brown was elected President and Mrs. Cardie Snead was elected secretary.  Rev. Arnold served as pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church for a decade.

Rev. Patterson was our next pastor.  Although Rev. Patterson’s stay was short, our work was not; because we built Mount Zion Accomack County Public School.

In 1921, Rev. A. D. Weaver was called and members continued to work and the church continued to progress.   Two rooms were added, new furniture was purchased for the pulpit, one-half acre of land was purchased for the cemetery and the baptism pool was built.

Twenty years, later the church was wrecked by a storm.  However, the members did not become discouraged, instead continued to work and move forward through Christian faith.

Church services were held in Fisherman’s Hall, and the membership immediately began to construct a new building.   With this project underway, Rev. Weaver’s health began to fail but he continued to pastor the church until 1944 before he relinquished his office. The church building was rebuilt in 1947.

Rev. Dennis Haughton followed with seventeen years of constructive and faithful service.  During his stay the heating system was installed, 22 solid oak pews,44 book racks and cup holders were purchased .  This order was submitted June 25, 1953 and prepared for shipment on July 17, 1953. Brothers Louis. J. Harmon, Walter Rogers, Jeff Floyd, Harry C. Smith, and Julius T. Smith were members of the purchasing committee.

We had two sons to become ministers during Rev.Haughton’s pastorate.  They were Rev. Leonard Jones and Rev. Dr. Charles F. Mapp.

Rev. James Burrell was called to pastor Mount Zion in 1964.   We purchased the New Mount Zion Public School Building from the County of Accomack School Board and utilized it as the church’s dining hall and kitchen.  November 1966 Rev. Burrell accepted the call to pastor the Antioch Baptist Church in New York, but before he left new bathrooms were installed.

The ever-continuing force that had moved the first members to serve, also inspired the other members to serve and progress stayed with us.  Without a leader the roof was repaired, the interior painted and new carpet was installed.

In November 1967 New Mount Zion drafted a slate and Rev. Willie A. Carter was called. He assumed his duties as pastor the first Sunday in January 1968. Rev. Willie Carter was a progressive minister who demonstrated leadership ability and was willing to serve.  He worked with us diligently giving much of his time and efforts untiringly.   Under his leadership a new organ was purchased, public address and air-conditioning system installed, the church was painted interiorly and exteriorly and new members joined (old church building).  

A parsonage and a new church building were built complete with a dining hall and an educational unit.    The dedication service for the parsonage was held July 6, 1975, and the mortgage burning service for the parsonage was held December 10, 1978. Bishop J.H. Bowser delivered the mortgage burning message.

April 1991 the church membership under the leadership of Rev. Carter voted to empower the Trustees of New Mount Zion to secure a loan to proceed with the building of our new edifice. Bro .   Colby West Sr. was the Chairman of the Trustee Board, other members were:  Sis. Maggie Giddens, Bro. Harry L. Chisum, Bro. Albert Ayers, Bro. Roland Jubilee,  Bro. Elizabeth Giddens, Bro. Jeffery Walker, and Bro. Berran Rogers.    

Sunday, October 18, 1992, which was also our 111th Church Anniversary Celebration, we marched into our new sanctuary.   The Rev. Dr. Michael C. Turner and his congregation of the Faith Missionary Baptist Church, Washington D. C. was our special guest for this glorious occasion.

Two new choirs and the Young Adult Usher’s Ministry were organized under Rev. Carter’s leadership.  Under his pastorate Rev. Dr. Michael Turner, Rev. Larry Hack, Rev. John Reid, and Rev. Patricia Wright-Harding-Wharton entered the ministry. Rev. Carter served us faithfully for thirty-two years.

Without a pastor New Mount Zion continued to worship God and had one son to enter the ministry Rev. John Harmon Sr.   He was licensed to preach the gospel by Bishop Isaac Jenkins who was currently serving as Moderator of the Eastern Shore Virginia-Maryland Baptist Association.

After prayerful discussion in a regular business session October 5, 2001 the New Mount Zion Baptist Church membership voted to extend the call to our current pastor Rev. Dr. Charles Kellam Sr.   Rev. Dr. Kellam accepted our call and officially began serving as Pastor-elect on October 28, 2001. November 2001 Rev.Dr. Kellam was officially installed as Pastor by Rev. William C. Rucker, who was the Pastor of the Union Baptist Church, Eastville, Virginia.

Through Rev. Dr. Kellam’s spiritual guidance and progressive leadership our membership has increased, we are financially stable. The tithing system has been re-implemented, youth ministry re-organized, men and women’s ministry organized, and weekly bible study has been re-implemented. The Daughters of Promise, Praise Dance, Mime, Soup Kitchen, Zion’s Heart, Mass Choir and Cultural Arts Ministries have been organized.   

In addition to the remodeling of the bathrooms, installation of a new sound and audio system, paving of the parking lot, new roof, redecorating pastor’s study and dining hall, and remodeling of choir room, ramp installed and painted, murals added in the sanctuary, on August 22, 2004 we were blessed to include a mortgage burning ceremony for our church building during our Annual Homecoming Celebration. Our parking lot has been resealed, new floor installed in the entrance and men’s restroom, windows repaired and new doors installed.-     

Rev. Dr. Kellam has demonstrated efficient and executive abilities. Many souls have been saved and many hearts uplifted because of his teachings and preaching.  He is a man with a vision and has given much of his time untiringly implementing God’s plan.

It is only because of God’s love and mercy that we the New Mount Zion Baptist Church have come this far.  We are thankful to God for all that HE has done for us, for all that HE is doing for us, and for all that HE is going to do for us.

Any church at any given point or place is no better no worse than members who compose the church make it.  In other words, the church is just like its members.  We solicit your prayers as we move forth with our shepherd Rev. Dr. Charles Kellam Sr. and with God’s plans.

   

Beloved, now are we the children of God;

And it doth not yet appear what we shall be,

But we know that, when HE shall appear,

We shall be like HIM; for we shall see

HIM as HE is”.    – 1 John 3:2