MT. ZION FIRST BAPTIST
"The idea for Mount Zion First African Baptist Church was born in 1858. The Reverend Isaac Palmer, a Negro minister and the Reverend John Brady, a white minister, did not perfect the actual organization of the church until January 1859. The organization included eight others along with these ministers, only three names of whom were recorded: Henry Strong, Silas Green, and Martha Hinton. These names were supplied by the late Mother Anna Baker, whose mother was one of the early members of the church. The Reverend Palmer pastured the church for eight years.
Mount Zion has extended its hand to many pastors through out the years. Those pastors have contributed to lives being saved, its church facility, debt freeness, and great church recognition both locally and nationally, that has caused it to grow by leaps and bounds. However, there was still work to do. The call was extended to Reverend Dr. T.J. Jemison he answered the call and became pastor in June 1949. Pastor Jemison lead the church into new ventures. The church began to grow larger in membership and many young people were found in church each Sunday. During the early years of Dr. Jemison 's pastorate, he lead many movements in the Baton Rouge community for the betterment of all citizens, especially Negroes.
While participating in many community activities, the building program of Mount Zion continued. On the first Sunday in June 1954, the Mount Zion First Baptist Congregation moved from the old church facility and march into the new. The edifice was one of the first of its kind in the city of Baton Rouge and was built at a cost of over a quarter million dollars. The church debt was paid off in 1960. Unsatisfied with just a sanctuary, the pastor knew that in order for the needs of a growing church and changing society to be meet, more facilities were needed. The congregation was lead to see the need for more land on which to erect an Educational Center. Dr. Jemison held many positions for many years. He was voted Pastor Emeritus on Sunday September 21, 2003, and subsequently retired as pastor of Mount Zion on October 5, 2003. Pastor Jemison served fifty-four years of diligent and dedicated leadership. Mount Zion is thankful to the almighty God for the fine way he has lead us through the years. We will continue to follow the path that God has set for Mount Zion. Therefore, we are excited because we know that what is to come is better than what has been."
SOURCE: Mt. Zion First Baptist Church, T.J. Jemison 53rd Anniversary Program
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