The Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church was organized on Sunday, February 6, 1921. The group met in the home of Rev. W.H. Haynes. The members were Rev. Gabe Alford, acting Chairman, with Rev. A. Harris, G.W Burden and S.J. Sanders and about 30 members. Rev. W.H. Haynes bought five acres of land from the Wright Land Company and the first building was erected on the 60x80 feet lot. Rev. Haynes was elected and served as pastor of the church for 10 years. He was succeeded by Rev. C.R. Bell who served as pastor for about a year. Rev. Bell was succeeded by Rev. S.M. Curtis who served as pastor for about nine years and rebuilt the building. Rev. Curtis was then succeeded by Rev. O.W. Davis, who served as pastor for only two months. He was succeeded by Rev. W.R. Fuller, who served about four years, dismantled the building, framed and hulled the new building.
Rev. S.B. Parker succeeded Rev. Fuller as the sixth pastor, having accepted the pastorage on the third Sunday, November 18, 1945. The membership consisted of only 24 adults and 12 children. The church was under an indebtedness of $1,300.00. Through great faith and the miraculous blessings from the Lord, Rev. Parker and the church congregation finished the building at a cost of more than $14,000.00. The church also brought two lots to add to the church campus.
The name of the church was changed from “Little Zion” to “Greater Zion” by unanimous vote of the membership at the request of Pastor Parker, on the grounds that the Lord has given plans for greater things to be done. The church grew progressively under the leadership of Rev. Parker. Some years later Rev. Parker made a recommendation to the church that all adjacent property be purchased by the church, as it became available. The divine Spirit from the Almighty God, resulted in Rev. Parker purchasing property extending from Virgil Street on the east to Sandle Street on the west. The completion of the present sanctuary was in 1965, at a cost of $154,000.00. Greater Zion have received many additional assets and accessories to enhance its comfort and beautification. Through the untiring efforts of Rev. Parker and cooperation of the membership of Greater Zion, the mortgage of the church was paid off one year in advance. Rev. Parker served as pastor for 48 glorious years. The great and exciting history of this church just continues to vastly mount and unfold.
Rev. Curtis C. Lewis, Sr. succeeded his mentor Rev. S.B. Parker and installed as seventh pastor of Greater Zion on March 17, 1994. He was privileged to serve several years with Rev. Parker, and like him had plans and growing visions for Greater Zion. With spiritual enlightenment from the Lord, Pastor Lewis had provided inspiration to the church with a goal of “Working on the Church from the Inside Out” by “Preparing God’s People for God’s Kingdom”.
The church erected a beautiful more modern marquee to grace the front lawn. This enables us to post announcements of upcoming events and/or other noteworthy communications to inform our congregation and community. The church was blessed with a van to transport members and others to destinations. With consistent faith in God, and continuous prayers Pastor Lewis constructed the fellowship hall that we looked forward to for many years. The fellowship hall was named in honor of Rev. Parker. An addition was added onto the fellowship hall by the brethren of the church to allow for storage of tables, chairs and a much needed supply room. We thank God for man of God, Rev. Lewis, Sr. who served as pastor of Greater Zion for 18 marvelous years. The compelling history of Greater Zion proceeds to expand as our church exceedingly grows to higher heights.
Rev. Dayle E. Perry succeeded Rev. Curtis C. Lewis, Sr. and served under his leadership for six years. On July 1, 2012, Rev. Perry was installed as the eighth pastor of Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church. His growing vision for the church is to continue building and adding to the church property by purchasing all property adjacent to the church. His motto for the church is “We are a church on the move”.
Rev. Perry continues to make spiritual advancements as pastor of Greater Zion. He has ordained preachers and deacons to help carry out duties in the Kingdom of the Lord. The women ministry of the church was expanded by creating the Pearls of Zion from wives of preachers and deacons. The Gates of Zion ministry was formed to focus on building bridges to enhance church communication channels for new members and the sick and shut-in. The growth of our Youth Department continues to develop with our praise dancers, mime group, drill, and step team. Our children church was initiated and named “Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church”.
May God’s will for our church be forever exhibited and manifested through Rev. Perry’s divine guidance and through our complete obedience to God’s commandments.
“Little Zion” to “Greater Zion”
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