Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church is celebrating 126 years of service to the Guthrie community. On Nov. 17, Mount Zion held a Homecoming Celebration and “Gathered Together to Praise God for His Goodness.” This theme was adapted from Psalms 100, verses 4 and 5.
Tracy Roper, Mount Zion’s secretary, said it’s a blessing just to be in this community for so long because they came from the Elbow and are now on the Eastside.
The Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church owes its origin to God as He chose to work through a small group of spiritually-minded people with a missionary zeal in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As early as 1892, prior to Oklahoma Statehood, that group met at various sites and in homes on Second Street and Coyle’s Row. In 1893, 723 West Perkins was selected as the site for the Mount Zion Baptist Church. Under the leadership of Rev. A. P. Jordan, the congregation met and worshiped there. Rev. Jordan was responsible for the formal organization of the Church and its incorporation in 1893. Chartered members
included Sis. Susanna Wiley and Bro. George House.
In 1921, the Church edifice was destroyed by fire. However, God gave the congregation a mind to rebuild and restore. The congregation began by rebuilding the basement. Stones used for restoring the Church were dressed by men from the congregation. Bro. Jess Copeland purchased the machine used to make the stones. In 1923, the sanctuary was fully restored and the congregation was able to return upstairs to worship.
As Mount Zion continued to grow, music was added to the worship service to compliment the spiritual atmosphere. The Church’s first piano was purchased through the efforts of Sis. S. A. Wigley under the pastorage of Rev. Moses Howard, Sr. An organ was purchased by the Progressive Service Organization during the pastorage of Rev. O. F. Dixon. In 1985, a grand piano was purchased under the pastorage of Rev. Terry Turner.
On the first Sunday in January of 1990, Dr. Vernon L. Jones was called to lead Mount Zion, and he presently serves as Pastor. Under Dr. Jones’ leadership they are a Church “Growing Through Knowing.” His emphasis centers around teaching ministries for all ages. For example, the F.B.I. and Y.O.T.M. for children, and the Hour of Power for adults were established.
In 1990, Mount Zion’s Youth Department was diversified into ministries for the younger, as well as the older children. The F.B.I. (Faithful Bible Investigators) was established for children from age 4-10. Also, the Y.O.T.M. (Youth On The Move) ministry was designed for children from age 11-19. Each youth ministry serves a dual role as both a choir and a Bible Class. The youth graduate from one level of learning to the next as they are given a firm foundation in the Word of God.
As far as more upcoming events, Mount Zion has their annual Christmas Program on Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. and a Watch Night Service on Dec. 31 at midnight. For more information, contact Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church at 405-282-4189.