Pastor Edwards 38th Pastoral Anniversary, Sunday, October 13, 2019.
Divine D.I.V.A. Extravaganza, Saturday, November 2, 2019

Our History - Page 2


The second pastor was Reverend S.W. Smith. He served the church for four years. Reverend Smith resigned to accept the pastorate of another church.


Reverend Jesse Herndon was called. He was a great preacher and the congregation grew under his leadership. While pasturing at Mt. Zion, a gallery was added in the frame building. He served for fifteen years, until his death.


Reverend J. Francis Robinson was called to Mt. Zion. He served us for two years. Little is know about our 4th pastor.


In 1875, after the purchase price had been paid, the deed stated that the lot was "now occupied and enjoyed by the Mt. Zion Church." The first building was reported to have been of frame construction. Three years later the congregation contracted to purchase the home of one of its members, Samuel White, just west of the church. Tradition says that the present church was built in 1878, but newspaper accounts at the time dispute that. While the deed states that the church did take possession of the White property immediately, the deed was not recorded until 1894 because Mr. White had died leaving minor children. The Jeffersonian chronicled the demolition of the old church building in the summer of 1883, the laying of the cornerstone in mid-September, and plans to have the roof on in December and to occupy the basement in the Spring of 1884. George W. Spooner was the architect and builder, and G.A. Sinclair did the brick work. The steeple was completed in the 1890's and stained glass windows and pipe organ were installed about the same time.


1892 was an epoch year in the history of Mt. Zion. This was the year that Reverend Royal Brown Hardy came to us. He came to us at a very difficult period in the life of our church. He took the helm and steered us safely trough the crisis. The church was almost up for sale! With is amazing insight and unflinching loyalty, he gathered around him many good and dependable workers. Under his wise counsel and hard work the indebtedness was paid. The mortgage was burned on Easter Monday in 1905. This ceremony was witnessed by an overflow crowd!!


During the struggle to pay the indebtedness, the church had run down and needed much improvement. After having paid the debt, Reverend Hardy directed attention toward improving the church. His leadership in this area will be witnessed by generations yet unborn!


The following was accomplished: the basement was completed, the steeple was built, stained glass windows ere added, pipe organ was installed and many other things were done to make the church comfortable and beautiful. Reverend Hardy has the longest record in years of service of any pastor during the history of the church. He served Mt. Zion for twenty-five years and six months. He died in October, 1917.