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Zion's Announcements

~Wednesday night bible study is on break for the summer & will resume in September.

~A sign-up sheet has been posted for the Annual Picnic(July 21st @12pm), so please feel free to bring games or a dish.

~Assessment for Homecoming will be a fee of $25 for all members.

~DVDs from all services can be purchased through the Media Ministry, so get your today! 

 

~Members, please govern yourselves accordingly!

..................

Please Remember
to Keep Our
Sick & Shut-In
In Prayer.
 
May you all be blessed!
 
 
 
 

 

The History of Zion Baptist Church

The History Of Zion Baptist Church

10 Josephine Street
Berryville, Virginia

In 1880, the Lord, put into the heart of Benjamin Franklin and eleven others the desire for the “Missionary Baptist” Church, which would be built upon the faith that Christ Himself had and passed on to His Followers. After wandering around for sometime looking for a suitable place to hold a meeting, they selected a grove in the small town of Pigeon Hill. With the grove for their place of worship its green foliage for decorations, rough boards for pews, the canopy of heaven for their lamps, the fore-runners of Zion Baptist and pioneers of the Missionary in the Shenandoah Valley met, sang, shouted and praised God.

The great work they had so well begun could not stop there. Being aware of that, Brother Benjamin Franklin, who was only a Deacon of the Springfield Baptist Church in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, a courageous soldier and a hero of the Cross, with the aid of the eleven who helped him with the great burden, started out to organize what is now known as Zion Baptist Church. After holding many prayer meetings, God sent an Evangelist Missionary to help them in their mighty struggle; whose name was Rev. Alexander Henderson of Buffalo Gap. Brother Benjamin Franklin, along with eleven others, organized the church for which we have so much respect today. The  persons who formed  the  church were 

Brothers Benjamin Franklin, Walker Richardson, George Richardson, George Blair, Robert Sayles, Robert Ross, Eddie Allen, Rev. Charles H. Minor, Rev. J. J. Kelley, and Sisters Bell Adams, Betsey Johnson and Georgiana Richardson.
 
The Rev. Alexander Henderson, who organized the church, did not tarry long in this section of the country, therefore the newly organized church with the membership of twelve, was battling against the organized forces of evil without a visible leader. Realizing the importance of having a Pastor to watch over the flock and lead them by still waters, when the sea of life was rough, after much deliberation they called as their first pastor, Rev. J. J. Kelley who left them at the very time when his presence was most needed. After his departure, the church was squandered for some time, the members went from house to house, and held meetings wandering about as sheep without a Shepherd. But God was with them, for they had a mind to work. Brother Benjamin Franklin, who’s undaunted faith couldn’t be weakened, called the members together again with new zeal and courage to go forward. After much prayerful consideration, they were successful in securing Rev. Charles H. Miner as their Pastor, who was also a member of the Church.
 
After much prayer and labor to raise a little money to buy ground for their church building, the Lord crowned their efforts with success. During the year of 1882, a small plot of was purchased from Bro. Benjamin Franklin  land for $ 2,379 and a house of worship was built which still stands, and is now known as the  Franklin Chapel.

The Cornerstone was laid with the aid of many friends and lodges, especially the “Odd Fellows” of Winchester, Upperville, Hagerstown,  Charlestown, and Berryville. The principal speakers were the Rev. Alexander Williams and T. T. Brown.

Rev. Charles H. Miner stayed with the church about six years, during which time the church made rapid progress and about fifty members were added to the number. Feeling that God had a greater work in other places for him to do, he resigned which was deeply regretted by the church, and left the church in the leadership of Rev. Andrew H. Tilman, who served about four years.  After,  the Rev. John W. Wood was called and after his departure, Rev. Oliver S. Sims was called; whose stay was very short because of the death of his father; leaving Rev. T. Wanzer in leadership, followed by Rev. John Davis  after his departure,  Rev. J. W. Wood was called again. He again left after serving four years and Rev. Robert B. Crump was called, followed by Rev. Randolph Carr.   During his stay and through his wise leadership, the beautiful edifice in which we now worship was built. After he departed, the Rev. John Thomas Wanzer was called again. He served for two years, and succumb as a result of a fatal accident. The Rev. Walter L. Storers was called and served for four years.  Followed by the Rev. R. B. Preston who staying only a short time, Rev. Preston was followed by Rev. William Saunders. Then  the Rev. John Paul Rier and he was succeeded by Rev. Robert Lee Rollins.

The church continued to grow. Many souls were saved through the revival services conducted by Rev. Robert L. Rollins’ father Rev. Robert L. Rollins Sr. and Rev. Nellie Craig. The Baptist Young People’s Union was largely attended each Sunday evening at six o’clock with evening worship at seven o’clock with the choir singing and the pastor preaching. Both young and old enjoyed the pageant “The Upper Garden,” at church which was presented on the lawn. Annual Rally Day and Fall Fair kept the spiritual and financial life of the church in high gear.

Rev. J. S. Swann, who served for 16 years, followed Rev. Rollins as pastor. The depression was over and the people expressed their gratitude through increased giving. Pastor Swann was noted for preaching and singing. Mrs. Swann could inspire you with her smile and kind words of
encouragement.

In 1954, The Rev. Andrew Gilmore accepted the challenge and proclaimed the Gospel. The Deaconess Board, Senior and Junior Usher Board, Youth Department, Junior Choir, Junior Deacons, Junior Deaconess, Youth Choirs and the Pastor’s Aid Club were organized. The first organ was purchased, oil heat was installed in the Annex, carpet was added to the parsonage, restrooms were installed in the church, and running water was installed in the Annex. To improve our church, we painted the interior and exterior, a bulletin board was erected, a Church Canteen was established; new hymnals and robes were purchased for the Senior Choir. Christian Education was one main feature in Stewardship and the meaning of church membership.

Rev. Paul Brown followed then Rev. Gilmore they continued to meet the challenges of the sixties. Rev. Gilmore continued the affiliation with the Shenandoah Valley Union and Association. Carpet was installed in the church; enough new dishes to feed one hundred people were purchased; stained glass windows were installed in the church, among other things as the church continued to grow.

Rev. Morris P. Holmes became pastor in September 1968 and departed in September 1969. After the departure of Rev. Holmes, the Rev. Rudolph White became the twenty-second pastor in June of 1970, He and his wife, Margo White, with their children were the last family to live in the old parsonage. Under the leadership of Rev. White  the membership grew, the Youth ministry and Sunday School grew stronger, and mid-week Bible Study followed by prayer service which was a highlight. The Missionary ministry flourished as they strived to fill the needs of others in the community, county, and elsewhere within the nation, through the Association, and Convention. During Rev, White’s tenure God blessed us with the means to build the new parsonage, install the PA system and air conditioner for the comfort of our worshippers. Rev. White departed in September 1989. Rev. James E. Scott followed him beginning his pastor ship in July of the same year.

The church continued to prosper under Rev. Scott. By the grace of God, we paid off the mortgage for the church. We paid off the van and purchased a bus and had the van painted and lettered, the church had a monthly newsletter, “The Guiding Light” which was sent to members and friends to share God’s word. The interior and exterior of our church was painted, the church and parsonage roof was replaced, the church pews were covered, the carpet and chandeliers were replaced, and new hymnals were purchased. The kitchen in the Franklin Annex was completely remodeled to commercial standards. Our Youth Choir received robes and a computer and copier were purchased for our administrative staff. Two deacons were added to the Deacons ministry, five ministers were licensed to preach the Gospel. The Lord had blessed Zion Baptist once again with a Godly man, Rev. Delbert Hicks. Pastor Hicks served as our interim pastor for approximately two years and was installed as our pastor in January 2003. Under the leadership of Pastor Delbert Hicks, our church continues to prosper. The spirit is moving rampantly and Zion has increased in membership. Rev. Hicks has been instrumental in the reorganization of the Sanctuary. We were also blessed with additional furniture for the parsonage, new choir robes for the youth and pastor, a new 15 passenger van, a new piano. Prayer box, communion set with cabinet and interior/exterior painting of the church. Pastor Hicks has organized a Youth Ministry, Culinary Ministry, Intercessory Prayer Ministry, a Praise Team, Finance Ministry, and Weekly Congregational Bible Study.  Pastors wife, Sister Cecilia Hicks our First Lady is a dedicated member of Zion Baptist Church.  We are very proud and pleased to have her as our First Lady.

Zion has grown spiritually and numerically under the leadership of Pastor Hicks. Zion hosted the first Women’s Conference, the largest Vacation Bible School ever and added a new ministry of music. All boards and clubs became Ministries. Zion has gone through many levels and now we operating in ordained fate for new dimensions. Licensed Ministers have been added to the pastoral staff, new deacons added to the Deacon’s Ministries. Under the guidance of Rev. Hicks, Zion hosted its first marriage seminar. Zion Women’s Ministry hosted their 2nd Women’s Conference in 2008. Zion Baptist Church became debt free in 2008.

Through its one-hundred twenty-eight year pilgrimage, our church has maintained the principles of the Gospel and the doctrine of the Church. Zion is a beacon of light to weary travelers, and a soul saving station for the lost. We trust that this historic Church will continue to throw out the lifeline to sinking men, women, boys, and girls until the Master says well done, come into the harbor; let down your sails and rest from your labors.

  Revised by the Anniversary Committee in 2008

  Revised under the direction of the Church Clerk in 2007

 

Last Published: December 11, 2009 8:02 PM
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Upcoming Events

*ZION'S ANNUAL CHURCH PICNIC*

July 21st at 12pm in the fellowship hall.

Come out & join us for an exciting day of fun. There will be great fellowship, fun games, tasteful foods, much laughter, & plenty of love! Feel free to bring a dish, as well as a friend. 

 

*ZION'S ANNUAL HOMECOMING SERVICE*

July 22nd at 3pm in the sanctuary. Our guest speaker for this event will be Rev. Kelvin Wilson of St. Paul AME Church in Winchester, VA. Please come out & join us for this joyous occasion, as we celebrate one another with the love of Christ.

For more information regarding these events, please contact us at 540.955.1353.

 

In the meantime, come out, join us, & watch GOD bless! We look forward to seeing you soon!