Mt Zion Oakwood Village
Mt. Zion Church is the oldest church in the community. She has been in existence since 1921. She is called “The Church in the Village” to distinguish her from the many other Mt. Zion churches in the Greater Cleveland area.
The New Worship Center located off Broadway at One Mt. Zion Circle was dedicated June 2002. It is a state-of-the-art facility with a 21st Century Sanctuary, Bookstore and Classrooms. This was Phase I of three phases in our planning. Phase II was an extension of the present site with a fine arts center, commercial kitchen, production room, baptismal, offices and dressing rooms to house our special events & ministries.
“So built we the wall; and the wall was joined together until the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.” Nehemiah 4:6
“Let Mt. Zion Rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad because of thy judgments. Walk about Zion and go round about her; number the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces, that ye tell it to the generations following. For this God is our God forever and ever; he will be our guide even unto death.” Psalms 48: 11-14
This brief history of our eight-one (81) years of ministry will remind us of those whom God used to shape the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and of the many blessings showered upon our congregation by the Almighty God. It is a reminder of God’s testimony of hundreds of members committed to faithfulness, sacrifice, perseverance, and struggle. Prayers and dreams fortified them. This is our effort to recapture and update the sequential historical events occurring since the founding in the year 1919.
We wish to provide present members and generations to come with our past and present day achievements. Because of the absence and lack of records, the reporting is mostly of new events. We have however, attempted to record the names of our earliest forbearers and pastors.
As you read, rejoice at every evidence of God’s Sovereign power and His tender care in the life of the Mt. Zion congregation. “Let Mt. Zion continue to rejoice” as we experience the hand of God in the life of this beloved community.
A PERSPECTIVE OF THE TIME
The Mt. Zion Baptist Church was organized in the home of Rev. and Mrs. Ramsey in 1919 and incorporated as a church in 1921. Rev. Ramsey became the official organizer and first pastor. Services were first held in their home a a side street off E. 8th & Forbes Road. Later the mission moved to a house on Forbes Road. A small plot of land was purchased from the Lincoln Hts. Land Co, at 24571 Booker Ave., and a small-framed church was built. Mrs. Mattie Foreman, Mrs. Martha Ramsey Johnson and Mrs. C. Calloway were commissioned by the church to select it’s present location.
During the early years of Mt. Zion, struggle and much sacrifice marked the progress of the fledgling church. Increasing the membership was difficult. Throughout the many trials of this early church, the pioneers were blessed and fortunate to have deacons who were dedicated, persevering, loving, nurtured by prayer and faith in God, and who laid the foundation of this church.
Under the leadership and divine guidance of Dr. Macon, who has pastored for over thirty (30) years, Mt. Zion has made many accomplishments. The membership greatly increased. In 1984, the church was completely renovated and extended inside and out.
The sanctuary was extended to include a large choir loft, restrooms, offices, a new foyer and a lower auditorium. The church was marked by progress with a tall steeple installed facing the heavens as a sign of renewal. The lots on the east and west side of the church were paved to accommodate the needs of 350 Sunday worshippers of the congregation.
Ministries were created for all age groups – Ministry to Oak Park Health Care Center for the seniors; Ministry to the incorrigible youth at the Youth Development Center in Boston Hills was developed; Ministry to the Bessie Metzenbaum Center; and the Ministry to the Chemical Dependent was broadened through Mt Zion’s networking with the S.C.L.C.’s Wings of Hope Program. An evangelistic Team was organized to bring in lost souls..
In September of 1987, the church extended its Christian Education program to include a new school, the Mt. Zion Bible Institute (MZBI), a nationally recognized and certified program. In 1990, after the church held a mortgage burning celebration, Mt. Zion continued working for the Lord and made plans to complete its Phase II building, which included a new sanctuary with new parking lots. The church would be renovated to house the Mt. Zion Bible Institute, a seminary and other community related programs and projects.
Dr. Larry Macon, Sr.
Pastor Daniel Macon
Larry Macon, Jr.
Eight-one (81) years later, the vision started in 1919 has become a reality under the present leadership of Dr. Macon. Now coined as the “Church on the Move.” Dr. Macon has been heralded as the founder of the modern day ministry of the church. He has exhibited the traits of a dynamic leader. He has shown the ability to set and achieve far-reaching goals. His vision and his ability to quickly revitalize not only a congregation but also an entire community has helped all to smile in the midst of adversity. He continues to challenge the Mt. Zion Family with his strong religious convictions and social concerns for all people. Under his inspired guidance, “The Little Church on the Hill” of 20 years ago, has become “The Church on the Move for Christ.”
Under Dr. Macon’s guidance, Mt. Zion has made its message available beyond the geographical area it serves, by its presence on the world wide web. Mt. Zion has also been shown to be a generational ministry in which Dr. Macon’s sons are now Senior Pastors within the ministry thus creating a legacy at the church for years to come.