Our Church History

Mt. Zion United Methodist Church History

In 1828, the Methodist Episcopal Church North was formed. As a consequence of slavery, the Methodist Episcopal Church South was formed in 1844 in the African American community. From 1844 to 1880; the exact location of the church was unknown. In 1881, the Belton’s Methodist Episcopal Church trustees (Isaac Crofford, Robert Clair, Isaiah Crofford, Henry White and Primus Crofford) purchased property from M. J. Robertson in Dangerfield, just west of Belton. The frame building was constructed by slave owner Albert C. Horton, a Baptist deacon and the church remained at that location until 1893. Land was purchased in 1892 on Alexander Street from R. E. Montgomery by church trustees (Peter Embree, Ed Duncan and Ab Wagner). A stucco building was erected on the banks of Nolan Creek under the direction of Rev. Ponton in 1893. Belton and the White Hall churches (Kell’s Branch) were a charge parish from 1874-1979. On May 10, 1939, a union was agreed upon and the Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Methodist Protestant Church united to form the Methodist Episcopal Church of America. In 1953, Rev. J.H. Foy and Bro. Fred Crump purchased hard wood flooring from East Texas Lumber Mills to be installed in the church building. Bro. Sam Murray supervised the flooring installation. This lumber resulted in the beautiful flooring today. On April 23, 1968, the Methodist Episcopal Church untied with the Evangelical United Brethren and formed the United Methodist Church during Rev. Charles Espie’s leadership. Plans for a new sanctuary were birthed by Rev. Millard Rucker in 1971. In December 1973 construction began under the leadership of Rev. Glover Thomas. This sanctuary was attached in front of the original stucco church and consecrated by Dr. Michael Pattison, District Superintendent on September 15, 1974. The church mortgage was paid off on August 22, 1983. The cornerstone Dedication and Note Burning was held on October 9, 1983. Note Burning Mattie J. Clemons, Bldg. Fund Chairperson Emeline Garner, Bldg. Fund Treasurer George Reagan, Trustee, Chairperson Cornerstone Dedication Rev. Lemuel E. Harrison, Pastor Rev. Homer Kluck, District Superintendent Theo A. Mc Ghee, Administrative Board Chairman Trustees J. P. Burleson Annie Ferguson Marcene Garrett Bob Kelton Willard Parker William Parker Raymond Powers Clarence Sargent Rev. Lemuel Harrison was instrumental in starting the work in the restoration of the old sanctuary. However, Rev. Clifton Howard completed the restoration of the old sanctuary, which began utilization in September 23, 1987. A new parsonage at 1308 East 6th Street was consecrated on October 18, 1987. Rev. Z. E. King holds the longest tenure of any minister to serve Mt. Zion 1958-1965. In 1986, Rev. Clifton Howard came as the youngest minister in the history of Mt. Zion. In 1992, Rev. Kelvin Williams broke the record held By Rev. Clifton Howard as the youngest minister. Rev. Alicia Hines-Kelly was our first female minister. Rev. Ja’Cori M. Smith replaced Rev. Kelvin Williams as the youngest minister on July 1, 2015 with the age of 22. Mt. Zion United Methodist Church was listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the Untied States Department of Interior in 1990 as the oldest Black Methodist Church in Texas and the state’s oldest Black church.

  May 2022  
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