The Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church was organized on May 12, 1892, at 118½ South San Pedro in Los Angeles, California. There were twenty-six charter members in the congregation of the church. It is generally accepted that this group came out of the Second Baptist Church of Los Angeles. The church met on October 4, 1892, and called its first pastor, the Reverend David Evans. In November, 1892, the church was recognized by five sister churches: East Los Angeles Baptist Church, Second Baptist Church, Central Baptist Church, the German Baptist Church, and the First Baptist Church.
Mount Zion joined the Western Baptist Convention (today known as the Western Baptist State Convention). In 1896, Mount Zion was incorporated.
The church worshipped in different locations for about ten years, including Second & Rose, and Third & Stephens, until a little mission on Third & Traction was purchased from the First Baptist Church for $1,500.00. In 1923, the congregation moved to Fiftieth & Hooper.
Through the years, Mount Zion has endeavored to lead men and women, boys and girls, to Christ and to make this world a better place to live.
In these 128 years, Mt. Zion has been blessed with the pastoral care of 13 pastors and several interim pastors. God has blessed Mt. Zion with some very eminent, scholarly, outstanding and Spirit-filled leaders.
The first pastor to serve Mount Zion was the Reverend Davis R. Evans. He served as pastor from October 4, 1892, to February 28, 1896. He and his wife were charter members of Mount Zion. Reverend Evans was a very studious minister with a burning zeal for winning souls. He went to be with the Lord on March 10, 1920.
The Reverend S. H. Smith came to Mount Zion from the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Marysville, California. He joined Mount Zion and served as interim pastor until the church called him as pastor on May 12, 1896. He served Mount Zion for a little more than seven months, serving until January 7, 1897.
The Reverend J. H. Kelly assumed the duties of Pastor on May 25, 1897, on the recommendation of the deacons. No further information can be found regarding Pastor Kelley and his tenure with Zion.
The Reverend Sippio Thompson served Mount Zion as interim pastor and then as pastor from 1898 until 1905. He and his wife were charter members of Mount Zion. Under his leadership, a mission at Third & Traction was purchased and paid for in about six years at a cost of $1,500.00.
The Reverend Searcy Pearcy came as pastor in 1956 from Louisiana. He served Mount Zion for about five years and became a very prominent preacher. The church was enlarged to a seating capacity of 1,200 people and there was standing room only.
The Reverend Joseph T. Hill was born in Port Royal, Virginia. In 1911, Mount Zion called Reverend Hill from El Paso, Texas. He was a brilliant Bible scholar. He wrote many texts used at the Union Theological Seminary where he later taught. He was an early fighter of civil rights of the Negro. Under the leadership of Reverend Hill, Mount Zion became one of the greatest churches in the city with a large membership. After five years, Reverend Hill resigned to go on a singing tour.
The Reverend F. H. Davis served Mount Zion during 1916 and 1917 as interim pastor.
The Reverend Sidney L. Brooks, from North Carolina, was called to the church in 1917. He pastored Mount Zion for a little more than one year. He left and later organized the Progressive Baptist Church.
The Reverend Hall pastored Mount Zion for three months in 1919.
The Reverend Granville Reed was born on a plantation near Glen Allen, Washington County, Mississippi, to slave parents. He was called to pastor Mount Zion in May, 1920, and pastored until October, 1921. During his pastorate, he served as President of the Baptist Ministers' Union, Vice Moderator of the Western Baptist Association, President of the Pacific Baptist Convention, and Director of Christian Education.
The Reverend Andrew Jackson Stokes was born in 1850 in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. He was one of the most venerated figures of his time. At one time, he pastored eight churches at the same time. He preached all over the world and had baptized over 18,000 people. In April, 1924, when he was 75 years old, he was called to pastor Mount Zion. His pastorate was very short, for in September, 1924, as he was preparing a sermon, he transcended into heaven.
The Reverend Frank Herman Prentice was born in Alabama. On June 17, 1925, the Reverend Prentice accepted the pastorate of Mount Zion. He was a great pastor, leader and preacher, dearly loved by Mount Zion. Under his leadership, the membership grew so large that the old building was torn down and a new one built. The church promoted and accomplished much for humanity and saved many souls. The church school, mission and choirs were some of the strongest in the city and the membership grew to 1,800. Mount Zion became the leading contributor to the Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. He was called the "sweetheart" of the Foreign Mission Board and the "prince of preachers" of the National Baptist Convention. Reverend Prentice pastored Mount Zion for 33 years, 11 months and 13 days, until March 30, 1958. He served as Pastor Emeritus until God called him home on April 15, 1971.
The Reverend Percy Williams was called to pastor Mount Zion on June 25, 1958. Under his leadership, the educational building was completed and many improvements made. He served as pastor until 1961.
The Reverend Edward V. Hill was installed as Pastor on the first Sunday in March, 1961, after having served as pastor of the Friendly Will Missionary Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, and of the Mount Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. Under his 42 years of leadership, Mount Zion went forth in many ways to lead men to a living faith in Jesus Christ. The church was remodeled and the membership grew to more than 2,000.
He organized the E. Victor Fellowship, Sons and Daughters of Zion Fellowship, Speak Gospel Hands, began the Vanguard program, organized The United Benevolent Society, the World Christian Training Center, the World Christian Training Center Work Experience Program, the Good Samaritan Club, the Mount Zion Credit Union, the Zion Foundation, the STEP Foundation, the Lord's Kitchen, the Lord's Pantry, the Fragment Center, the Lord's Bath House, build E. Victor Villa and Mount Zion Towers, instituted a "Better Way to Celebrate Christmas," instituted the Hungry People's Drive, entertained summer workers from all over the country, held community-wide Vacation Bible Schools, built missions in Africa, bought a tractor for Africa, sent sheep to Africa, sent over 900 Bibles to believers in Communist countries, and supported the "Ethiopian Call." Pastor Hill also served on the Los Angeles Planning Commission, Los Angeles Housing Authority, special advisor to the Mayor, Vice President of the Baptist Ministers' Conference of Los Angeles, President of the California State Baptist Convention, on the Board of Directors of the Billy Graham Association, Vice President of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. and others.
Through the television ministry of Pastor Hill, Mount Zion became a church known throughout the world and was named one of the fourteen great churches in the world by Decision Magazine. Pastor Hill was chosen as one of the seven outstanding preachers by Time Magazine. He taught us, "If you have the faith, God has the power" and "If God can get it through you, He knows how to send it to you." He served as Pastor until February, 2003, when God called him home.
The Reverend Teddy Ray Hart was the interim
Pastor after the death of Pastor E. V. Hill Sr. in 2003 and served until
The Reverend Teddy Ray Hart was the interim
Pastor after the death of Pastor E. V. Hill Sr. in 2003 and served until
Pastor Edward V. Hill II became Pastor of Mount Zion on January 2, 2005. Before his election, Pastor Hill informed the church that he was led of the Lord to continue pastoring his church in North Hollywood, the Calvary Temple Pentecostal Holiness Church, which he had continued to pastor for 15 years. With this unique dual-pastorship, Pastor Hill victoriously led Mount Zion through 15 different law suits and eight church property battles. During the second year of his pastorate, while remodeling, our church sanctuary caught on fire which led us to worship at the Mount Moriah Baptist Church for a year and three months. During this time, Pastor Hill led the church in a complete remodeling and upgrading of the church property, especially the church sanctuary improving the appearance and facilities as well as upgrading worship technology.
Under his ministry, the church finances and membership increased. He has organized and reorganized 34 ministries of the church. He was responsible for the City of Los Angeles instituting the Dr. E. V. Hill Square at the corner of 50th and Hooper. The Lord's Kitchen property was received by the City of Los Angeles by imminent domain.
Upon becoming pastor, Pastor Hill immediately began to expand the Music Ministry which now boasts of seven choirs: Angelic Choir, Cathedral Choir, Sanctuary Choir, Tabernacle Choir, Women's Chorus, Levite Choir and most recently, the New Generation Choir and two praise teams: Judah Praise Team and Shabach Praise Team.
Pastor Hill's pride and joy was the reorganization of the Mothers' Ministry which now has 32 active and eight inactive Mothers who are always seated in front of the pulpit in full white attire during the Lord's Supper.
The following ministries have been newly organized by Pastor Hill: Shepherds' Ministry, New Generation Ministry, Women's Ministry, Men's Ministry, Armor Bearers' Ministry, Transitions Ministry, Impact for Girls Ministry, Royal Rangers Ministry, Convalescent Ministry, Brother-to-Brother and Sister-to-Sister Bible Studies, S.W.A.T. Ministry, MZ Praise Dance Ministry, MZ Mime Ministry, Mentorship Ministry, Ministers' Wives Ministry, and the Benevolence Ministry.
Pastor Hill has determined to continue seeking a balance between traditional church as we know it, and contemporary worship. One of Pastor Hill's favorite sayings is, "Nothing beats a good understanding."
December 2012 brought forth a change as Pastor Hill resigned from the pastorate of Calvary Temple Church of North Hollywood. However on Sunday January 6, 2013, and because of their love for the San Fernando Valley and in obedience to the Holy Spirt, Pastor Hill and First Lady Tisa Hill along with over 80 new members organized the Spirit of Zion Fellowship Church. Spirit of Zion would become a sister and satellite church to the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor continued the dual-pastorship role, as Pastor of two churches in two diverse parts of the city. “Spirit” would worship and fellowship often with Mount Zion and Pastor Hill always encouraged a harmonious relationship.
On August 12th 2019 our beloved Pastor E.V. Hill II went home to be with the Lord. Mount Zion remains strong and united and well organized at the time of his transition. History is continuing to prove that the "ole ship of Zion" is going forward, and we still profess "If you have the faith, God has the power."
Sunday August 25th, 2019, the Rev. Dr. Melvin Von Wade assumed the role as "interim helper" as he describes, rather than the term interim Pastor at Mount Zion "until Mount Zion calls its new Pastor." Dr. Wade has brought leadership and consistency to Zion during this transition period. His preaching and steadfast leadership rooted in his 42 years as a Pastor and the mutual love with the Mount Zion membership has been the ever present help that the Mount Zion family has expected.