OUR STORY



Zion has been a part of this community for more than 190 years...


Zion Baptist Church was constituted on August 5, 1826 with ten charter members. Conference was called for the purpose of electing delegates to the Yellow River Association and the election of two deacons. A pastor was called to serve one Sunday each month.    During the early years of ZBC, slaves were received into the church. The minutes recorded:


"The following joined our church by experience from September 4, 1826 till September 14, 1826:   30 white males and females and 3 blacks. One black, Sam Persall, felt the call to preach.  After examination and hearing him preach from Zion’s pulpit, he was licensed to preach."

 

In 1840, Zion joined the Rock Mountain Association, which merged with Appalachia at a later date. A letter to the Stone Mountain Association is mentioned in 1872. No definite date is given when joining this Association.  Always a Missionary Baptist church, the record shows donations being sent to Mercer University, and yearly support was sent to Foreign, Home, and Indian Missions.


The Civil War caused a hardship on Zion in that the Yankee raids separated Zion from their pastor. The December 30th conference states a resolution:    "that we sympathize with our pastor in being cut off from us by Yankee raids and rejoice to meet with him once more at Old Zion." 

 

After the war, slaves were given their freedom, and Zion sold the church building to them a few days later.

 

In 1869, a new church building was built on a track of land donated by Mr. Thomas Hicks and Mr. Thomas Black, at the crossroads of Highways, 20 and 212, which is our present location. It was a day of thanksgiving when Zion could finish a

pastorium and call a pastor for full-time service in the community.

 

A beautiful brick sanctuary was dedicated in January 1962, and a three story educational building added in 1968.


By 1982, Zion built a second educational building (which brought the Sunday School capacity to 600) with a fellowship hall area and a new kitchen facility.   New church staff were incorporated as needed and in 1991 the church was incorporated as Zion Baptist Church of Newton County, Inc.  

 

An eight hundred seat sanctuary was completed in 1998 by Potts Construction Company, and, shortly after that, the men of the church finished new preschool and music areas. Also during this time the men of the church renovated the offices, senior adult and children’s areas.


 In 2003, an activities building, the Sanders Family Life Center, was completed which included a full size gym, kitchen, and 32 classrooms. This Family Life Center has become a focal area of many of our community missions during the past 15 years. It houses most of our Lifegroups, including our children's classes, and is home to a our Kid's Worship and ZIon's Weekday Preschool. 

 

 


Zion has been growing inward and outward in the last several years, under the leadership of Dr. L. Lane Collins and his lovely wife, Julie. Our community ministry has become the center of our vision. We are currently Partners in Education with three local schools: Oak Hill Elementary, West Newton Elementary, and Veterans Memorial Middle School. We are working with the state Christian Learning Center board to bring CLC to students here in Newton County. We also regularly host community events and activities to both bring people in and send us out to them.

 

We want to be the church this community cannot live without - and as we approach 200 years of ministry, we are so excited to see what God will do.