Mt. Zion CME celebration

Mt. Zion Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Smiths Station, 314 Veterans Dr., formerly Lee Rd. 294, held an anniversary celebration on Sunday afternoon. The church has been in existence since 1871, a total of 151 years, and was founded by Dr. G.M. Frazier.

Pastor Johnnie Nelms is new at the church, having taken up his post in July. He said the church lost a lot of momentum and some members due to the pandemic. This is the first annual service they have been able to have in a couple of years. They are now in the process of rebuilding the membership and programs. Currently the church has 89 members.

“This is a foundational church in this community,” said Nelms. “It has always been a beacon of light. It is a church that has birthed many professional singers, and it is a spiritual, inspirational church. This church as also birthed quite a few ministers over the year, probably 35 ministers have come out of this church.”

For this event, Mt. Zion CME welcomed Pleasant View Missionary Baptist Church from Salem as a guest with Rev. Nelson Fears as guest pastor to give the anniversary message. The Pleasant View Missionary Baptist Church Choir sang a selection and joined with the Mt. Zion Choir with an offering song. Valerie Thomas gave the welcome speech, Evangelist Velor Tolliver led the prayer, and Dineisha L. Hunt-Hollis spoke about the occasion and the church’s history. Remarks were given by Sister Inga Morgan, the Anniversary Chairperson; Sister Ivy Sanks, Anniversary Co-Chairperson, and Pastor Nelms.

After the service, everyone enjoyed a wonderful dinner and fellowship. The church has Sunday School at 10 a.m. with its regular worship service starting at 11 a.m. Bible study is held on Wednesday at 7 p.m. On Tuesday, there is a prayer meeting at 6 p.m. All times are ET. The church also has a choir and a youth choir.

Staff Writer

Toni Shah is an award-winning local news reporter. She covers city and county government meetings, but also enjoys writing profile pieces. She has been with The Citizen since 2018.