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In late 1976, a small group of Christians, mostly from Faith Baptist Church in Springfield, MA stepped out on faith to start a new church.  On February 6, 1977, this group of 42+ members was officially set aside as Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Greater Springfield.

For almost nine months, the Church worshiped each Sunday in the basement of Gardner A.M.E. Zion Church on Carew Street. By the end of 1977, Mt. Zion purchased property at 368 Bay Street and moved there on November 6, 1977.

In May 1978, Rev. Willie Wilkerson was called to be the first Pastor of Mt. Zion.

On Wednesday, August 1, 1979, the Church was struck by lightning, destroying the sanctuary. For almost a year, services were held in the lower auditorium of the building.

On October 5, 1980, the congregation “marched” into their new sanctuary, where several changes had occurred.  Three of the more dramatic changes were:

  • The entrance to the building was changed from Bay Street to Princeton Street.
  • The building had been lengthened by 16 feet, where a balcony was added.
  • A drop ceiling had been removed so that the A-frame beams could been seen.

Rev. Willie Wilkerson resigned as Pastor in August 1990.

In July 1991, Rev. Morris A. Goggins, Sr. was installed as Mt. Zion’s second Pastor.

In 1997, Mt. Zion purchased a parcel of land across Princeton Street from the Church and  turned it into a 10,000 square foot parking lot.

The Church started a weekly community Soup Kitchen in February 1999.

The first issue of the Church’s monthly newsletter, “THE MT. ZION MESSENGER: THE GOOD NEWSletter,” was published in June 1999.

Rev. Morris A. Goggins, Sr. resigned on December 31, 1999.

Rev. James B. Williams was installed in May 2001 as the Church’s third Pastor.

In April 2002, Mt. Zion celebrated its 25th Church Anniversary with a gala banquet. The theme was “25 Years at the Cross: We’ve Come This Far by Faith.”

In June 2008, Rev. James B. Williams was called home to be with the Lord.

On December 31, 2010, at Watch Night Service, the tenure of Rev. Atu White began as Mt. Zion’s fourth Pastor. He received his doctorate degree and was installed as Pastor in May 2011.

In 2016, when the historic Dunbar Community Center faced the threat of padlocks, Mt. Zion Baptist Church stepped in to stave off foreclosure.  Mt. Zion purchased the facility in October 2016 and moved the Church to this campus in May 2017.

See our History in Poem Form.

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Mt. Zion Baptist Church33 Oak StreetSpringfield, MA 01109


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