The History Of Mt. Zion

One of the earliest photos we have of the members of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
The History Of The Church
Mt. Zion Baptist Church was founded out of the need for a church in the Mt. Zion area. Several members of the community met together for the first time at the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Newman on March 5, 1844. They organized the United Missionary Baptist Church of Christ at Mt. Zion, holding services through the summer of 1844. The members constructed a log cabin 1 ½ miles south of the city of Edgerton. Some of the original foundation stones from the log cabin were used to construct the memorial monument at the current site of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. During the Civil War (1861-1865) the log cabin was destroyed by fire and a new church building was constructed.

In Fall of 1884, the collective decision was made to leave the Mt. Zion community and to relocate the church to the booming railroad town of Edgerton. The members placed the church building on logs and rolled it into town with mules and horses. This church building still remains in Edgerton, on the corner of Lewis and Aller. There the church would eventually become known as Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

The church went from a recorded membership of 100 to 225 in a year’s time. This event has been labeled as the Great Revival of 1885. The church remained at this location for nearly a century, serving their local community and beyond. In July of 1886 twenty members of the church were granted letters of transfer to meet together and organize the Little Platte Baptist Church, south of Ridgely, Missouri. In March of 1899 a few members were commissioned to organize Trimble Baptist Church in Trimble, Missouri. In the late 19th century, the records pertaining to the church in the years 1850-1884 were lost.

Eventually, due to age, deterioration, and the overcrowded conditions of the building on Lewis Street, the congregation recognized the need for change. The congregation sought after the will of God, desiring both to solve the presenting problems and to reach and serve more people in the community. After much prayer, on January 14, 1973 the church determined to purchase six acres west of Edgerton on which to build a new building. Groundbreaking occurred on April 4, 1976, the foundation was laid in July 1976, and the work continued for four years. The first service was held in Mt. Zion’s sanctuary in May of 1980.The Sunday morning congregation marched from the old deteriorating building in town to the new red-brick building, singing “Amazing Grace.”

As Mt. Zion continued to serve their community, there were some who began to think about how to further community outreach. In the 1990s there was a desire for a multi-purpose building where all could gather for recreation and fellowship. A men’s Saturday morning prayer group would pray over the potential of a multi-purpose building; doing so for a decade. Church attendance increased and worship services became overcrowded. The sanctuary’s balcony was opened and an early service was added.

In 1998 the church commissioned a Vision Team to further realize the desires for a multi-purpose building. The church made the decision to make the building two stories. A 100×120 foot building was proposed and accepted. To complete the project, members of Mt. Zion pledged $611,457.69. Groundbreaking was held on Dec. 27, 2004; construction began March of 2005 with the dedication being held the weekend of May 3-4, 2008. The multi-purpose building, was named the “Community Life Center” (CLC). The CLC is used for community events, children’s ministry, outreach, youth events, birthdays, weddings, and more.

Mt. Zion has ministered to the Edgerton community for the last 175 years and has gone to serve all over the US and internationally. There have been 25 mission trips to foreign countries and over 30 stateside. The Master’s Builders “hammer and nails” ministry serves churches with construction needs annually across the US, while Works of Grace continues to serve with international ministries like Christian Agricultural Missions in Haiti. In 2000 Mt. Zion planted New Harvest Baptist Church in Agency, Missouri. In 2013 Mt. Zion planted New Directions Church in Holt, Missouri.

2013 added a new focus at Mt. Zion: preparing young men for ministry. It began as a 3-month summer internship and has expanded to an 8-month program, allowing them to earn seminary credit. The internship focuses on mentoring while exposing young men to the various ministries of the church. Since 2013, four young men have completed internships and one is currently serving. 

In 2019, the Mt. Zion Expository Preaching Fellowship was instituted which provides both a financial award and two semesters of mentoring to any second or third-year seminary student who is committed to developing and enhancing their skills in preaching.

Mt. Zion has been blessed by God for 175 years. May we continue to serve Him and may He continue to bless Mt. Zion until the LORD Jesus returns. To God be the glory, Amen.

Pastors At Mt. Zion, Past And Present
Peter Swain – 1844
Mathis Cline
Jonas D. Wilson
J.D. Brooks – 1846
J. Clay
Thomas Cooke
I.F. Williams – 1853
Nicholas Boberts – 1856
J.E. DeBerry
Thomas Montgomery
J. Clay
B.F. Rice
G. W. Everett
R.H. Jones – 1886-1890
J.L. Parmichal – 1890
R.H. Jones – 1890-1896
G. W. Everett – 1896-1901
J.W. Bowling – 1901-1902
B. Venerable – 1902-1910
C.F. Acree – 1910-1911
M.B. Paddock – 1912
L.E. Marvin – 1913-1915
E.L. Estes – 1916-1919
G.W. Everett – 1919-1920
Brother Crum – 1920-1921
J.W. Harbough – 1922-1925
E.E. Edwards – 1926-1927
C.M. Philips – 1928-1929
A.B. Mills – 1930
A.T. Estes – 1931-1935
F.L. Alexander – 1935-1937
L.E. Johnson – 1937-1941
Wayne Minor – 1942
Loyd Self – 1943-1944
Glenn Taylor – 1944-1945
Dewey Graves – 1945-1947
Frank E. Myers – 1947-1949
H.B. Hickling – 1949-1950
Orville Woolery – 1950-1951
Arthur Clodfelter – 1951-1953
Ben Kelley – 1953-1956
Robert Ballantyne – 1957-1960
Kenneth Carr – 1960-1962
Edward Howell – 1963-1965
Robert Hicks – 1965-1968
A.E. Runnels – 1968-1971
Ron Lilley – 1971-1977
Terry Siron – 1977-1978
George Hull – 1978-1981
Tom Steward – 1982-1984
Mike Goodner – 1984-1991
Rick Lumm – 1991-2011
Dave Brown – 2011-2013
Jon Denney – 2013-Pres

The Continued Effort Of The Historical Team
Mt. Zion has been blessed with a long history and members throughout its history that have preserved documents and information pertaining to the church. Coming to the 175th Anniversary, we have become keenly aware of the need to continue and better our efforts in the preservation of our church’s history. For this reason, the historical room will eventually become a fixture at the church, allowing the church to continue to remember God’s faithfulness to us as the years continue on. Additionally this page will continue to be updated for the sake of our members and community.