Welcome to

Mount Zion Missionary     Baptist Church, Altoona, PA.

About us 

Mount Zion since 1873




 Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church

History

 

In 1839 the Afro-America citizens of Altoona were given a school house as a place of worship.  Herein was the beginning stage of the Mount Zion Second Baptist Church.  There are no records of their progress until 1873. 

In 1873, Rev. William Codville was the pastor of the (white) First Baptist Church.  Under his pastorate, the Second Baptist church (Mount Zion) was organized by the African American members who were given letters expressly for the purpose of establishing a church.  Through the years we have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with our ‘Mother Church”.

The humble beginnings of Mt. Zion was a store front building located on 17th street between 10th and 11th Ave.  Later a property on the corner of 5th Ave. and 22nd St. was purchased in 1889 at the cost of $1,200.00,  The property included 2121 5th Ave. a home to be used as a parsonage to 22nd St. a double house fronting on 22nd St. was also included.  The congregation held meetings in one side of the double house whilst the main church was being built.  The first pastor was the Rev. Jacob Roberson. 

Mt. Zion was one of the stations of the Underground Railroad that enabled slaves to escape to freedom.  The room adjacent to our choir loft was used as a shelter.   This door was hidden behind a large dresser. The initial Head Start of Blair County was started there by Rev.  Charles Hickerson and his wife Delores. 

On November 1947, using an 11 month plan, formulated by Rev. William Fambro,           $4,274.64 was raised to clear the congregation of a 20 year debt.  Rev. Delta Alpha Terry, a former pastor returned as a guest speaker.  He chose the subject “The people had a mind to work” Nehemiah 4: 1-10. 

Mt. Zion was an active member of a group of multi-faith churches known as the Sixth-Ward Ministry.  We participated in many spiritual, social and community events.  We extended our missionary work to Haiti and Kenya.  We sponsored the orphanage – “Life is Wealth” and gave financial aid to pupils.  In the community Mt. Zion sponsors our Thrift shop; free clothes is available to support Meals on Wheels, Community Action, The Food Bank and the Salvation Army; and not only financially - our members volunteer their time also.  In addition, we are fully immersed in the NAACP, Prison and Addiction ministries. 

Bible study classes, retreats, seasonal revivals, pastoral visits, pre-marital counseling, ordination studies for clergy and the diaconate ministry were started by our former pastor Rev. Dr. Calvin Edmonds who retired in 2011. 

Since his installation in 2014, based on our mission statement to go into the community to share the word of God, our Pastor Reverend Keith R. Moore has introduced Christmas day and Sunrise services, community health fairs, feeding the homeless, the Mt. Zion Taking Control Scholarship School for all youth age 11-18, In addition to our re-introduction to the Central Baptist Association and American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania & Delaware. 

Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Altoona PA. is the oldest African-American Baptist church in continuous operation in Blair County and is also one of the oldest in Pennsylvania.    To God be the Glory and the Honor!