The Church History
Mt. Zione Christian Church, Mount Vernon, NY was organized in September, 1927 in a little store front on 3rd Street and 7th Avenue. Those present were Reverend George Martin, Sister Lucy Martin, and one or two others.
In 1928 the store-front church moved to another store-front at 412 South 8th Avenue. Some of the original charter members were: George Clark; Rebecca Singleton; Annie Murray; Esther Grant; William Grant; Sadie Grant; Fred Grant; Hester Ramsey; Alma Doe; David Smalls; Julia Richardson; Annie Martin; and Reverend George Martin.
Membership grew and many members banded together to buy coal for the pot-belly stove in the middle of the floor. Pooling $5 to $6 a month, each person helped to pay the rent, which was $15 a month at that time, purchase coal, and pay the light bill.
Under the leadership of Reverend George Martin the Church grew anyway. An increasing and committed membership, made up of blue collar and domes-tic workers, ensured that Mount Zion was as comfortable as their dues, offerings, and other contributions would allow.
In 1935, the Church moved from 412 South 8th Avenue to 360 South 8th Avenue for approximately five (5) to six (6) years. A Building Fund was estab-lished in 1936 with each Member contributing $1.25 a month while pledges and rallies were constantly on-going.
On July 31, 1945, the Church was Incorporated. The name of the proposed was “The Mount Zion Christian Church of Mount Vernon, New York.” The following were elected to hold office: Esther Grant-Clerk; and David Smalls, William Grant, Fred Grant, Rev. Henry Hamilton, and Hester Ramsey-Trustees. The number of Trustees was subsequently established at six (6) and elections of Trustees was established to be held on the 3rd Sunday in July 1946.
On June 1, 1945, Reverend Martin purchase a lot (horse stable) at 417 South 8th Avenue through the Eastchester Savings Bank, 22 East 1st Street, Mount Vernon, New York for $1,300. On July 2, 1945 , Reverend Martin sold that property to Mount Zione Christian Church, then located at 360 South 8th Avenue, for $1.
The horse stable was converted and Mount Zion was built. There were only four posts holding the roof up then. In 1949, six churches were presented to the Conference of the Southern Congregational Church in Greensboro, North Carolina: Antioch (New Brunswick, NY); Beatheada (New York); Harlem Christian (New York); Galilee (New York); Union (New York); and Mt. Zion (Mt. Vernon, NY). They stayed with this Conference until September 1961 when all churches of the Pilgrim Conference were merged with the New York Congregation Conference in New York City.