Reverend Gerald Martin
Reverend Gerald Martin was born in April 1887 in the small community of Burton, Beaufort County, South Carolina. When the 1900 Census was taken on June 5, 1900, Reverend Martin, age 13, and his sister, Nancy, age 11, born in July 1888, were visit-ing or living with their grandmother, Polly Williams in Beaufort County, South Carolina. The Census indicated that he was attending school. In 1925, according to the New York State Census, Reverend Martin, age 38, was a laborer living on 7th Avenue in Mount Vernon, New York. He was married to Lucille, age 30, a domestic worker. The couple had a son, Williams, age 13, and a daughter, Dorothy, age 2. There were three (3) roomers living in the Martin household: Eucilda Singleton and Sem and Estelle Washington.
Reverend Martin was the founding Pastor of Mt. Zione and served as Pastor from 1928 until his death in 1957. When the 1930 Census was taken, Reverend Martin was living on 8th Avenue in Mount Vernon and paying $30 monthly in rent. He was still married to Lucille who was age 34 at that time. The Census listed their daughter, Dorothy, age 5, and an adopted son, Callie “Sonny” Cozart, age 16. He indicated on the Census that he was first married at age 28 and his wife at age 18 and that they had been married 14 years.
The Census listed Reverend Martin as a laborer in a coal yard. Living next door to Reverend Martin was his cousin, Phoebe Donaldson, who was married to James Mur-ray. Also living in the same area were his cousins, Sarah Shorter and her mother, Christina Pinckney, and Christina’s daughter, Ruth. By April 2, 1940 when the 1940 Census was taken, Reverend Martin, now 52, listed as a preacher and laborer, was living on South 7th Avenue. He listed that he was able to read and write and indicated that he had completed the 6th grade. At this time he was married to Anna, age 52, who was born in North Carolina. He had a step-daughter, Louisa Simmart, age 26, who was a domestic worker for a pri-vate home. Residing with the family were two roomers: Pearl Healy and his adopted son, Sonny Cozart. After a lengthy illness, Reverend Martin died at age 70 on November 9, 1957. The cause of death was listed as heart failure. At the time of his death, he lived at 411 South 8th Avenue in Mount Vernon, New York according to the Social Security Death Index. (His death certificate indicates he lived at 11 Hester Place at the time of his death.) REVEREND MARTIN SERVED AS PASTOR FOR 29 YEARS. (Rev. Martin’s bio provided, in part, by his great niece, Mrs. Daily Maxwell.)
Reverend Fred Grant
Reverend Fred Grant was born January 27, 1903 in Beaufort, South Carolina to the late Cupid and Charlotte Grant. He was the old-est of four children. He attended local schools in South Carolina. Reverend Grant was one of the original charter members of the founding of Mt. Zion in 1928. During his church life, he served in many capacities, including Trustee, Superin-tendent of the Sunday School, and also Assis-tant Pastor. In November 1950, Reverend Grant preached his initial sermon. In April 1955 he was ordained as a minister of Mount Zione Congregational Christian Church. When Reverend Martin became ill and unable to perform his duties, the church elected Reverend Grant as the Assistant Pastor. Reverend Grant was called as the Pastor of Mount Zion Christian Congregational Church on February 10, 1959 and installed in April 1959. He was married to the late Sadie Ford. They were married June 4, 1924 and moved to Mount Vernon in 1927. They had four (4) sons: Charles Fred Grant, Solomon Grant, Curtis Cupid Grant, and Robert Lee Grant; and five (5) daughters: Rebecca Riley, Wilhelmina Riley, Angie Nazarene (Grant) Grant, Georgia Mae (Grant) Fitchett, and Sarah (Grant) Rowe. Reverend Grant departed this life on Saturday, June 28, 1980. REVEREND GRANT SERVED AS PASTOR FOR 21 YEARS.
Reverend Peter Wilson Sr.,
Reverend Peter Wilson, Sr. was born November 25, 1943 in Meridian, Mississippi. He married Anne White on June 12, 1970. They have three (3) children: Belinda Faye Wilson; Sheila Wilson-Sebro; and Peter Wilson, Jr. Reverend Peter Wilson, Sr. moved to Mount Vernon, New York shortly after graduating from North Sumter High School in Panola, Alabama. He joined Unity Baptist Tabernacle Church in Mount Vernon where he served for more than 20 years under the leadership of the late Reverend Dr. Henry Grant Jones. While at Unity, he served on the Senior Choir, Young Adult Choir and as President of the Male Chorus for many years, and later organized the Scholarship Fund. He was later ordained into the Diaconate Ministry and also served as the Assistant Superintendent of the Church School.
It was at Unity Baptist Tabernacle that Rev. Wilson accepted his call to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ on November 18, 1979. He was licensed under the late Dr. Jones on December 16, 1979. After his calling, he attended New York Theological Seminary for two years. There in May 1982 he received the Certificate in Christian Ministry as well as the Certificate in Advance Preaching. Rev. Wilson was ordained into the gospel ministry by Rev. Dr. Calvin E. Owens, Pastor of Community Protestant Church, Bronx, New York on September 10, 1982. Rev. Wilson was called as Pastor of Mt. Zion Christian Congregational Church on October 17, 1982 and installed as Pastor on January 15, 1983. After 41 1/2 years, on January 12, 2004, Rev. Wilson retired from his secular employment at Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of New York to devote full-time to the Gospel Ministry.
Rev. Wilson served as Worship Leader for the United Missionary Baptist Association’s parent body. He has served in the past as Chaplain for the United Black Clergy of Westchester and as a Vice President. In addition, Rev. Wilson served as a Mentor for “The Gent’s Club” for young boys at Edward Williams Elementary School and as Resident Minister for boys and girls at Nelson Mandela-Dr. Hosea Zollicoffer High School, in Mt. Vernon, New York. Rev. Wilson continued to motivate and inspire Mt. Zion to study the Word of God until his passing on July 28, 2016. On August 5, 2017, the City Council of Mt. Vernon honored Rev. Wilson’s legacy by renaming South 8th Ave between West 5th Street and W Sandford Boulevard “Rev. Peter Wilson, Sr. Way.” REVEREND WILSON SERVED AS PASTOR FOR 33 YEARS