THE MOUNT ZION BAPTIST CHURCH traces its history to the late nineteenth century. The Church was formally established in 1899 and has since served as an integral part of the City of Cordova and the Walker County church fellowship. Over the years the church's location appears to have shifted from one place to another; however, it has generally remained near its present site.
For many years, Mount Zion partnered with the Saint James Christian Methodist Episcopal (C.M.E.) Church to provide ministry to the African-American population of Cordova. The two churches met on alternating Sundays, often with membership in each church shared within the same households and families. This arrangement continued for many years. However, it was the mid-1990s that Mount Zion felt a need to provide consistency in its ministries. It began meeting each week. This presented interesting logistical and financial challenges. Nevertheless, the Lord provided, allowing the church to experience growth and stability through this exercise of faith.
There are countless men and women whose work laid the foundation for MZBC. Though many of their names are lost to history, their works continue through their posterity. However, the following were numbered among those who served:
Deacons: Ricky Johnson, James Johnson, *John H. (Johnny) Jackson, Tyrone Boulden, *Lawrence Cooper, Drew B. McElrath, Essie McElrath, *Otis McElrath, John McElrath, Jr., *John H. Johnson, *Oscar L. Wilson, Jack Boyd, Robert V. Bruton, Freeman Simon, Austin Branch. *- denotes former chairmen
Trustees: Eric Cook, Ronnie Holliday, Loudelia C. Branch, Brenda Johnson, John A. (Johnny) Smith, James Johnson, Tyrone Boulden, Vanessa Rodgers Nalls, Johnny Jones, Sr.
Clerks/Financial Secretaries: Loudelia C. Branch, Melza B. McElrath, Brenda Johnson, Brenda Woods Rodgers, Frances Williams, Ellen Harris, Elvie Johnson.
Former Musicians: Pianists/Organists: Robert Woods, Pastor Darren C. Allen, Brandon A. Boyd of McCalla, Gregory L. Brown of Birmingham, Mark Griffin of Tuscaloosa, C. Renee Henderson, Bruce Henderson Jr., Bernice McElrath, Melza B. McElrath, Bertha Neal Rodgers, Dora Farris, Shirley Martin Thomas, Rebbie Jean Williams & Edna Lee Bankhead.
Choir Directors: Lady Zay Allen, Shavonne Armistad, Latasia Harris; Percussionists/Drummers: Kyren Belser, JaRay Nalls, Brandon Douglas.
Ministers/Pastors Reared in MZBC: Min. Donta Williams, Min. Brenda (Belser) Rodgers, Min. Rickey Johnson, Min. James Johnson, Pastor Dennis Thomas (Lincoln Heights, OH); Bishop Vesta L. Dixon (Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church, Chicago, IL); Pastor Johnny Jones, Jr. (First Baptist Church, Corona Avenue, Jasper, AL); Min. Bruce Henderson, Jr.
For over a century, Mount Zion has maintained a strong tradition of effective and continuous pastoral leadership. Its under-shepherds have included: