Lady Zephaniah (Zay) Neal Allen
A native of Opelika, Alabama, Lady Zay passionately serves the Lord at Mount Zion. Since January 2004, she has served in the Music Ministry as director of the choirs. She brings infectious enthusiasm to worship that ignites the choirs and other worshippers.
Lady Zay grew up with music as a great part of her life. The youngest child born to Jesse L. Neal and the late Emily Catherine Neal, she sang in the church choir at Antioch Baptist Church as a young girl and throughout high school years in Opelika, Alabama. During high school she was a member of the school band, playing flute for several years. In her hometown, she and friends had a desire to praise God through gospel music with a spirit of excellence and quality which led to the founding of the Opelika Youth Community Choir (OYCC) under the direction of her cousin and childhood friend Altwone Littleton. In was in this group Lady Zay honed her abilities as a natural soprano.
She graduated with honors from Opelika High School in 1991 and continued her studies at the University of Alabama. At the University, Lady Zay became a member of the Afro-American Gospel Choir, traveling across the state and the southeast praising and worshipping God. During her years with the "Afros", Lady Zay was honored as Outstanding Soprano and Outstanding Female on more than one occasion. Lady Zay recorded as soloist on the song Come On And Praise Him with the Afro's and Tuscaloosa's Church of the Firstborn. It was in this choir she met her future husband, Pastor Allen. She also sang with the Abundant Life Music Ministry, Birmingham, Alabama from 1995-2000. She and then Deacon Allen, accepted the position of musician at First Baptist Church, Northport, Alabama two months before they married on December 2, 1995. Lady Zay displayed a gift for working with young people by working with the youth choir and other youth activities.
Lady Zay graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor of science degree in biology with a minor in English. She originally planned for a career in medicine, but soon discovered her true vocation as an educator. She then began seeking God about becoming an educator. She soon applied for graduate school and subsequently received a master's degree in education (comprehensive sciences). She began her career as a science educator in the Tuscaloosa City Schools in 2000. In 2004, she accepted a science teacher's position with the Jefferson County School System at Rudd Middle School in Pinson, Alabama. In 2005, she was awarded the "PTA's Outstanding Educator" award. She currently teaches at Bragg Middle School in Gardendale, Alabama, where she has been honored twice as "Second Mile Teacher". Lady Zay is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
Despite all that she does, she finds her greatest joy as wife to Pastor Allen and mother of one daughter Little Miss Zoë Catherine, born March 25, 2002 and one son Master Zion Christian, born February 5, 2008.