Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church

                                                             The History of

                                          Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church


The church was organized in 1877.  The name of the church at that time was Praying Harbor, because it was made of logs and embraced with brush.  The 1st pastor was Rev. Harris.  The church had a membership of approximately 25 members.  Rev. Harris served as pastor for 3 years.  After his term, 12 additional preachers served as pastors of Praying Harbor Church.

Church service was held on the 3rd Sunday morning & evening.  Coal Oil Lamps and wood burning heaters were used for lighting purposes.  The building was made of planks, with no classrooms.   Many additions and improvements were later made to the church which included a new frame building, electricity, and better benches for seating purposes.

In the early 1900s, the church split because the building was moved to its present site.  In 1998, the 13th pastor at that time, the late Rev. Irvin Keys, had a vision of a church building for Zion Hill.  The Lord blessed him to accomplish this goal and his vision became a reality. Under his leadership, he organized a male chorus under the direction of the late Sis. Darlene King.  The Deacons at that time were the late Bro. Carson Lee, Bro. J.M. Hooker, the late Bro. J.T. Thompson and Bro. Grover Sims, Jr.  During Rev. Keys term as Pastor, our current custodian, Bro. Charles Johnson, was hired.

Currently, our 14th Pastor, the Rev. Dr. F. Bernard Mitchell, has brought several ministries to our church family, such as… the Armor Bearer Ministry, the New Membership Class, the Jail Ministry, the Youth Ministry, A Dance Team, A Drill Team, a Mime Team, and a Mass Choir that consists of 40+ members.  Dr. Mitchell is the youngest Preacher to serve as Pastor of Zion Hill.  Also, under his leadership, he appointed 2 Deacons Emeritus (Bro. Carson Lee and Bro. M.C. James) and ordained Bro. Herman Johnson, Bro Joshua Sanders, and Bro. Emmanuel Thompson to serve as Deacons. 

Before his death, Bro. Carson Lee served as the oldest male member of the church.  The oldest active member of the church today is our beloved Sis. Loree Caraway. 

On November 18, 2008, Dr. Mitchell documented his first resolution to Sister Mary Ruth McLaurin for Heaven’s Gain, and Earth’s Loss.

In the year 2008, Relay for Life was started by the Zion Hill Mission.  Dr. Mitchell is our first full-time pastor.  Zion Hill’s membership has grown from 189 members to the largest congregation in Simpson County!  The church has full-time services.  On  December 23, 2007, our church was debt- free!

The late Bro. T.J. Moore served as Church Treasurer from 1970 to June 19, 2010.  Sis. Darlene King served diligently as Church Clerk.  She passed in 2009.

The mission of the Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church is to convert the sinner, empower the saint, through Evangelism, Christian Education, and Worship, with Christ always being the head of the Church.