Our Story


Mt. Zion has a glorious future as we continue to Reach the World for Christ!   Click to view our history.

How it all started...

The Mount Zion Baptist Church of Albany, GA was organized December 8, 1865 by the late Rev. R. R. Watson. The church’s original location was in a building then known as the Jerry Walter’s Blacksmith Shop, which was located on the corner of State Street (now Highland Avenue) and Jackson Street. A successful financial drive made it possible to purchase land for the church at Washington Street and Highland Avenue. Twenty-six hundred dollars was raised for this purpose. However, before the structure was completed, it was destroyed by a storm. Nevertheless, the site at South Street (now Whitney Avenue) and Jefferson Street was purchased. An old house brought from Leesburg, Georgia was donated to the congregation by a Yankee Colonel named Howard. This became the first church structure at that location. Northern teachers taught school in that building until a schoolhouse was later erected.

Though there were numerous hardships that arose, Mount Zion nevertheless continued to progress through the leadership of (1865) Rev. R. R. Watson; (1900) Rev. N. B. Williamson; (1905) Rev. T. J. Simpson; (1916) Rev. W. J. Jenkins; (1926) Rev. N. B. Wright, also (1926) Rev. I. A. Harris; (1933) Rev. H. M. Smith; (1944 - 1991) Rev. Dr. E. James Grant.

Expanding the vision...

On November 17, 1991, Rev. Daniel B. Simmons was installed as the Church’s ninth pastor in its then 126-year history. This change in leadership has been a smooth and productive transition. “A New Beginning” was the theme for    Pastor Simmons’ Installation Service.  Pastor Simmons’ wife, Diane, and daughter, Maya, along with other members of his family were present at his Installation Service.  His father, Rev. Perry Simmons, Sr. delivered the Installation Sermon.

During Pastor Simmons’ third year of ministry, the “Great Flood of 1994” inundated many of the areas of the city, including the church.  The church structure was engulfed with approximately eight feet of water. During the period of flood recovery and renovation, God opened many doors within the community, which enabled the congregation to conduct meetings and worship services.  The Temple B’nai Israel, a local Jewish Synagogue, opened its doors and   embraced the Mount Zion congregation by allowing worship services to be conducted at the synagogue.  The congregation returned home and marched into their reconstructed sanctuary during the summer of 1995.

Where we are headed...

Mt. Zion’s membership has increased remarkably since Pastor Simmons’ installation.  Church attendance is consistently high; financial stewardship (giving and tithing) has increased substantially.  Many “new beginnings” and    creative works, such as ministries and other Christian initiatives have been implemented under the spiritual leadership of Pastor Daniel Simmons.  From humble beginnings in 1865 to the present, Mt. Zion has been a beacon of light, hope, faith, and inspiration in the community. The Old Mt. Zion (corner of Whitney and Jefferson) has been added to the Historic Registry and become home of the Albany Civil Rights Movement Museum. The Church has a history of Biblical teaching and embodies more than fifty ministries that are designed to minister to the total person as well as enable Mt. Zion to ‘be a vibrant church that is reaching the world for Christ through evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, and missions’.
“The moving finger writes and having writ moves on.  Not all piety nor wit can lure it back to cancel half a line; nor all your tears wash out a word of it.”  As we commemorate 154 years of untiring service to God and the community and 28 years under the Godly leadership of Pastor Daniel Simmons, we pledge anew to remember a past that has given us a glorious reflection and serve toward to a future that is pleasing in the sight of the Master.


Shield in AFRICA

Albany Civil Rights Institute

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together at 8:00 am and 10:15 am.