Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1925, the Beginning
Mt. Zion Baptist Church was originally organized as a mission in the home of Brother Wesley and Sister Lula Austin. The original missionaries were Wesley and Lula Austin, John and Cally Austin, Matthew and Alice Dean, Lottie Gal- limore, and Reverend Joseph Raymond who provided leadership. The mission movement moved ahead and they were joined by Pinkie Johnson, Ruben and Mozella Walker, Jessie and Evie Walker, Ned and Lillie Melton, Dave and Bessie Hinton, Gussie King, Strada B. Bryant, Ida Ross, and Polly Williams.
Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1926, the Early Years
On September 3, 1926, the mission was organized as Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church; Rev. W. L. Hunt was the Pastor. The first church met in a rented building on East Grand River Avenue in Lansing, Michigan. After two years at this site, the church moved to another rented building on 1010 North Cedar Street in Lansing, Michigan.
Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1929 – 1949, Moving Up
A building was purchased and remodeled on 1219 Case Street in Lansing, Michigan. Rev. Hunt provided leadership at this landmark for the church’s history. Upon Rev. Hunt’s resignation (9/3/1929 – 1931), a number of ministers were chosen to give leadership:
Rev. C. R. Crawford (1930-31), Rev. W.L. Hunt was called again (1930-31), Rev. Allen People (1931), Rev. J.J. Bellamy, Rev. A.C. Moss, Rev. C. Harris, Rev. W.M. Holmes, and Rev. David D. Scott. Under the leadership of Rev. Scott, the church paid off the mortgage at 1219 Case Street in Lansing, Michigan.
Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1950, Spiritual Education
Rev. James Norwood (1950-1952), was elected to serve as Pastor. He brought new hope and high spirit to youth of the church through spiritual and educational programs.
Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1952, Church Expansion
Rev. E.M. Loggins (1952-1956) was elected as pastor. Under his leadership the church grew and the church building was enlarged to include a baptismal pool. Additionally, a station wagon was purchased to provide transportation to church services.
Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1956 to 1965, New Directions
Rev. Arthur Carruthers (1956-1966) was called to pastor Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. He provided the leadership which resulted in the purchase of three lots. In 1962, the construction of the new church building was initiated and completed in 1963. The church membership marched from the old edifice on Case Street to the new site at 1317 Ballard Street, Lansing, Michigan on Sunday, October 20, 1963. At 3 p.m. the ribbon cut was by the founders and first Pastor, Rev. W. L. Hunt.
Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1966 to 1994, Growing, Moving, and Educating
On June 3, 1966, Rev. J.E. Graves (1966-1994) was called to pastor Mt. Zion Missionary Bap st Church. He was formally installed as Pastor in September, 1966. Ini a ves under Rev. Graves’ leadership included par cipa on in various or- ganiza ons dedicated to the spreading of the gospel: Chain Lake District Associa on, the Na onal Bap st Conven on, USA Inc., and the Na onal Bap st Congress of Chris an Educa on. Ini a ves also included academic achievement through the church’s tutorial ministry and scholarship fund. In 1972, the mortgage was paid-o (actually “burned), for the church at 1317 Ballard Street, Lansing, Michigan. The accomplishments under Pastor Grave’s leadership throughout the years were numerous.
In 1984, the church’s membership accepted plans for the building of a new church. On June 4, 1989, the members walked across the street to 1314 Ballard Street, Lansing, Michigan. The old building was re- named, the J. E. Graves Educational Center and was used for multiple functions for the church and the community. On April 14, 1994, the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church family was deeply saddened by the loss of their Pastor, Dr. J. E. Graves.
Mt. Zion All Nations Bible Church, 1994 to present,
On October 30, 1994 the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church family, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit extended the call of pastorate to Pastor H. Levi McClendon, III. He accepted this assignment and the mantle was passed, Pastor McClendon assumed his responsibilities on the last Sunday of November 1994. Through Spirit-led giving campaigns, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist church was not only able to pay-off all church debt at 1314 Ballard Street but subsequently acquired 70 acres of land in DeWitt, Michigan. Con- struction and completion of a new worship center in that location culminated in 2006. Pastor McClendon led the newly renamed Mt. Zion All Nations Bible Church into a multi-million dollar Worship and Ministry facility on Resurrection Sunday April 16, 2006.
Pastor McClendon has fostered several ministry initiatives, designed to draw people to Christ. The new facility and Pastor McClendon’s heart and belief in effecting positive change has impacted the surrounding community, through programs such as Boys and Girls Camp, Award winning Football and Cheerleading Programs, Vacation Bible School, The Eden Project, Senior Lights, Be- lievers Support Ministry, Youth Empowerment Program Ministry, Discipleship Development, and many more. New endeavors and campaigns include our Willis C. Bradley Annual Golf Tournament, MZANBC Scholarship Fund and Grace of Giving.
Through the leading and obedience of Pastor McClendon’s heart we have fostered outreach relationships and begun the breaking down of racial barriers with diversity and sensitivity through regular fellowship with our surrounding community churches.
Under the direction of the Holy Spirit, Pastor McClendon has successfully brought Mt. Zion All Nations Bible Church through a period of transition and transformation. Due to his dynamic combination of diverse life experiences, he was divinely prepared for this appointment. His God-administered developmental path prepared and equipped him to facilitate the spiritual, administrative and business demands of ministry.
Pastor H. Levi McClendon is humbled and honored that God has chosen and anointed him to not only lead but to be a voice for such a time as this.