Mount Zion Through The Years
The Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church was organized on May 12, 1892, at 118½ South San Pedro in Los Angeles, California. There were twenty-six charter members in the congregation of the church. It is generally accepted that this group came out of the Second Baptist Church of Los Angeles. The church met on October 4, 1892, and called its first pastor, the Reverend David Evans. In November, 1892, the church was recognized by five sister churches: East Los Angeles Baptist Church, Second Baptist Church, Central Baptist Church, the German Baptist Church, and the First Baptist Church. The church worshipped in different locations for about ten years, including Second & Rose, and Third & Stephens, until a little mission on Third & Traction was purchased from the First Baptist Church for $1,500.00. In 1923, the congregation moved to Fiftieth & Hooper. Through the years, Mount Zion has endeavored to lead men and women, boys and girls, to Christand to make this world a better place to live. In these 130 years, Mount Zion has been blessed with the pastoral care of 15 pastors and several interim pastors. God has blessed Mt. Zion with some outstanding and visionary leaders.
The first pastor to serve Mount Zion was the Reverend Davis R. Evans. He served as pastor from October 4, 1892 to February 28, 1896. He and his wife were charter members of Mount Zion. Reverend Evans was a very studious minister with a burning zeal for winning souls. He went to be with the Lord on March 10, 1920.
The Reverend S. H. Smith came to Mount Zion from the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Marysville, California. He joined Mount Zion and served as interim pastor until the church called him as pastor on May 12, 1896. He served Mount Zion for a little more than seven months, serving until January 7, 1897.
The Reverend J. H. Kelly assumed the duties of Pastor on May 25, 1897, on the recommendation of the deacons. No further information can be found regarding Pastor Kelley and his tenure with Zion.
The Reverend Sippio Thompson served Mount Zion as interim pastor and then as pastor from 1898 until 1905. He and his wife were charter members of Mount Zion. Under his leadership, a mission at Third & Traction was purchased and paid for in about six years at a cost of $1,500.00.
The Reverend Searcy Pearcy came as pastor in 1956 from Louisiana. He served Mount Zion for about five years and became a very prominent preacher. The church was enlarged to a seating capacity of 1,200 people and there was standing room only.
The Reverend Joseph T. Hill was born in Port Royal, Virginia. In 1911, Mount Zion called Reverend Hill from El Paso, Texas. He was a brilliant Bible scholar. He wrote many texts used at the Union Theological Seminary where he later taught. He was an early fighter of civil rights of the Negro. Under the leadership of Reverend Hill, Mount Zion became one of the greatest churches in the city with a large membership. After five years, Reverend Hill resigned to go on a singing tour.
The Reverend F. H. Davis served Mount Zion during 1916 and 1917 as interim pastor.
The Reverend Sidney L. Brooks, from North Carolina, was called to the church in 1917. He pastored Mount Zion for a little more than one year. He left and later organized the Progressive Baptist Church.
The Reverend Hall pastored Mount Zion for three months in 1919.
The Reverend Granville Reed was born on a plantation near Glen Allen, Washington County, Mississippi, to slave parents. He was called to pastor Mount Zion in May, 1920, and pastored until October, 1921. During his pastorate, he served as President of the Baptist Ministers'Union, Vice Moderator of the Western Baptist Association, President of the Pacific Baptist Convention, and Director of Christian Education.
The Reverend Andrew Jackson Stokes was born in 1850 in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. He was one of the most venerated figures of his time. At one time, he pastored eight churches at the same time. He preached all over the world and had baptized over 18,000 people. In April, 1924, when he was 75 years old, he was called to pastor Mount Zion. His pastorate was very short, for in September, 1924, as he was preparing a sermon, he transcended into heaven.
The Reverend Frank Herman Prentice was born in Alabama. On June 17, 1925, the Reverend Prentice accepted the pastorate of Mount Zion. He was a great pastor, leader and preacher, dearly loved by Mount Zion. Under his leadership, the membership grew so large that the old building was torn down and a new one built. The church promoted and accomplished much for humanity and saved many souls. The church school, mission and choirs were some of the strongest in the city and the membership grew to 1,800. Mount Zion became the leading contributor to the Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. He was called the "sweetheart" of the Foreign Mission Board and the "prince of preachers" of the National Baptist Convention. Reverend Prentice pastored Mount Zion for 33 years, 11 months and 13 days, until March 30, 1958. He served as Pastor Emeritus until God called him home on April 15, 1971.
The Reverend Percy Williams was called to pastor Mount Zion on June 25, 1958. Under his leadership, the educational building was completed and many improvements made. He served as pastor until 1961.
The Reverend Edward V. Hill was installed as Pastor on the first Sunday in March, 1961, after having served as pastor of the Friendly Will Missionary Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, and of the Mount Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. Under his 42 years of leadership, Mount Zion went forth in many ways to lead men to a living faith in Jesus Christ. The church was remodeled and the membership grew to more than 2,000.
He organized the E. Victor Fellowship, Sons and Daughters of Zion Fellowship, Speak Gospel Hands, began the Vanguard program, organized The United Benevolent Society, the World Christian Training Center, the World Christian Training Center Work Experience Program, the Good Samaritan Club, the Mount Zion Credit Union, the Zion Foundation, the STEP Foundation, the Lord's Kitchen, the Lord's Pantry, the Fragment Center, the Lord's Bath House, build E. Victor Villa and Mount Zion Towers, instituted a "Better Way to Celebrate Christmas," instituted the Hungry People's Drive, entertained summer workers from all over the country, held community-wide Vacation Bible Schools, built missions in Africa, bought a tractor for Africa, sent sheep to Africa, sent over 900 Bibles to believers in Communist countries, and supported the "Ethiopian Call." Pastor Hill also served on the Los Angeles Planning Commission, Los Angeles Housing Authority, special advisor to the Mayor, Vice President of the Baptist Ministers' Conference of Los Angeles, President of the California State Baptist Convention, on the Board of Directors of the Billy Graham Association, Vice President of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. and others.
Through the television ministry of Pastor Hill, Mount Zion became a church known throughout the world and was named one of the fourteen great churches in the world by Decision Magazine. Pastor Hill was chosen as one of the seven outstanding preachers by Time Magazine. He taught us, "If you have the faith, God has the power" and "If God can get it through you, He knows how to send it to you." He served as Pastor until February, 2003 when God called him home.
The Reverend Teddy Ray Hart was the interim Pastor after the death of Pastor E. V. Hill Sr. in 2003 and served until December, 2004.
Pastor Edward V. Hill II became Pastor of Mount Zion on January 2, 2005. Pastor Hill victoriously led Mount Zion through 15 different lawsuits and during the second year of his pastorate, while remodeling, our church sanctuary caught on fire which led us to worship at the Mount Moriah Baptist Church for a year and three months. During this time, Pastor Hill led the church in a complete remodeling and upgrading of the church property, especially the church sanctuary improving the appearance and facilities as well as upgrading worship technology. He was responsible for the City of Los Angeles instituting the Dr. E. V. Hill Square at the corner of 50th and Hooper. Pastor Hill's pride and joy was the reorganization of the Mothers' Ministry and the expansion of the music ministry. Pastor Hill led our church faithfully as Pastor for 14 years until August 12, 2019, when our beloved Pastor E.V. Hill II went home to be with the Lord.
On Sunday August 25, 2019, The Reverend Dr. Melvin Von Wade agreed to assume the role as "interim helper" as he describes and not as interim pastor until Mount Zion called a new Pastor for the church. Dr. Wade’s presence, preaching and more than 50 years of Pastoral experience was exactly what Mount Zion needed during the transition period.
On October 6, 2021, in a meeting of the entire congregation, the Reverend Joshua M. Daniels of Houston, Texas was elected the 15th Pastor of Mount Zion. Pastor Daniels came to Mount Zion from Freedom Worship Assembly in Houston, Texas. His mixture of seasoned leadership and youthful energy ushered Mount Zion into a new season and positioned her for ministry in the 21st Century. Pastor Daniels came to Mount Zion with a vision of leading people to Christ and changing lives by helping people to Love God, Experience Freedom, Discover Their Purpose, and Impact the World! Under Pastor Daniels leadership, the church continues to grow spiritually, numerically and financially as he builds upon the foundation left for him by the legacy of the previous pastors.
In October of 2021, Rev. Joshua M. Daniels answered the call of God to become the fifteenth Senior Pastor of the historic and venerable Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, California founded in 1892, where he has since served faithfully. Pastor Daniels is honored to follow in the same pastoral lineage of the late Dr. E.V. Hill, Sr., and under his leadership Mount Zion continues to grow and make a tremendous impact in Los Angeles and beyond. Prior to serving Mount Zion, Pastor Daniels, served as the Senior Pastor of congregations in Beaumont and Houston, Texas.
In a church-wide meeting on November 18, 2023, it was announced that Pastor Joshua M. Daniels resigned as Pastor of the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
History is continuing to prove that the "ole ship of Zion" is moving forward, and we still profess that "The Best is Yet to Come!"
REMEMBERING DR. EV HILL
Edward Victor Hill was born on November 10, 1933 in Columbus, Texas to the parents of William and Rosa Hill. He was reared in a log cabin by Papa Aaron and Mama Ellis Langram in the Sweet Home Community near Seguin Texas. He was born again on December 14, 1944.
He was married to Jane Edna Caruthers on August 29, 1955. To this union, two children were born, Norva Rose Kennard and Edward V. Hill II. Jane preceded him in death on October 29, 1987. He was married to LaDean Donald on March 7, 1992.
He accepted the call to preach the gospel of Jesus in 1951 and in the same year, he was elected president of the National Baptist Youth Convention of America. Edward was called to pastor his first church, the Friendly Will Missionary Baptist Church in Austin, Texas in 1954. He attended Prairie View College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy in 1955.
At the age of 21, he was called to pastor the Mount Corinth Baptist Church of Houston, Texas. While there, the church grew to become one of the most influential congregations in Texas.
On the first Sunday in 1961, Pastor Hill took charge as Pastor of the historical Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Los Angeles where he remained the beloved pastor for 42 years. He was a world-renowned evangelist, much loved but often criticized for his unswerving dedication to biblical integrity.
He was considered one of the most significant preachers of the 20th century. He was greatly admired as one who marched across the boundary lines of race, religion, denomination, and political preferences. He was among the first Negro Baptist to preach on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, a mainly charismatic Christian network, which began a love relationship for years with Paul and Jan Crouch. TBN Video
His sermons were sound and sure and his heart was as big as the world. Everyone knew that his compassion was toward those who were on the lowest level of society. When he preached, his mind was as swift as lightning and his voice thundered with righteousness. He was armed like a defense attorney protecting his faith.
￼After leading the church to purchase land for a new church location, Pastor Hill was so moved with compassion for the growing numbers of hungry and homeless in South Central, that he delayed the plans for the church and built the Lord's Kitchen instead. This was a facility that served an average of 2000 meals a week to the needy and homeless of South Central. There were also canned foods and supplies which were given out at the Lord's Pantry which was adjacent to the Lord's Kitchen.
Pastor Hill's works, religious, social and civic affiliations were legion. However, he was particularly fond of the fraternity of preachers of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. This led him to establish the Preaching Sons of Zion which to this day is a fraternity of Gospel preachers all over the world who were either saved, licensed, ordained or even adopted by Pastor Hill and the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. He ordained and sent out to the nation over 200 preaching Sons of Zion, including his namesake Dr. Edward V Hill II.
He authored two books, "A Savior Worth Having" and "Victory in Jesus" which are collections of life-changing sermons that he delivered over his 52 years of preaching.
His favorite passages of Scripture were Psalms 31, 51, 71 and 91, which he suggested be read sequentially.
Pastor Hill continued to be a world traveling evangelist, political genius, savvy business man, civic leader, gracious humanitarian, and local pastor even when his health began to drain him of his strength. He climbed on planes and stood in pulpits, regardless of his weakness. He gave of himself and his ministry to the end.
Mount Zion was celebrating Pastor Hill's 42nd Pastoral Anniversary when he went home to be with the Lord. As a testimony to their great strength and love for their leader, the celebration continued without a break, though he never attended a service.
On Monday night February 24, 2003, TBN aired one of Pastor Hill's sermons titled, "How to Cope." It was reported that there were over 1 million viewers, which was one of the largest audiences ever. An hour after the sermon aired, Pastor Hill went into the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Pastor Hill will always be remembered for many of his popular sayings. The one slogan which has branded his ministry for years and continues to be the slogan of Mount Zion is, "If You Have the Faith, God Has the Power."
We will never stop resounding his name and his message, with the only salutation that he used in 42 years, "Yours sure of salvation through Christ."
Chairman of Deacon Ministry
Children & Youth Ministry
Faith in Action Ministry
New G Ministry
Speak Gospel Hands Ministry
Sunday School/Christian Education Ministry
MISSION, VALUES, VISION
We exist to Make Disciples Who Make a Difference!
To reach and make disciples of as many people as possible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
1. We keep God first. – We believe that the Church was built by Jesus for Jesus, and therefore we want to make sure that everything we do is all about Jesus. We keep God first in all that we do, and seek for Him to get all of the glory.
2. We pray always. – We believe that prayer should be our first response and not our last option, and therefore we commit to being a people who have made prayer their priority.
3. We are out of the box, but always in the Book. – We believe that methods come and go, but the Word of God does not change, and therefore although we will embrace creative ministry methods, we will never sacrifice biblical integrity.
4. We are mission focused. – We believe that the world is our mission field, and that God wants us to get the Gospel to as many people as possible to fulfill the Great Commission, therefore we are serious about winning our City and World for Jesus Christ.
5. We believe people matter. – We love all people because Jesus loves all people and therefore, we will never put programs or processes above people but will always seek to minister to and serve as many people as possible.
6. We are constantly improving. – We believe that while we will never be perfect, we should always be getting better, therefore we will be committed to creating a culture of progress and improvement where things are always getting better.
7. We believe generosity is our privilege. – Generosity is about giving more than what is required. We see generosity is a privilege, therefore are generous with our time, talents, and treasure.
8. We maintain a standard of excellence. - We are always going to do the best that we can with what we have. We don’t do things halfway. If we’re going to do it, it’s going to be to the best of our ability. If it bears God’s name, it deserves our best.
9. We serve together. – If you’re too big to serve then you are too small to lead. We believe the greatest leadership is service to others. Every leader is a servant first. From the parking lot to the pulpit, everyone serves. Every role is different, but they are all important. If you ain’t helping, you ain’t helping.
10. We make a difference. – We believe God is using us to write fresh history for the future, and therefore we are committed to being an authentic, innovative, and trail-blazing 5-star ministry that operates in the five-fold ministry gifts, and influences and impacts nations and generations.