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Mount Zion Baptist Church, with the largest black congregation in Washington state, was established in 1890, organized on February 18, 1894, and incorporated in 1903. After worshiping in several rental sites, the church purchased property at 11th Avenue and East Union and in 1907, erected a church building. In 1918, a lot was purchased at 19th and East Madison for construction of a new church which was built in 1920. In the 1940s, during the World War II years, the membership grew as black people moved to Seattle to work at Boeing and related war industries. In 1975, a new African inspired sanctuary was built to house a vastly increased membership.
During the church’s century-long history, numerous pastors served with the following providing a more sustained leadership: Rev. W. D. Carter (1912-1922), Rev. J. Sterling Moore (1922-1932), Rev. Taylor M. Davis (1932-1940), Rev. Fountain W. Penick (1940-1942), Rev. F. Benjamin Davis (1942-1955), and Rev. Gil B. Lloyd (1955-1958). Reverend Samuel B. McKinney provided the longest continuous pastorship in its history, from 1958 until 1988. Rev. Leslie Braxton served as pastor from 1988, until his resignation in 2005. Rev. McKinney, pastor emeritus, returned to the church in September 2005, to be a supply pastor until a new pastor is found.
HistoryLink.org Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, “Mount Zion Baptist Church” (by Mary T. Henry), http://www.historylink.org/