Brief History of New Zion Missionary Baptist Church
1918-2005 (87 Years)
Compiled by: Kathryn Wilson-Church Historian
God has always divinely inspired men to perform certain tasks, thus a small group of members from the Bethel Baptist Church were led by the Spirit of God to come out of the confusion among the congregation and worship elsewhere. Trusting God for the right decision, they started to have church in a little shotgun house on Harrison Street, near the location of Citizen Funeral Home. Later, the church meetings moved to a brush arbor on Court Street, in the area of the public library and Safety City, near the railroad tracks. I’m sure there were many hardships in trying to keep the small group of believers together, but with God’s all seeing eye He directed a white man named Mr. Capps, who owned most of the land in the Saw Mill Flats, to donate the land known today as Brown and Fagan Street for a place to build a church house for the community. Because of its growing population, it became a place where men brought their families to live. These men worked at the sawmill just across the track, which is how the community acquired its name.
On the deeded land, New Zion Missionary Baptist Church was organized and chartered in 1918; the Rev. W.M. Butler of the East Texas Baptist Association became the first Moderator. The first pastor was Rev. Wilson, followed by Rev. Brown in early 1940. After Rev. Brown moved out of town, Rev. S. S. Sims of Shreveport LA. became pastor. During his leadership, he tore down the old 1918 building and built a new one in three days so that it may be worshipped in. Who can say it could not be done? With God all things are possible; give God the glory!
The early deacons were Henry Winkley and John Flaggan, and Sis. Dolly McEntire was the mother of the Church. Rev. S. S. Sims was still pastor when he died. After Rev. Sims, other pastors were called such as Rev. J.M. Thomas, Rev. S. H. Combs, and Rev. Mose Crayton who died while still pastor. The next pastor was Rev. J. E. Taylor, who remained for many years until he made a statement to the church that God had told him his work at New Zion was finished and to move on.
Once again we called on Rev. S. H. Combs, at this time Rev. Combs was the pastor of two churches but he stayed and helped us anyway, this was during the late 60s and early 70s. With the power of God and dedicated members, 57 years of memories we moved from the Saw Mill Flats in 1975 to 210 S. 13th Street. The Lord saw Rev. Combs was carrying a big load and needed help, and out of the congregation came Rev. E.D. Walker who was called into the ministry. Rev. E.D. Walker was the first-born son and a great help to Rev. Combs. Later Rev. R. L. Sessions also accepted his call into the ministry, and with his help the church moved on. Rev. Combs’ health began to fail and later went to be with the Lord. Once again in 1980 we went to the Lord in search of a leader of the flock.
• Rev. Hal Jackson (1981-82)
• Rev. J.H. Shans (1982-83
• Rev. J.O. Brown (1983-84)
• Rev. Cleon Bryant (1984-85)
• Rev. James Goree (1986)
• Rev. J.A. Gholston (1986-1988)
• Rev. B.W. Craig (1989-1993)-Last Sunday was March 13, 1993
o Rev. David Venters became Rev. B.W. Craig’s son in the ministry.
• Rev. Robert N. Hundley, our present pastor, was installed on June 6, 1993 and as of 2004 has been here 11 years.
o Sons and daughters in the Ministry:
• Rev. Boyce Lilly, Jr. (age 9) First sermon-March 13, 1994
Rev. Franklin Randall (deceased) First sermon- September 4, 1994
Rev. Larry Davis First sermon-October 30, 1994
Min. Brittney Chantel First sermon-November 6, 1994
• Min. Martha Patterson First sermon-May 18, 2002
Rev. Hundley’s 11 years of Anniversary Guest:
Date: Sermon By:
April 17, 1994 Rev. T. Donahue
March 12, 1995 Rev. T.R. Donahue
April 28, 1996 Dr. Rev. R.L. Brazzel
April 20, 1997 Rev. Billy P. Cleaver
April 19, 1998 Rev. Billy P. Cleaver
April 11, 1999 Rev. Billy P. Cleaver
April 9, 2000 Rev. T. Ray McJunkin
April 8, 2001 Rev. R.E. Jones
April 14, 2002 Dr. Rev. D.C. Brown
April 13, 2003 Rev. John Sylvie
April 18, 2004 Rev. Horace Williams
After 24 years at 210 S. 13th Street Rev. Hundley led the way as we marched to our present location at 1105 Foster Drive on Saturday February 27, 1999 at 5:30 p.m. on the same day there was an anointing service, and at that time Bro. Herbert James was the first to give his life to the Lord. Following Bro. James was Bro. William Wells Jr. and Bro. Johnny Miles who rededicated their lives, and Bobbie Menefee was the first to be baptized. God has added each new member by His own decision.
The Dedication Service was on the following Sunday morning February 28, 1999. The scriptures used by Pastor Hundley were Jeremiah 32:37-41 and II Peter 1:3-10, The Public Celebration was held on Sunday April 25, 1999. Our special guest for that service was Rev. Lawson and the Greater Unity Baptist Church of Gilmer, Texas.
Here at New Zion our church motto is: “Where love is the focus and foundation of our church family.” The members of New Zion are united in serving the Lord, and have become a mighty force for God in fulfilling His purpose for the church.
There have always been first or beginnings, and we‘re proud to make some recognitions of our church history starting with the early years of growth to the present day.
• Homecoming Annual Revival
July 16-21, 1979
210 S. 13th Street
Rev. S.H. Combs, Pastor
Rev. R.B. Brantley, Evangelist
Sis. Mattie Rosebrough, Musician
• Dedication Service of New Church
Rev. S.H. Combs, Pastor
March 23, 1975
210 S. 13th St.
Rev. T.F. Simmons, Sermon
Other Ministers present:
Rev. J.E. Taylor-Sabine Valley
Rev. B.T. Webster-New Bethel
Rev. R.B. Ray- Parkview
Rev. B.B. Brown-Red Oak
Rev. S.Y. Nixon- Jerusalem Baptist Church
Rev. A.L. Thompson-St. Andrews Baptist Church
Rev. V.L. Harrold-Mt. Vernon Baptist Church
• Anniversary Hour
April 27, 1980
Rev. S.H. Combs, Pastor
5 years of service
Rev. N.N. Rodgers, Sermon
• April 2, 1988-First Prayer Breakfast
• April 4, 1992-First Prayer Luncheon
Both remain annual every first Saturday in April.
• July 1994-First Annual Sessions Day
Pre-revival service ended in 2002
Our 2004 Annual Revival paved the way for three first by three of our guest churches:
• Wednesday July 21, 2004:
The first public appearance of Love Temple Full Gospel Baptist Church Male Chorus-Rev. John Sylvie, Pastor
• Thursday July 22, 2004:
The first public appearance of Greater Mt. Gideon Male Chorus-Rev. Robert E. Jones, Pastor
• Friday July 23, 2004:
The first public appearance of Sweet Union Baptist Church Boys Choir, Jacksonville-Rev. Horace Williams, Pastor
• September 11, 1994:
Bro. Charles Craig and Bro. T.L. George were both ordained as deacons
• June 27, 2003:
Bro. Charles Holmes was ordained as a deacon
• Sis. Etta Mae Davis (1908-2003) Mother of the Church for 65 years.
She went to be with the Lord at age 95.
• Sis Lula Vaughn stepped up to the position of New Zion’s present Mother of the Church.
Members who have joined our church in 2004:
• Bro. Brett Barr-Our first member of the year
• September 12, 2004:
o Brothers Laquincy, Dekaylon, and Bryson Davis along with their parents Benny and Monica Davis.
o Canteshia Watkins
o Latrena Williams
• September 19, 2004:
o Sandra K. Brown
o Ladaim Lydia
New Zion can proudly say that we couldn’t have made it this far without the Lord on our side. Today, September 19, 2004, is very special to New Zion because on this day the church’s history will be placed in a computer file for the future to review the past. Next year’s events, acknowledgements, and recognitions will be added to this manuscript and then so on and so on, so that we may keep track of how New Zion has grown. We dedicate this history to Deacons Woodrow Vaughn, John Lister, and Roy Welton, and all the late, missed, and deeply loved pastors and members that are looking down on us.
Rev. Robert N. Hundley, Pastor
Sis. Kathryn Wilson, Church Clerk and Historian
• Youth Church Began November 13, 05, with Minister Wells as Youth Minister.
• Bro. Ron Brown, Bro. Jr. Davis, Bro. T.C. Means, and Bro. Quinney on Trial as Deacon May, 27, 2006
• Scholarship Fund established 2006
• Genesis Praise Dancers formed June 19, 06 under the direction of
Robyn Hundley, Quita Woods and Chauncie Hart .
• Adult Choir Robes Dedicated September 17, 2006
Questions or Comments Email: webmaster@NewZionLongview.com