In 1966 Zion Chapel was organized in the home of Deacon James and Thelma Hayes. The church grew out of the inspiration of those who wanted a church where love was the dominant factor. Some of the families of the founders are still active today.
While young and expecting a great future, our first pastor, Rev. Robert M. Berry was called home suddenly. We were not quite three years old and our loss was devastating. We had planned to grow with Pastor Berry at the helm-but not to be. Rev. Berry served as a moderator of our original organization and our original church building was purchased under his guidance. The general structure of Zion came into being at the time, the Deacons, Trustees, Choir, Mother's Board and Sunday school was organized. After the passing of Rev. Berry, the Rev. Thomas Shearer graciously served as interim pastor until the call of Rev. George O. Stewart in June 1969.
Pastor Stewart is a great spiritual leader, and we have experience astronomical growth under his pastorate. His greatest determination seems to be teaching the word of God, and he exerts many hours holding Bible classes daily. God has anointed him to preach and teach. Many have been and are being blessed.
Many improvements have been made on our property. We have added a new dining area and the lobby has been renovated. When our new edifice was built some years ago, it was paid for in eight years. We were blessed to purchase property at 4208, 4228, 4248, 4250, 4254 Lee Road, along with our parking lot across the street and property behind the church on E. 164th St. which is being rented out. We have done massive renovations in our sanctuary. We have purchased an audiovisual system to it assist auxiliaries and projecting their workshops on screen, we've also done advanced work in the lighting area and audiovisual system in the sanctuary.
We salute our pastor whose charisma and spiritual vitality has been an inspiration to both our church and community. We must also give recognition to the people who have been so supportive and people down throughout the years--those that are here and those of the past.
We feel we are actually about our father's business. Our ministries are all striving to be a blessing. Our pastor is continuing to reach out into the community joining forces with community leaders, making our world a better place.
Our Charter Members
From May until August, 1966, our bold and fearless charter members held service in the back room of The Masonic Temple for $35 per month. With a little footwork, in just 3 months, The Hayes and the Berry's found a space; Marsh Radio and TV. This place would become Zion's permanent home. Now, with $1.5 million in renovations and 1500 members on roster, Zion is still growing and thriving 48 years later.
Deacon James & Thelma HayesInstrumental Founding Members
It was at the home of these two dedicated servants that Zion had it's humble beginning. Sis. Hayes served as Zion's church clerk for 25 years while Deacon Hayes served in the Trustee's Ministry for 25 years. They were the parents of Muchumu, Yvone, Eugene and Faye- one of Zion's first choir directors.
Deacon Charles Sr. & Gloria LeeSon-in-law and Daughter of Rev. Berry
A member of the Trustee's ministry for over 45 years, Deacon Charles continues to serve on the board as Chairman. His wife Gloria, was elected clerk of the church in the beginning, but eventually turned over her position to Sis. Hayes. She has also served as President of the Mass Choir, and is the only original member that is still in the choir.
Mother C. Elizabeth BerryWife of the late Rev. Robert M. Berry
With the help of Thelma Hayes and Luverta Broomfield, Berry helped spearhead the operations of Zion Chapel. Berry also served as the first Sunday School Superintendent. Mother Berry has been a member of the Mission, The Mother's Board, and a Sunday School teacher. She is the mother of Tommie, Gloria, and Jeanette- former youth choir director.
Rev. Rudy York & Willie HattenSpearheaders
York and Hatten, alongside The Broomfield's, The Hayes, The Berry's and many others, spearheaded the vision of Zion Chapel. Originally members of Calvary Hill, these men sought out to achieve the goals that GOD placed on their heart.