Stillwater News Press


October 23, 2009

Mt. Zion returns home

Members of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church return to their church building at Knoblock and Ninth this Sunday after months of holding church services at Stillwater Plaza following a fire July 30.

“We feel blessed and feel excited to be back home. We’re back home, we’re back on top. The atmosphere, the joy of being able to come back home will be felt Sunday,” Church secretary Karen Washington said.

Mt. Zion will return home beginning with Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and the regular church service at 10:45 a.m.

Shortly after the fire, the congregation briefly conducted services at First United Methodist Church and later moved to Stillwater Plaza where they’ve met at least three times a week for the last three months.

Hotel employees brought in extra chairs, and Mt. Zion members moved the piano and drums from their damaged building over to the hotel for services, Washington said.

The church will host a memorial service today at the hotel as one of their last services there. The hotel offered the church a small adjusted fee and from there, the church continued on in its ministry.

Anonymous donors also regularly showed up to pay the church’s fee for use of the hotel, Washington said.

“Stillwater has given us no excuse not to continue on with our mission work,” Washington said.

The church’s membership and activities including jailhouse and rehabilitation ministries have grown during the three months that the church was displaced, said Pastor Calvin Miller.

Miller cites the support of the Stillwater church community as the reason for the growth.

“We’ve just had tremendous love from our churches in Stillwater. They’ve been a blessing to us. They’ve opened doors and provided and allowed us to carry on,” Miller said.

The church has undergone improvements such as a renovated office and kitchen since the fire, Miller said.

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