Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hoosiers of Many Faiths in Community

Faith and Family:  Living Room Dialogue at Mount Zion Baptist Church  


Mount Zion Baptist Church welcomed interfaith guests to a Living Room Dialogue on October 27, 2016.   Rev. Douglas Hairston, a CIC board member, organized the event.  As Pastor and Mrs. James told of their commitment to God, the congregation, and each other, the faith of Baptist families shone as a guiding light for how to live.

Mount Zion began in 1869, just four years after the Civil War.   Through all the years since, this congregation has remained loyal to God and each other.  The members even started their own credit union to provide mortgage loans so families could have the stability of home ownership.

The church building is a labor of love, with sanctuary architecture patterned after the dimensions and functions of the Temple of Solomon in ancient Jerusalem.  A minister who led Mount Zion for over forty years did the design.   When the mortgage was finally paid in full, the congregation burned the loan document and placed the ashes on display.

The church serves African-American Baptists and was active in the civil rights movement.  Remembering the visit of Dr. Martin Luther King, who spoke at the church, is a treasured heritage.

Today Mount Zion is home to about 300 members who love and support each other.  Many families drive long distances to attend.  The DeForest family, who also spoke at the Dialogue, makes that effort.   They chose this faith community when they moved from Detroit and feel greatly blessed here.

Throughout the evening guests felt welcomed, inspired, and surrounded by love.  The Baptist way of worship and family life provides a model for success:   the application of proven principles.   Thank you, Mount Zion.

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