Honoring Zion Missionary Baptist Church
Representative Dale E. Kildee
Mr. Speaker, I rise before you today to bring to your attention that on September 19, 2003, the Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Saginaw, Michigan, celebrated their 135th year of praising and serving the Lord. The Church commemorated this milestone with a series of festivities, which included an old fashion worship service and play depicting the Church's history. The Church will conclude the celebration in December with a musical and All States Day.
Psalms 48:1-2 states "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in his holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King." Zion Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1868 with a membership of fifty. The Church family has grown considerably over the last 135 years.
They have been blessed with eight different pastors, each one expressing a desire to see the church grow spiritually and physically. The most noted of these leaders is Reverend Roosevelt Austin, Sr. He became pastor in 1956, at a time when the Church was experiencing financial difficulty. Through prayer and perseverance, Reverend Austin balanced the Church books, and inspired the Church members to pledge toward a new building and expanded educational facility. Reverend Austin remained Pastor of Zion for 44 years, and at retirement the Church debt was paid in full.
The Lord continued to send great leaders to Zion; in May of 2001 a young minister by the name of Reverend Rodrick Smith from Shreveport, Louisiana, answered the call. He was ordained by Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Benton, Louisiana, in 1993. Under the direction of Reverend Smith the Church is continuing to expand and build upon the name of the Lord. Zion Missionary Baptist Church currently has 650 faithful followers of Christ. The Church thrives on the premise that the Holy Spirit and the Word of God should guide them, and the Pastor and Official Staff should work together in complete harmony. This firm belief has brought this Church through many trials. Zion Missionary Baptist Church is a dynamic force for the public good. They have consistently made a difference in the Saginaw area.
The inspiration for living by Christian ideals is repeated again and again in the lives of the ministers and congregation of this Church. Mr. Speaker, as a Member of Congress, I ask that my colleagues in the 108th Congress join me in saluting Zion Missionary Baptist Church for 135 years of celebrating and spreading the word of the Lord to the community of Saginaw, Michigan.
[Taken from the Congressional Record, 28 October 2003, page E2145.]