In the roaring year of 1921, the anointing of God fell on the late Reverend Richard Frier, Sr., along with a cohort of Godly-seasoned African Methodists and Emmanuel Mission was formed – which later became Emmanuel Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. It was God’s grace that allowed Reverend Frier Sr. and the membership to embrace the struggles and persevere forward. The Church settled at 203 East 103rd Street, New York City, and was served by the former great Reverends, A.C. Clark, H.P. Heath, N.T. Garrison, K.A. Collins, J.P. Collins, A.K. David and H.L. Leader.
The membership was growing, the spirit of God was falling, and God continued to bless. And God said, “Let there be a new and fresh anointing bestowed upon Emmanuel A.M.E. Church.” And it was so. In 1941 the church purchased the building at 1765 Madison Avenue, and the late Reverend L.M. Capers and the congregation marched together to the new House of Worship which was renamed Mount Zion A.M.E. Church.
It was not the changing of the name, the relocation of the church building or the different spiritual leaders who pastured Mount Zion A.M.E. Church but rather the innate, insatiable ability to overcome adversity, the tenacity to sustain and the pouring out of God’s Spirit that created and enhanced clubs and boards and reinforced the scripture.
“Endeavoring to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace.”
Mount Zion A.M.E. Church has experienced the diversity of God and has witnessed how He works for those according to His purpose. Among those that pastored Mt. Zion was the late Rev. Alvin J. Simmons. In 1950, the mortgage was paid in full; in 1953 the late Reverend William Lee Freeman assumed the pastorate, stimulating a membership of 772 and the Young People’s Choir was formed; in 1962 Reverend Wendell Foster served as pastor; in 1965 the late Presiding Elder Reverend John G. Ragin was appointed pastor; in 1973 the late Reverend Lawrence S. Odom was followed by: The late Presiding Elder Rev. Dr. O’Neil Mackey, Sr., the late Reverend Carl F. Hunter, the late Reverend Theodore R. Kelsey, Reverend Robert A. Brown, Sr., Reverend Jo-An L. Owings, and now our newly appointed Servant Leader, Reverend Kahlil G. James.
“Being Justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
Mount Zion A.M.E. Church is moving forward to embrace the strength of God, accept the continued outpouring of His Spirit, seasoned with His love and mercy, the allowances of Spiritual Gifts, the Praises of Charity, Spiritual Encouragement, diverse and effectual ministries, liberality, thanksgiving, the exhortation of prayer, the deliverance from law to the acceptance of grace within the realms of God.
"New Wine Skins for New Wine"