The Old Church House
The Old Church House

The History of Zion Hill

Travelers along the trail in front of Zion Hill around 1859 would have seen a one-room log cabin that served a dual purpose as a church and a school on one acre of ground, donated that year by Simeon and Julia Tate.

In 1895, a new church building was built on top of the hill where we now have a parking lot. The 1895 building (with renovations!) was used until our present sanctuary was finished in 1984.

School was held at Zion Hill until 1927, with that building being located where our present sanctuary is now. The well across the road, still seen today, provided water for the school and church.

In 1942, the church voted to start meeting every Sunday. Prior to that, meetings were held only on one or two weekends a month, allowing a preacher to pastor more than one church at a time.

On April 18, 1954, the church started Easter Sunrise Services at Sumner Cemetery; a tradition currently continued by Zion Hill at Sumner.

In 1960, the pastor’s salary was $30/week. The church joined the North Pulaski Baptist Association on July 5, 1961. Zion Hill was recognized by the NPBA on August 14, 1966 as the oldest existing church in the association.

The oldest of our present buildings is the Educational Building which currently is being used for Senior Adult classes. It was completed in 1972. An additional educational building with a kitchen and fellowship hall was built in 1977. In 1979 the church built its first parsonage across the street and hired our first full-time pastor, Arthur Durkee.

On May 24, 1981, a ground-breaking service was held for a new auditorium with room for a fellowship hall and classrooms in the basement. The congregation first worshipped in the building September 30, 1984.

In 1998, the church voted to build a new multi-purpose building, and in 1999, the church voted to purchase 7+ acres that joins the church property. This property includes that pond behind the building and extends to Highway 107 to the west. In August 1999, the dedicated our new multi-purpose building and celebrated our 140th anniversary with a potluck lunch in the new building.