Late in the last century, a meeting was called at the home of Caroline Strother to organize a new church for worship by blacks. Shortly thereafter, in March 1894, Zion Baptist Church was chartered under the auspices of Mother Zion Baptist Church of Philadelphia.
Until moving into their present site (West Spring Avenue in Ardmore), Zion’s congregation met in a 10×15 foot room in a small frame building generously supplied by the First Baptist Church, located on the northeast corner of of Cricket Avenue. Later in 1894, for the sum of $1,500, a 90×263 foot lot housed a 27×60 foot building utilized for worship until 1899.
During that time, worshippers undertook a massive construction project, completing work on a $7,000 addition (quite a sum in those days). The original frame building, used as a chapel upon completion of the addition, continued to serve members until it was destroyed by fire in 1913.
Since being chartered, Zion has enjoyed the service of nine reverends and are presently led by Pastor James A. Pollard, Jr. Having recently celebrated their 100th anniversary in 1995, Zion continues as a beacon of light for the hardworking residents of South Ardmore.
—Written by Stephen A. Tolbert, Jr.; Research: Juanita Hays