Zion Baptist Church was formally established on September 12, 1864 with the authorization of a council of 12 churches in the District of Columbia. Seven loyal baptized believers: Rev. George Jackson, Isaac Johnson, John Shippen, Susan Thompson, Ann Walker, Rev. William Walker and Lettia Williams Richardson along with nine other men and women who were baptized by Rev. William Walker named their newly established church Zion Baptist Church in remembrance of the travels from Fredericksburg, Virginia and vicinity to Southwest Washington, D.C.
In 1867, Simpson’s Feed Store was purchased and served as Zion’s first church edifice. Although the edifice was rebuilt, Zion worshiped at this site, affectionally called the Southwest Church until 1956. In 1956 the congregation worshiped temporarily the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA before erecting the beautiful church now located in Northwest DC in 1962. Zion, true to its history, continued to grow and merged with New Creation Church in 2020. Zion is now one church in three locations: Zion Main Campus, Zion North Campus and Zion Virtual Campus.
Zion has been led in spiritual growth by nine pastors: Rev. William Walker, Rev. William Gibbons, Rev. William J. Howard, Rev. William Washington, Rev. Dr. John M. Ellison, Rev. Dr. A. Joseph Edwards, Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, Rev. Dr. Emil M. Thomas and Rev. Dr. Keith William Byrd Sr., who currently serves as its ninth pastor.
Since its inception, Zion Baptist Church has been committed to discipleship and evangelism through Christian education, community engagement, outreach, education (from nursery school to post-graduate studies), missions, social justice, and Baptist convention involvement.
Over the years, Zion has seen growth in its membership, ministries, and impact in the community. Zion aims to serve this present age with the strength of its past, and the hopes of the future while maintaining its focus on discipleship and evangelism.
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
~ Psalm 90:1