About Mount Zion
MT. ZION was founded in 1909 under the leadership of Rev. Sandy Lyons. The first place of worship was a one-room frame schoolhouse. In the first five years, Reverends R. L. Leonard, C. L. Netherland and Frank White followed Rev. Lyons.
Before resigning due to ill health in 1914, Rev. White persuaded the congregation to call Rev. R. A. Whitaker as their leader. Shortly thereafter, the membership moved to the Woods Building and later the congregation was able to build a frame structure they called "Tabernacle."
In June 1916, work was begun on the foundation for a permanent church and in April 1921, the congregation moved into a beautiful edifice costing $92,000. The joy of Pastor Whitaker and the members was short lived, for on June 21, 1921, Mt. Zion was destroyed during the Tulsa Riot. The insurance plan did not cover damage due to riot and the membership would not default on what they considered a "just debt" of $50,000. During this time Rev. Whitaker became ill and resigned. Following Rev. Whitaker there were several pastors who served short terms.
In 1937 Rev. J. H. Dotson came to Mt. Zion, led the church in making the basement suitable for worship and led the congregation in paying off the 21-year old debt. After burning the mortgage, a building fund was established and in 1952 the present building was dedicated.
In 1953, Rev. G. Calvin McCutchen was hired to assist the ailing Rev. Dotson, and in 1957 Rev. McCutchen was called to service as pastor. Rev. Dotson served as Pastor Emeritus until his death.
On Palm Sunday, 1985, the Mt. Zion Family broke ground on a Family Life Center. The Center was completed and dedicated on Easter Sunday 1986. Since its completion, Mt. Zion has served as a distribution center for Meals on Wheels; a meeting place for Alcoholics Anonymous and has been made available to various community and non-profit groups.
Mt. Zion has become more flexible in meeting the needs of the congregation and community, adjusting our focus to meet the needs of the time, but without compromise to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Several study courses that lend to the knowledge and spiritual growth of members have been implemented, as well as special groups for our youth along with Children's Church and Youth Church. Weekly Fellowship and Prayer Services minister to the youngest members of our congregation. And Vacation Bible School is not "just for kids" anymore. Our outreach group and counselors continue to make themselves available to share God's Words with others; Project HELP assists the needy in our church and community, and the J. H. Dotson Scholarship Fund has continued to grow and awards more and larger scholarships each year.
Since building the Family Life Center, other facility improvements include the remodeling of the Sanctuary, the J. H. Dotson Study Hall, the R. A. Whitaker Annex; development of "Faith Park;" and the establishment of a Computer Lab. On November 8, 1998, the Family Life Center was renamed "G. Calvin McCutchen, Sr. Family Life Center" in honor of Pastor McCutchen.
On Sunday, August 15, 1999, there was another fire at Mt. Zion. This time it was a joyous celebration of God's blessings with the burning of the mortgage on the G. Calvin McCutchen, Sr. Family Life Center.
November 1, 1999 marked a very special day -- biblically trained volunteers expanded our outreach ministry through the manning of newly installed prayer lines to consistently make contact with Mt. Zion members and be assessable to the members and community for prayer. The Prayer Ministry Room was dedicated January 2, 2000. Dr. James E. Norwood was responsible for implementing the Prayer Ministry, and purchasing new Hymnals and Bibles.
Church Building & Ministry enhancements include the opening of a Christian Bookstore and Novelties Shop "Heavenly Treasures" at 1616 E. Apache; acquisition of addition property, installation of a ramp to allow easy access to the Sanctuary; and a Dining Room Ministry where members may enjoy Sunday Worship Services via Cable TV, and a remodeled Board Room.