“The best kept secret in Bibb County”…. is not a secret to the thousands of individuals who’ve been privileged to be a part of the membership of this church.
Our church has been a strong pillar in the Middle Georgia community for 153 years and under the leadership of just 10 pastors. Our longevity is a testimony that we come from a spiritual people. As slaves, our ancestors had no control over their lives. They had to release their anger and frustration in ways that would not damage their souls. So, they prayed silently as they worked in the fields and they sang their songs of freedom and of the by-and-by of a world that would give them peace.
Religion brought tranquility to the courageous group of men and women who first organized the Mount Zion Church in 1862. Explore more of our history below.
Unable to afford to build a church, these brothers and sisters worshipped where ever the spirit lead them to be of one accord with God. Perhaps, they praised God at each other’s homes, under shade trees, in open fields, brush arbors or anywhere befitting to glorify His name.
Twenty-two years later, they were able to buy land and build a church. The sum of $1 was paid for a deed to 1/2-acre of land in Bibb County on March 10, 1884. A wooden structure was built and became their house of worship. The transaction became a part of the Bibb County records on March 24, 1884.
As fate would have it, these new property owners were restricted from holding either public meetings or anything of its kind on it and admonished to preserve good order. Failure to comply with the seller’s requirements to use the property for “worship only” would have resulted in losing the land they worked so diligently to purchase.
Under the dynamic and stalwart leadership of its pastors, the church flourished throughout its 153-year history and has purchased more than 50 acres of land as well as organized numerous auxiliaries to enhance the lives of its members and the community.
The members have always taken pride in the upkeep and beautification of the church as evident by the volunteer efforts of a group of deacons to brick and mortar the original church in 1974.
Eleven years later, during a church conference on June 19, 1985, “by a unanimous vote” Mount Zion Church was renamed Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church; however its Bible-based principles remained the same. The congregation also voted to build a new church next door to the original one. The 4,000-square foot edifice was occupied on July 31, 1988.
In May 1999, under the leadership of Pastor Teddy Parker an outreach ministry, Next Level Community Development Center Inc., was organized to offer after school and summer programs for children 5 to 18 years old, a youth redevelopment center for young men ages 13-19 and a senior citizens center. A few years later, the ministry opened the Alpha Childcare and Learning Center. With the aid of a federal grant, a summer program was expanded in 2006 to include academic tutoring and instructions based on Georgia Common Core Standards, abstinence education and independent living life skills. More than 225 youth participated in the program.
Additionally, the New Dawn Counseling Center, a DBA of Next Level, was opened in 2006. Next Level was awarded federal and state funding to start an after school program for youth 5-19 years old in August 2007.
On March 19, 2000, a dedication program was held for the Family Life Center. The 13,495-square-foot building has state of the art equipment, 12 classrooms, a modern kitchen, offices and a gymnasium.
Then in June, Camp Zion, a free summer camp program for children was established. Participants were taught mathematics, English, reading, foreign languages, sports, music, Bible lessons and took field trips.
Bibb Mount Zion continues to prosper and reap the benefits of its members’ hard work and dedication. The congregation held its 2014 New Year’s Eve services in a new 11,500 square-foot sanctuary at 3274 Avondale Mill Road.
We at Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church are committed to fulfilling the charge of the Great Commission and Great Commandment by “developing devoted disciples” and supporting each other in manners befitting to God.
We strive to be compassionate in our love and desire to help as many people as possible connect with God. We believe that a meaningful devotion to Christ is best demonstrated by an authentic commitment to one another.