Mount Zion Baptist Church Designated a Historical Seattle Landmark

On October 18, 2017, the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board voted UNANIMOUSLY to approve the designation of Mount Zion Baptist Church a Seattle Landmark. The designation is based upon satisfaction of six Designation Standards (SMC 25.12.350). Mount Zion Baptist Church joins only three other Seattle Landmarks that have met all six standards: the Space Needle, the Science Center, and Key Arena.

The features and characteristics of the property identified for preservation include: the site; the exteriors of the church building, educational unit, the Gideon Bell Tower, the interior of the sanctuary, the James Washington, Jr. sculpture “Oracle of Truth” and exempts all elements of the building and site that are liturgical in nature.

Mount Zion Baptist Church was organized in 1890, thirty-eight years after the establishment of Seattle as a city, ten years before the beginning of the 20th Century, and a year after Washington territory became one of the United States. We thank God for the small group of African American Christians, who migrated to Seattle from the south in search of better opportunities and a better life for their families. It is on their legacy of faith we must continue to build. Reverend Dr. W. D. Carter, the pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church (1912 – 1925) and the congregation purchased the land and hired African American architects Harry and E. R. James to build the first church at the 19th Avenue location. Pastor Carter was a compassionate man who became active in the social and civic affairs of Seattle speaking out on behalf of the young people. The Boys and Young Men’s Community Club of Mount Zion Baptist Church was under his direct management. The youth benefited both socially and spiritually.

Mrs. Corrine Carter was equally as busy with African American girls and young women. She was a trained Y.W.C.A. Executive. She used her gifts and talents to organize the first Negro Branch of the Y.W.C.A. in Seattle. It was named the Phillis Wheatley Branch.

Years later, in 1958, the Reverend Dr. Samuel B. McKinney became pastor. Under his leadership, an educational wing was built in 1962 and the current church in 1975. The church has a unique Afrocentric structure that expresses the history of African and African- American faiths. African Heritage is seen in the structural design, from within and without the church. Each element of the design and structure of the church was carefully

orchestrated by the Reverend Dr. Samuel B. McKinney in conjunction with the Architectural Firm of Durham, Anderson, and Freed.

Easter Production Mount Zion Seattle 2015

This video is from our Easter Production 2015, including the Calvary scene.

To see more Mount Zion Baptist Church videos, go to our YouTube channel.

Georgia’s SEEP Blog

If you have never picked berries with children under thirteen, you have missed one of life’s treats. And you don’t need twenty-three children: fewer will do. Though Dr. McDade tried hard to leave Mount Zion before 10:00 a. m., the two vans left for Carnation and Remlinger Farms at 10:40 a. m. When we arrived, Mrs. Acox, asked if the travelers were hungry. Of course, they were although Dr. McDade warned that we would be picking berries as the temperature rose. They ate.

We separated into several groups after some students got a brief guide on which berries to pick. They could have picked at least twice as many berries had they not run back and forth to show one of the adults how big a berry was. They compared their big berries to others’ berries. One said, “I love to pick strawberries; I love to pick raspberries!” Said another, “ I love to pick anything!”

Somebody wanted to know if it had been this hot the one day Dr. McDade picked cotton when she was thirteen.

One was disappointed when Dr. McDade did not remember he had come last year. They talked about the jam “they” would make. They ran over to other groups of students to show how many berries they had picked. And they loved tasting the berries. Not one complained to Dr. McDade about the heat. What Dr. McDade did not know was that Mrs. Acox had told them they had to fill their boxes. Many of them were working to do just that. We picked $127.60 worth of berries, almost sixty-four pounds!

Dr. McDade was determined to get strawberries though the season had ended, so she asked the young cashier where the strawberries were and if they could see them. Some of the children had not seen strawberries growing. She and about half of the gang traipsed over recently plowed rows to the strawberry fields. Corn, that one was certain was wheat, was between the strawberries and raspberries. Of course, we found berries, not many, not big ones too often. But once one person tasted one and exclaimed how sweet it was, all of them searched more diligently. We managed to almost fill some of the little boxes. The Remlinger cashier did not charge us. By this time Dr. McDade did not dare mention blueberries.

We drove to the farmhouse store where we got water and looked at the produce and beautiful yard.

Then we were off to Boehm’s—for some of the best candy in the world. Selecting one treat from among so many was not easy, but we managed to get an array of candy. How often do we get to Issaquah?