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Dome with Hole


Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Library was established in the spring of 1926 through the efforts of Rev. Emmanuel Landran. Sunday services were held in a hall belonging to the Pittsburgh Coal Company. With no Baptism pool, the church’s first converts were baptized in the creek that ran along the highway. However, a committee of five, led by Deacon Rufus Fields and including one woman, Mamie Williams, later negotiated with the Pittsburgh Coal Company to purchase the land for constructing a future building. It was important for the church to own the land, in order to be the first independent structure within a company mining town where all structures and facilities were traditionally owned by the mining company. The original structure was erected in 1929 under the pastorate of the late Rev. W. A. Banks, who designed the building and was also the head carpenter. The following individuals served as Pastors between 1926 – 1937: Rev. Charles Estell Rev. Hubert Smith, Rev. W. A. Banks, Rev. D. L. Hodge, and Rev. C. Bartley


In October 1937, the Associate Minister, Rev. C. H. Byars was called to be Pastor and remained in that position for 56 years. Under his leadership, many ministries were established and founded upon the vision of salvation for the lost and support for the poor, both locally and abroad. Love was his primary example and he showed it throughout his entire ministry.

In December 1957, the church building burned, and services were held at various homes and at the Mercy Temple Church of God in Christ also located in the same community. The restoration of the church was completed in August 1958. As a result, the move-in day had arrived and the members celebrated with new furniture, tile flooring, banquet hall tables, pews, and an updated pastor’s study.

During Rev. Byars’s pastorate, Rev. Ozzie L. Pope, Rev. Carl Denson, and Rev. Joe Maddox were licensed and ordained to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. In 1984, Rev. Byars was bestowed with an honorary doctorate degree of divinity from the Richmond Virginia Seminary and our First Lady, Sister Beulah Byars, received a By “His Side” certificate. They were honored because of the outstanding example to other small churches as Mt. Zion was recognized in 1977 for donating the largest gift per capita to the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention.

By 1993, due to failed health, Rev. Byars was appointed as Pastor Emeritus and on February 25, 1994, God saw fit to call him home. However, before his departure, he recommended Rev. Andrew R. Cooper to become the interim pastor.

Mountain Range

In June 1994, Rev. Andrew R. Cooper was subsequently called to be Pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Library. Through his preaching and teaching of the unadulterated Word, the church grew in membership and spiritual growth. New ministries were established, which included the ordination of Brother Thomas Taylor as a deacon and Brother Charles Detwiler, and Sisters, Brenda Lockley, and Dolores Pope as trustees. During these years, as the suburban community that surrounded the church began to grow, the township residents voted to change the name of Library to South Park Township. However, the members of Mt. Zion decided to honor our forefathers by maintaining the name of Library. We officially changed our corporate name to The Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Library. During these years, Sister Lisa Hainsworth became our first office administrator. After thirteen (13) years of growth in ministry and membership, in 2007, Rev. Cooper announced his resignation (“that God had revealed to him that his work at Mt. Zion had been completed”).


In 2009, for a brief period, Rev. Henry Baskins was called to be a pastor. In this brief time, God used him to institute several ministries, including Thursday Noon Bible Study. He also licensed Sis. Coni Hainsworth as a Minister of the Gospel.

In July 2010, Rev. Christopher M. Tookes was installed as Senior Pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Library. During his pastorate, he produced a continuous stream of preaching and teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Rev. Tookes had a loving heart for the youth and members of the church. Under his leadership, the church was blessed with a new roof and the sanctuary was painted and blessed with new carpet and chandeliers. He also approved the first Sunday School Vacation Bible School carnival event which was a hit with the children and adults. Rev. Tookes ordained two ministers, Rev. Shirley Detwiler, and Rev. Elmore Lockley.


On September 16, 2016, God called His servant home. Pastor Christopher Tookes had fought a lengthy battle with cancer and God released him from his pain so he could rest in the secure and loving arms of his Savior. On October 3, 2016, the church voted to assign Rev. Angela Tookes as interim pastor until the end of December 2016. On December 3, 3016, the church voted to extend Rev. Angela Tookes interim position until June 2017. During her tenure, Trustee James Powell was ordained as a Deacon.

On June 17, 2018, the Deacon Board with the assistance of Rev. Carl Denson (a son of Mt. Zion Baptist Church) moved forward with ordaining Rev.(s) Coni Hainsworth, Chrystal Detwiler-Matuscak, Thomas Taylor and Diane Logan-Wells.


On November 10, 2018, the church voted to elect Rev. Dr. Gary Hughes as pastor elect. On February 24, 2019, Rev. Hughes was installed as Senior Pastor. He and his wife Denise were embraced by the members of Mt. Zion, looking forward to the great things God has purposed and planned for their season. Pastor Hughes appointed two new Trustees: Lois J. Atkins and Ezell Lindsey, and one Deaconess, Debra Hakeem. Under his leadership, the parking lot was repaved, and the outside office stairs and landings were sanded and repainted.


In March 2020, the country was “shut down” due to the Covid-19 Global pandemic. Our church family survived the pandemic, although we mourned with the families who lost loved ones to the Covid virus. Our church gradually began to return to services via a conference call telephone line. We returned to in-person worship services in July 2021 using Zoom video communications the hybrid approach that allows members to attend Sunday School and Morning Worship or Wednesday Bible Study from home.  Dr. David Lockley was appointed Sunday School Superintendent and under his leadership, a Virtual Bible School Study was conducted. During the VBS closing program, the church honored Sister Henrietta Broadus as the Mother of our church. The congregation celebrated her faithful years of loving service by presenting her with flowers and gifts.

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