Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Library

History of :

Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Library

The body, Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Library, was established in the spring 1926 through the efforts of Rev. Emmanuel Landran, dc., in the home of Dec. T. H. Whatley, dc, in (then known as Library, Pa) currently known as South Park, PA. The services were held in a hall belonging to Pittsburgh Coal Company, who later negotiated with a committee of 5 members to purchase land to construct a building.

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 served as pastors between 1926 - 1937:

  • Rev. Charles Estell
  • Rev. W.A. Banks
  • Rev. C. Bartley
  • Rev. Hubert Smith
  • Rev. D. L. Hodge

October 1937, Associate Minister, Rev. C. H. Byars was called to be Pastor and  remained in that position for 56 years, establishing many ministries, founded upon the vision of salvation for the lost and support for the poor, both locally and abroad.

In December 1957, the church building burned and services were held at Mercy Temple Church of God in Christ as well as the home of Trustee Clarence Johnson Sr., and his wife Viola Johnson.  Being complete by August 1958, move-in day had arrived.  New furniture, tile flooring, banquet tables, pews and pastor's study were all apart of the restoration of Mt. Zion.  During his pastorate, three noble men were licensed/ordained to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ:
  • Rev. Ozzie L. Pope
  • Rev. Carl Denson
  • Rev. Joe Maddox
By 1993, failed health was the call for Rev. Byars to be named Pastor Emeritus and on February 25, 1994 God saw fit to call him home, but before his departure, he had granted his approval on the interim preacher of Rev. Andrew R. Cooper, who was subsequently called to the pastorate in June 1994.  Great leadership was exhibited by Deacon Chair James Warren dc., who faithfully lead a grieving body and pastoral committee to, "hold on to God's unchanging hand".   It was during his tenure that the church purchased her first van and instituted the van ministry. 
     Rev. Cooper ordained Thomas Taylor as Deacon, and appointed sisters; Dolores Pope, Brenda Atkins-Lockley, Diane Wells,  Audrey Lindsey, and Brother Charles Detwiler as Trustees.
After thirteen (13) years of growth in ministry, and members, Rev. Cooper announced his resignation, by God, "that his time at Mt. Zion was over", leaving Mt. Zion in June 2007 without a pastor.   It was at that time, Dec. Taylor was placed in position of Interim Chairman of the Deacon Board and played a vital role in keeping the unity of the church as well as overseeing the search process for a new pastor.
Rev. Henry Baskins was called to the pastorate for a brief period in 2009;  instituting several ministries and licensing Coni Hainsworth as a Minister.

It was July of 2010, that God called and placed Rev. Christopher M. Tookes in the leadership and pastorate position at Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Library.  His time thus far has produced a continuous stream of preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He's ordained two ministers:
  • Rev. Shirley Detwiler, and
  • Rev. Elmore Lockley
He's also licensed three ministers:
  • Minister Diane Wells, 
  • Minister Thomas Taylor,
  • Minister Chrystal Matuscak
     On September 16, 2016, God called His servant and our pastor home.  Pastor Christopher Tookes had fought a long battle of cancer and God said enough.  He's now resting in the secure and loving arms of his Savior. 

     On October 3, 2016, the church voted Rev. Angela Tookes in as interim pastor until the end of December 2016.  On December 3, 2016, the church voted to extend Rev. Angela Tookes' interim position until June 2017.  Under her leadership, Trustee  James Powell was ordained as Deacon.

     On June 17, 2018, four (4) ministers were ordained by Rev. Carl Denson at Mt. Zion.  They are:  Rev(s)., Coni Hainsworth, Chrystal Detwiler-Matuscak, Thomas Taylor, and Diane Logan-Wells.

      On November 10, 2018, Rev. Dr. Gary Hughes became Pastor-elect. He was installed as Pastor on February 24, 2019.  Under his leadership, Debra Hakeem was ordained as Deacon.

"To God Be The Glory For The Great Things He Has Done"