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Mount Zion Baptist Church: Early History

Mount Zion Baptist Church (colored) was organized in 1864, in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church, with three members, by Rev. T. Embry.  Soon afterward they removed to M. E. Zion Church, remaining there for some time, and then removed to the colored school house in East Knoxville, remaining there until 1866.  Rev. William Howell about this time came down from Ohio, was invited to become pastor of the church, accepted and remained until 1869.  In 1873 there were about 150 members in this church, which had previously purchased a lot on Patton street in East Knoxville, and erected thereon a church building at a cost of about $2,000.  Source: William Rule, editor, Standard History of Knoxville, Tennessee (Chicago, Illinois, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1900), 439.


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