Our Church History:
Moving Forward with Intentional Faith
Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church was organized on November 18, 1938 at 63 Mission Street in Montclair, New Jersey, by the Rev., Dr. James A. Jackson, its first pastor, along with its first officers, the Rev. John Brinkley, superintendent of the Sunday school; Brother Harry Adsit, chair of the deacons; Ms. Pearl Robb, church clerk; and Mrs. Clara Adsit, organist.
The church was recognized and set apart by the Council of North Jersey Association, Rev. C. T. Wilcher, moderator, and the church met at several township locations prior to purchasing and renovating a building on Wheeler Street.
The congregation in 1950 purchased a vacant lot at 27 Monroe Place, held a ground breaking in 1952 and after many trials and challenges opened the lower-level of the church edifice and began holding services there in 1965.
The church edifice was completed and furnished in 1968 and the congregation, through sacrifice and dedication, was able to pay off the mortgage and become debt free in 1976.
Rev. James A. Jackson served faithfully as founding pastor for 38 years, until his death in 1976, known near and far for his love of the Lord and his fellow man. His wife, Myrtle C. Jackson, was a national leader in evangelistic and missionary circles. She served with dedication as first lady of the church while overseeing construction of the edifice at 27 Monroe Place, and was called as acting pastor during her husband’s serious illness beginning in 1963.
Rev. Myrtle C. Jackson was called as pastor of the church upon her husband’s death, a role which she served with distinction from 1976 until she passed away in 1995.
The Church was led by a group of its deacons and elders, with assistance from visiting ministers and preachers for the next five years.
In January 2001, the church called its third and current pastor in January 2001, the Rev. Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of the Reverend Drs. James A. and Myrtle C. Jackson. Elizabeth Campbell was ordained and installed as pastor in October 2001.
The Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church has played an important role in religious and civic life in the Township of Montclair, and beyond, especially through the work of dedicated members, officers, and friends.
Our church as had a quiet and often unsung influence in the community through a range of activities, ministries and special events. We support international missions through the Lott Carey program. Locally, our current ministries include a clothing ministry, food ministry, and our weekly meal service to those in need as a partner in Montclair Emergency Shelter for the Homeless (MESH).
In September 2018, we launched our first Community Weekend, which included a “block party” style event on Saturday, followed by an outdoor worship service on Sunday. We continued this popular event in September 2019. Our planning for 2020 was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
Church histories tell a story about their buildings, pastors, and formal ministries, but the church is about much more than that. Over more than 80 years, the church has been about spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.
We thank God for the opportunity to serve Him and share His love with our brothers and sisters near and far. We invite you to join us in this Great Commission.