Knoxville church celebrates 154 years, focuses on the future

Knoxville church celebrates 154 years, focuses on the future

Posted:
Knoxville, TN - By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - One Knoxville church hit a major milestone on Sunday.

East Knoxville’s Mount Zion Baptist Church is celebrating 154 years.

In that time, they’ve made a significant impact in their community.

But as they remember the past, they are also looking towards the future.

Mount Zion’s congregation gathered to celebrate their 154th anniversary during Sunday’s morning service.

“It helps us come together and it gives us something to celebrate,” said Johnnie Skinner, head pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church.

The church members spent the day reflecting upon their rich history of growing the faith.

Pastor Skinner says it’s because of that faith that they’ve stuck to their mission for so many years.

"To be a servant church. That's it. To serve people, not only who are members but people who are outside the church,” said Skinner.

And serve they have.

Mount Zion takes part in a number of community based programs.

They've helped build homes for low income families with Habitat for Humanity and brought books into the hands of children in underserved communities through their Literacy Imperative program.

They also host an after school program for area children called Just Lead through the Emerald Youth Foundation.

"It's a safe environment, a learning environment. It's a place where they can do their academics but it's also a spiritual environment where they are learning about Christ,” said Skinner.

Twice a month, as they’ve done for years, they still go door to door inviting people to church.

"We serve in other capacities in whatever way we are asked. People come to us to pay their utility bill and we try to do what we can as well,” said Skinner.

But while they celebrate 154 years, Pastor Skinner says they're focused on the future and what they need to do in the years to come.

He says they feel called to focus on teens, who he says are rapidly leaving area churches.

"What is it that we're not doing to keep them? How do we stop that from happening and how do we reach out to speak to them?” said Skinner.

So after all these years, their mission of service continues.

"We are going to keep pressing on and do what we believe God has called us to do,” said Skinner.

For more information on Mount Zion Baptist Church and their community programs, contact them at 865-522-2715.



But as they remember the past, they are also looking towards the future.

Mount Zion’s congregation gathered to celebrate their 154th anniversary during Sunday’s morning service.

“It helps us come together and it gives us something to celebrate,” said Johnnie Skinner, head pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church.

The church members spent the day reflecting upon their rich history of growing the faith.

Pastor Skinner says it’s because of that faith that they’ve stuck to their mission for so many years.

"To be a servant church. That's it. To serve people, not only who are members but people who are outside the church,” said Skinner.

And serve they have.

Mount Zion takes part in a number of community based programs.

They've helped build homes for low income families with Habitat for Humanity and brought books into the hands of children in underserved communities through their Literacy Imperative program.

They also host an after school program for area children called Just Lead through the Emerald Youth Foundation.

"It's a safe environment, a learning environment. It's a place where they can do their academics but it's also a spiritual environment where they are learning about Christ,” said Skinner.

Twice a month, as they’ve done for years, they still go door to door inviting people to church.

"We serve in other capacities in whatever way we are asked. People come to us to pay their utility bill and we try to do what we can as well,” said Skinner.

But while they celebrate 154 years, Pastor Skinner says they're focused on the future and what they need to do in the years to come.

He says they feel called to focus on teens, who he says are rapidly leaving area churches.

"What is it that we're not doing to keep them? How do we stop that from happening and how do we reach out to speak to them?” said Skinner.

So after all these years, their mission of service continues.

"We are going to keep pressing on and do what we believe God has called us to do,” said Skinner.

For more information on Mount Zion Baptist Church and their community programs, contact them at 865-522-2715.

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