Mount Zion Baptist Church had A Story to Tell about its history, so the church did what any good Baptist church would do – formed a committee.
“It was a joint effort by a lot of people,” said Floyd Annas, chairman of Mount Zion’s history committee.
Annas, along with several others, recruited information from current and former members. He said they were inspired after Caldwell Baptist Association, the association in which the church is involved, published its history. A couple of Mount Zion members were involved in the publication of the association’s history and suggested the church, which was founded in 1889, do so as well.
The church’s history, published in A Story to Tell: The History of Mount Zion Baptist Church Hudson, North Carolina, won the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSC) award at the 2014 annual meeting held in Greensboro. The BSC Historical Committee chooses a winner each year for the historical writing competition.
Having a good author like Bill Kincaid, Mount Zion member and former editor of three newspapers, “helped an awful lot,” Annas said. Compiling the church’s history took time and included all the minutes from the very beginning. The book even includes a copy of the deed filed in 1889, lists of previous staff members and reports from various ministries of the church throughout the years. The book also calls attention to the present-day staff and former members called out to various ministries.
Annas’ family has a long history in the church.
“My mother brought me in her arms to Mount Zion when I was real small,” he said. He was saved and baptized in the church in 1937 at age 12. Reading through A Story to Tell finds the family name mentioned several times.
Now, Floyd Annas is one of the church’s oldest members. He and Kincaid have also interviewed some of the older members and keep the audio recordings at the church’s library for people to check out.
“Oral history is very important,” he said. “Sometimes it is overlooked.”
Annas remains excited about his church. He shared that Mount Zion gives 16 percent to the Cooperative Program and that they recently finished studying Ezekiel in small groups at people’s homes. They have started a study on discipleship.
“It’s really strengthening our church,” he said.
Much of the church’s early history is available at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. The library houses the North Carolina Baptist Historical Collection (also known as the Ethel Taylor Crittenden Collection in Baptist History).
The Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives (sbhla.org) offers resources and information to help churches preserve and protect historical documents.
There are three categories in the BSC historical writing competition: church history,* association history (includes agencies and institutions); and biography, autobiography, memoirs and personal reflection. For the 2015 competition, the entries should have been released in 2014 or 2015.*
To enter, mail two copies to: BSC, Historical Committee, P.O. Box 1107, Cary, NC 27512-1107.
The deadline for submission is June 30. Winners will be recognized at the 2015 Baptist State Convention Annual Meeting in Greensboro.
Contact Norma Jean Johnson at (800) 395-5102, ext. 5618, or [email protected]cbaptist.org.
*Older church histories can qualify if additional work has been done to bring them current to this date, and have not been previously submitted.