Jesus promised in His Word that He would build His church. We are privileged to be His Instrument to carry out His Agenda for His Glory. When God is glorified the people are Blessed!
We must stay prayerful, determined and diligent in spirit to aggressively allow God to use us to accomplish His Purpose. We must remain true to our theme, Becoming the Church God Wants Us to be.
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
In 1902 the Young Mt. Zion Baptist Church was organized November 17, 1902 with twelve members of the Old Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Beech Island, South Carolina, who were living in Augusta, Georgia and had been conducting a prayer band for about two years in the Moral Society Mall on the site where the Moses Baptist Church now stands. They decided to ask permission of the Mother church to organize a church here in Augusta, Georgia because their transportation would not permit them to attend their church as regularly as desired. The council composed of pastors of various churches in Augusta was authorized on November 17, 1902 to organize the church. The members then orgainzed the Young Mt. Zion Baptist Church. The first pastor of the Young Mt. Zion Baptist Church was Rev. J. H. Boyd, who was also pastor of the Old Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Beech Island, SC.
In August 1903, the church bought the site at 516 Forsythe Street. During the same year a building was bought and rolled on the grounds. On the fourth Sunday in September, of that year the members of the newly organized church marched into their new building. The young church began to grow under Rev. J. H. Boyd ’s pastorate. When Rev. Boyd resigned, Rev. Evans was called. During Rev. Burke ’s administration some remodeling was done to the church.
Under Rev. J. W. Tate’s leadership, the church was completely remodeled and the name was changed from Young Zion to Greater Young Zion Baptist Church.
On May 15, 1933 the church was completely destroyed by fire. Services were held in First Ward School located on 2nd and Watkins Street.
The church was rebuilt in 1934 at the present location at 516 Forsythe Street in 1934. The members of the church prayed for God to send them a leader. God answered their prayers in June 1935, Rev. J. H. McClusky of Atlanta, Georgia accepted the call and pastored the church for 21 years and 8 months until he was called home to be with the Lord in January 1957.
In 1959, Rev. H. L. Harrison of Aiken, South Carolina was called to serve as pastor. An annex was built in 1968 and Rev. Harrison resigned in 1969. Later that year, in November Rev. J. H. Sims accepted the call to Pastor Greater Young Zion and the Missionary Society Boy and Girl Scout Troops were organized. Three houses adjacent to the church along with a lot on Sand Bar Ferry Road was purchased.
Rev. Thomas E. Sapp, Jr. became the new pastor in March 1975 after Rev. Sims resigned in 1974. Under Rev. Sapp ’s leadership the John D. Hatney Choir, Voices of Greater Young Zion, Pastor’s Aid Club and Willing Workers Club were organized; the sanctuary was remodeled and new pews were purchased.
In March 1981 tables and chairs upstairs were purchased and a new public address system was installed in the sanctuary. Rev. Gregory Devon Franklin was elected to the pastorate of Greater Young Zion June 29, 1981 and a new piano was purchased. Rev. Franklin resigned on May 21, 1983. The roof of the church was repaired and a bathroom was installed in the front of the church.
In February 1984, Rev. William B. Blount, Sr. began his pastorate of Greater Young Zion. Since Rev. Blount was called, the church has progressed spiritually, numerically, physically and financially.
The church structure was reorganized and the emphasis changed to focus more on Christian Education and Development, Bible Study, and Evangelism. Pastor Blount also brought in, seminars and workshops to further equip the saints. A scholarship program was established, and outreach ministries were organized.
Many of souls have been saved, baptized, and added to the church under Pastor Blounts administration.
The Family Enrichment Ministry was founded in 1994 as a statewide initiative aimed at preserving and impacting today’s families to live God’s way Psalm 127:1 ).
Physical improvements to the church include:
- paying off 2.5 acres on Sand Bar Ferry Road,
- buying a lot next to the church,
- purchasing an additional 7.75 acres,
- kicking off a new building program in 1993,
- renovating the rear area of the building on Forsythe Street, and
- adding two portable houses for classroom space.
The church adopted the theme “Seeking, Reaching, and Teaching All to Live For Christ”; and the emphasis is “Excellence in Ministry”. As a church our focus is on prayer, teaching the Word, preaching the Word, and making disciples.
Ground breaking for the new worship center was held in February 2000 and construction began on July 5, 2000.
The first sermon preached in the new facility was entitled “The Divine Agenda” on June 24, 2001 at 3:00 PM.
Additionally the Koinonia (Christian Fellowship) Community Development Corporation was formed and is located at the old church site, 516 Forsythe Street. Programs sponsored and future programs by the Koinonia Center:
- Summer Enrichment Program
- Suspension School Program
- Child Learning Center
- Family Life Center
- Housing Project
- Senior Citizen Indpendent Living Apartments
- Economic Development Ministry
- Drug Rehabilitation and Prison Support Program
- Christian Academy
- Small Business Job Support Program
God has blessed and kept GYZ to carry on in His name until He makes His return and may He continue to help us to be obedient to His unfolding agenda as we seek to advance His Kingdom on earth.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 says, “Write the vision make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
The Best Is Yet To Come