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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Montgomery in Montgomery County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal AME Zion Church

 
 
Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal AME Zion Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anita C. Nyambo, June 4, 2011
1. Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal AME Zion Church Marker
Inscription. Side 1
Located in the heart of one of Montgomery's historic African-American neighborhoods. Mount Zion A.M.E. Zion Church was constructed in 1899 and heavily remodeled in 1921. It served as a significant center for religious, political, and social life for blacks in Montgomery throughout most of the twentieth-century. The seeds of protest were growing in Montgomery long before the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955, and the bus boycott. Rev. Solomon Seay, pastor of Mt. Zion from 1948-52, led the black community in early protests as president of the Negro Civic and Improvement League.
On December 5, 1955, the first full day of the bus boycott, Mount Zion Pastor, Rev. Roy Bennett, who was also president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, hosted a meeting of local community leaders. These individuals met in the Mount Zion Church tower, founded and organized the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). The MIA's first task was coordinating an extensive bus boycott. At this meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was elected president and Rev. Bennett was elected vice-president. Rev. Bennett also served on the transportation committee arranging rides for people during the boycott. The MIA's formation was crucial to

Side 2
the organization and implementation of civil rights protests
Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal AME Zion Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dodson M. Curry, June 4, 2011
2. Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal AME Zion Church Marker
in Montgomery. Over the next year the MIA organized carpools and held weekly mass meeting to keep the black community mobilized. Leaders negotiated with Montgomery city officials and launched legal challenges to the city's bus segregation ordinances. The MIA also financially supported the boycott, raising money at meetings and soliciting support from northern and southern civil rights organizations.

Two later pastors of Mt. Zion, Rev. Simmie Walter Schultz and Rev. James T. Hemphill, also served as president of the Black Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. In 1971, Mt. Zion's Rev. Percy L. Smith, Jr. became the first black man to run for mayor of Montgomery.
Additionally, the church scenes in the movie, “The Long Walk Home” were filmed in this building. In 1965 participants in the Selma to Montgomery Voter Rights March received refreshments and used the restrooms at Mount Zion.
In 1990, the congregation moved to a new sanctuary on West Jeff Davis Avenue.
The original Mount Zion AME Zion Church building was listed in the National Register of Historical Places in 2002.
 
Erected 2002 by National Register of Historic Places.
 
Location. 32° 22.1′ N, 86° 19.233′ W. Marker is in Montgomery, Alabama, in Montgomery County. Marker

Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal AME Zion Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dodson M. Curry, June 4, 2011
3. Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal AME Zion Church Marker
is on Holt Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 467 Holt street, Montgomery AL 36108, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Black Churches Provide Significant Support for the March and Voting (a few steps from this marker); Sherman W. White, Jr. (approx. 0.2 miles away); Highway Construction Destroys Historic Black Neighborhoods (approx. 0.2 miles away); Four Points: One of Several Black Business Hubs in Montgomery (approx. ¼ mile away); Day Street Baptist Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Holt Street Baptist Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Percy Lavon Julian (approx. ¼ mile away); Loveless School/Henry Allen Loveless (approx. ¼ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Montgomery.
 
Categories. African AmericansChurches, Etc.Civil Rights
 
New Selma to Montgomery March marker in front of church. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, December 11, 2015
4. New Selma to Montgomery March marker in front of church.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dodson M. Curry of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,020 times since then and 3 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Dodson M. Curry of Birmingham, Alabama.   2, 3. submitted on , by Dodson M. Curry of Birmingham, Alabama.   4. submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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