B2FaithZionStanding at the Site001

Members standing on the original site of the Church in southwest Washington listen as the Rev. Keith W. Byrd Sr. relates historical data. Hilton Overton, left, Marlene Tolson, Laverne Dailey, Arnold Pryor and Jerry Banner Jr.

On June 14, Zion Baptist Church members walked from their original location in S.W. Washington D.C., where it started 150 year ago, to the current location, 4850 Blagden Ave., NW, to remember the past and celebrate the future. This commemorative act was an emotional roller coaster filled with fond memories of loved ones, pride and admiration as the church considered the struggles and triumphs of those on whose shoulders we stand.

B2FaithZionKia Johnson Sloan at Registration

Kia Johnson Sloan, “Walk” organizer checks the name of Min. Emanuel Lipscomb waiting to receive his 150th Anniversary “Tee” shirt.

Zion Baptist Church was started in 1864 by seven freed slaves who recognized the importance of academically and religiously educating their children and worshipping God. They were forced to leave the S.W. location, without adequate compensation, so that the city could build the S.W. Freeway.  While the walk was approximately four miles long, both young and old walked for whatever distance they could to demonstrate faith in the God that brought them from a period of captivity in Virginia to the freedom to worship today in Washington D.C.

The Rev. Keith W. Byrd Sr., pastor, led the charge for this event sponsored by the Zion Board Christian Education. The Board noted that this was history in the making and that everyone would be able to relive the experience and trace the steps of those ancestors that were responsible for the founding of this family oriented and community serving church.