Hammond’s Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church to receive State Historical Marker

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A public dedication ceremony for an Indiana state historical marker commemorating Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church is scheduled for Saturday, July 20, 2019. The marker dedication will begin at 12:00 p.m. (CST) across the street from the church in its parking lot, near 1047 Kenwood St., Hammond, Indiana. Parking is available in the lot at Kenwood St. and Howard Ave.

The text follows for the state marker entitled “Mt. Zion M.B. Church”:

Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church became a center for religious, political, social, and civic life for Hammond’s African American community. Established by Black members ca. 1919, the small congregation grew under long-serving pastor Rev. William Davis.

After years of fundraising, Mt. Zion dedicated the church here in 1949 and it continues to serve the community. Rev. Albert R. Burns served from 1945-1998 and worked to challenge racial injustice. Under his leadership, the congregation advocated for civil rights, housing, and job opportunities for Hammond’s Black residents. In 1983, the Mt. Zion Housing Authority, a subsidiary of the church, helped open Mt. Zion Pleasant View Plaza to provide affordable senior citizen housing.

The public is invited to attend the dedication ceremony for this state historical marker that examines the growth of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Hammond over the last one hundred years and the important role it has played as a religious, social, political, and cultural center for the city’s African American community. Church leaders promoted civil rights throughout its history and helped improve housing opportunities in the city through the establishment of the Mt. Zion Pleasant View Plaza.

This is the eleventh state historical marker to be installed in Lake County and the second this year. A third marker will be installed in the county later this fall to commemorate City Church in Gary. For a listing of other markers in the county, see: https://www.in.gov/history/markers/3819.htm#lake.

State historical markers commemorate significant individuals, organizations, places, and events in Indiana history.

These markers help communities throughout the state promote, preserve, and present their history for the education and enjoyment of residents and tourists of all ages. For over 100 years, the Indiana Historical Bureau has been marking Indiana history. Since 1946, the marker format has been the large roadside marker, which has the familiar dark blue background with gold lettering and the outline of the state of Indiana at the top. Over 650 of these markers have been installed over the years.

For more information about the Indiana Historical Marker Program and other resources about Indiana, visit the Indiana Historical Bureau’s website at http://www.IN.gov/history or call (317) 232-2535. For more information about the marker dedication ceremony commemorating Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church contact marker applicant Martha Jones at marthaj52@hotmail.com or contact the church directly at mountzionmbc@yahoo.com or (219) 931-4337.

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