by Taylor C. Woodward
HISTORY OF MT. ZION CHURCH
(By Mrs. Amanda Burtsfield)
I was only ten years old when the house we now occupy was built. The Westons were here before my people and I think were likely one of the families that started the church. For Mother Weston would not be long in her new home until she started at least a Prayer Meeting. From what I can learn, there were cottage prayer meetings. And they may have used the old Wesleyan Church, which was very small and somewhat dilapidated, and which stood northeast of the present building, about where the Leyda and Hague burial lots are in the cemetery.
I only remember one of the members of the Wesleyan Church, William Moorehouse, who donated his library to the M. E. Church when he came into the church. It was contained in an old fashioned hair trunk, and was thankfully received, as they did not have much along that line in those days.
There were other families who moved into this neighborhood, among them, my father's family, John Patterson. They came in 1827 and organized a Methodist Episcopal Church, and some time later, built the old log church which stood northwest of the present building, across the road a few rods. It was in 1840 or near that time it was built. I do not know who the charter members were, except the Weston and Patterson families.
The burden bearers of the church, at my first remembrance were: Mrs. Grace Weston and son Francis, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Caskey, Mr. and Mrs. Nosset Hannum, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Leyda, Mr. and Mrs. James Cassidy, Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus Dennis, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Calerdine, Mr. and Mrs. John Patterson, Mr. and Mrs. David Stewart, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Weston, Mr. and Mrs. Levi Pennock, Mrs. Mary Ward, Mrs. Hart (mother of the late John Hart), James Hyatt (grandfather of W. G. Hyatt).
Through the years that have elapsed since the time of those whom I have mentioned, the church has practically been kept up by the children and grandchildren of the good old mothers and fathers and others, who moved into the neighborhood in earlier years.
Soon after the old church was built, there was a change in the old order of things, and we had but one preacher, and I believe James Rogers was the first pastor after the change was made. Rev. Rogers came about the year 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War.
I will endeavor to name the ministers who have served the church from the time of the building of the church in 1859 to present time: John Freshwater, W. H. Hamilton, H. C. Huddleson, James Bray Sr., James Bray Jr., O. R. Roller, Jimmy Russel, W. D. Stevens, A. M. Scott, D. D. Hunter, John Hunter, Joseph Hollingshead, R. H. Wright, A. C. Leggett, L. Weaver, E. P. Edmons, A. H. Keeler, A. M. Billingsley, J. A. Rutledge, A. M. Merchant, J. A. Young, C. C. Chain, A. A. Gilmore, A. W. Harris, T. H. Kerr, J. A. Hollinghead, Thomas Taylor, R. N. Ball, W. M. Gamble, T. L. Carson, Wm. Gardner, Wm. Power, Wm. Mitchel, J. F. Ellis.