Zion Hill Baptist Church
Sunday, January 16, 2022
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The church Sanctuary is located two miles north of the town of Bladenboro. It sits beside the highways NC 131 and NC 410 at the intersection of Zion Hill Church Road. This has been the meeting place for the Church since it was organized in the year 1885.

The Church community took shape from then existing public school district of which a one-room school house was the center.

The organization of the Church came out of a need for a worship place closer by. The residents of the community, most of whom were of the Baptist Denomination, were undergoing hardships to attend the services of their respective churches. The mode of travel was walking and by horse-drawn conveyances. The roads were rough and hazardous to travel.

When Mrs. Elizabeth Ann (Davis) Butler offered a one-acre lot of land, upon which a church house could be erected, the Baptists organized themselves. They chose the name "Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church." The new Church chose a building site to be adjacent to the school house and began soliciting materials to build a church house. The building project was a community effort, as the Church members and well-wishers donated labor, timber, beasts of burden, the use of sawmills and such supplies needed for the church house. The house was quickly built and dried in suitable for the Church to begin holding its Worship services.

There is not known to be a record of a roll of the Charter Members; however, the records of the Cape Fear Association of Baptist Churches show that Zion Hill Church had forty-one members by October 1, 1886.

The members of the new church covenanted together to preserve and secure the principles of their faith in Jesus Christ. The Church body would be governed in an orderly manner and to be consistent with accepted tenets of the Baptist churches from which the members came.

Upon a finding of satisfactory evidence of the orthodoxy of the new church and upon its request for admission, the Cape Fear Association of Baptist Churches received Zion Hill Church to be a member on October 19-22, 1886.

On October 20-23, 1892, a letter of dismission was granted to Zion Hill Church from the Cape Fear Association of Baptist Churches for the expressed purpose of aiding the formation of an Association for Baptist Churches within the boundaries of the County of Bladen. Zion Hill Church became a Charter Member of the Bladen Association of Baptist Churches in an organizational meeting which took place on November 11, 1892.

The early church business meetings were guided by a church decorum, but it was the year 1954 that the church adopted a constitution and by-laws.

Zion Hill is an autonomous body and is evangelistic in nature. Not only does the Church reach out to teach the Word of God to the people in the local community, but it joins in a cooperative effort with the Southern Baptist Convention of Churches to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ to all peoples of the world.

R. Kendrick Hester

August 1997 

Additional History

On June 17, 1973, a ground breaking service began the building a fellowship and classroom annex to the existing brick veneer classroom building, and to add a sanctuary annex to the same building.  June 30, 1974 brought the dedication of the new sanctuary and the new fellowship/classroom annex.  The average attendance in 1974 for Sunday School was 100.1 persons.   

The church received a title for a parcel of land designated for the purpose of building a parsonage on December 16, 1975.  In 1978, the church voted to build a parsonage that was completed in 1980.  In 1980, with a parsonage of its own, the church decided to acquire the services of a minister on a full-time basis effective January 1, 1981

October 13th, 1985 Zion Hill commemorated 100 years with a pageant “The Church Moves Foreward” written Eliza Hester Johnson.  It portrayed events ranging from 1885 to the present day of 1985.

On July 5th, 1996 Zion Hill Baptist Church of Bladenboro became incorporated. 

A fifteen passenger church bus purchased in 2005 accommodates group travels and church ministry.

Thirty-four interim, youth, part-time and full-time pastors have served the church since its organization beginning in 1885 until present day of 2021.

Zion Hill’s services and ministries include: Sunday School, Discipleship Training, W.M.U., Brotherhood, Youth and Children’s Programs and Sunday morning worship services.  Conference meetings are now on the first Sunday night of each month.  Annual services include:  Vacation Bible School, Homecoming on the second Sunday in October, and the Children’s Christmas program on the third Sunday evening in December.

 This year Zion Hill Baptist Church celebrates 135 years of ministry for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.