Church History

“…Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven…”  Matthew 16:18-19

            Our Church has a unique history of growth and development.  In 1899, a very small group could not predict that this was to be the beginning of a very strong institution.  Little did they realize that from these weekly prayer meetings would emerge what is known now as the Pleasant Zion Baptist Church.  They knew that they would need a leader.  They elected Reverend Edward Freeman as their pastor.  Reverend Freeman and the members immediately found a place in which to worship.  They searched and discovered the perfect place to move “Poplar Heights.”  Pleasant Zion Baptist Church was incorporated by the State of Maryland, May 14, 1900, with five men known as trustees, they were:  Reverend Edward Freeman, Brother Silas Nathan, Brother Solomon Little, Brother Henry Jackson and Brother William Venable.

            Ministers in those days were:  Reverend William Cave, Reverend Arthur Rohne, Reverend Holmes, Reverend Robinson, Reverend Mathews Wilkerson, Reverend Joseph Culps and Reverend Linwood Perrin.  Under the leadership of Reverend Perrin, the Church was remodeled in 1967.  His life expired with and unexpected death.  Bereaved by the death of Reverend Perrin, the officers of Pleasant Zion saw that the people had increasingly scattered and declined spiritually.  They elected Reverend James B. Gray, Jr. as Pastor on January 9, 1971.  Pastor Gray began his pastorate with seventeen members.  Under his leadership these ministries were organized:  The Missionary Ministry, Church School (Sunday School), Shepherd Interest Ministry, Help Hand, Flowers Ministry, Junior Choir, Young’s People’s Choir, Zion Spiritualizers Choir, Male Chorus, Gray’s Vocal Chorus, Hospitality Ministry, Praise and Worship, New Members Class, Scholarship Ministry, Youth Ministry, Agape’  Fellowship Ministry ( Men and Women Ministry).  Because of the condition of the building, the Church was paneled and new pews were put in.  In 1976, the Christian Educational Center was added.  The Church membership grew and with faith Pastor Gray stated that it was necessary to build a new Church.  The officers and members began worshipping at that the Christian Academy in Edgemere, Maryland.  The membership continued to increase during our worship there.  On October 26, 1986, the new church building was erected.

            In the year 2000, Pastor Gray had a vision of a new Christian Education Center.  Our theme will was “It’s Vision Time in 2000.”

            May this church continue to grow in Christ, setting a living example for future generations, that they too may arise even higher to continue the work started by their successors. “We’ve Come This Far By Faith”