Zion Baptist Church of Philadelphia

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Jesus Christ, the Lion of Zion, Breaking Chains that Bind

Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."  Revelation 5:5, NIV

(Located at the intersection of North Broad Street & Venango Street, next door to Temple University Hospital and Medical School. Only twenty minutes from Downtown Philadelphia on North Broad Street)




LOCATION: 3600 North Broad Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Erie Station

3700 N. Broad Street

This station is served by: Broad Street Line Broad-Ridge Spur Fare zone: Base Transit Fare

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And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. - Matthew 16:18


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Odyssey of Faith/Our Church History


Zion Baptist Church was established as a late 19th Century community of faith. The leading exponent in this ecclesiastical establishment was Rev. Horace Wayland, a black Virginia preacher, no doubt a former slave.


Rev. Wayland established Zion as a missionary prayer meeting in 1882 in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Lewis Simms. In 1883, Reverend Wayland was ordained and the prayer meetings moved to a hill at 13th and Popular Streets. The membership grew causing a number of relocations which finally settled at 13th & Wallace Streets. This last relocation was an awesome purchase of $16,000 and typically Zion took on the challenge. By the time of Reverend Wayland’s homegoing in 1896, the debt had been reduced to $6000. This was a remarkable feat for this dynamic minister and his progressive congregation.


Reverend Elbert W. Moore was called to pastor Zion at the turn of the 19th Century in 1897. From the rocky mountains of Denver, Colorado, Rev. Moore’s passion for youth encouraged Philadelphia youth to "pursue positive goals through education and stressed Black economic development." Under Reverend Moore’s pastoral leadership the church secured a charter, installed a new organ and initiated action to acquire properties between Wallace & Melon Street, with the 13th & Melon Streets site purchased first. He retired in 1915 and went home to be with the Lord in Pasadena, California in 1941.


Reverend William Henry Moses was called to the Zion pulpit in 1916. While he was deeply interested in the scriptures, Reverend Moses' tenure also showed leadership in financial matters. He led Zion in liquidating a number of debts, as well as spear-heading an $11,000 fundraiser not long after the installation. Reverend Moses left Zion for a pastorate in New York, where he passed away in 1941.


Reverend William Benjamin Reed became pastor of Zion in 1923. During his administration, Reverend Reed headed negotiations for the purchase of the grounds of which the church stood. He also encouraged the development of the Baptist Young Peoples Union. Reverend Reed passed from labor to reward in 1925.


Reverend Robert J. Langston was called to serve the Zion pulpit in 1926. Rev. Langston served as pastor of Zion until his death in 1942. Under his ministry, the following organizations were established; The Langston Chorus, The Sunlight Club and The Emergency Club. He had dreamed and had initiated steps towards the construction of a Christian community center near the church; however, it was unfortunately postponed due to the outbreak of World War II. Today, his vision of a community center is a reality. The Zion Community Center serves as a base for our Zion Cares Urban Underclass Ministry, computer literacy, social services and GED ministries.


In 1945, Reverend Authur W. Jones was called to pastor Zion from Riverton, New Jersey. He purchased a new parsonage and raised about $10,000 toward the purchase of a new church building, but the congregation in that building decided not to sell at that time. Reverend Jones left in 1949 for Newark, New Jersey .


Reverend Leon H. Sullivan, a West Virginian was called to pastor Zion in 1950. In 1955, Zion moved from 13th & Melon to Broad & Venango Streets, purchasing the St. Paul's Reformed Episcopal Church for $225,000. This mortgage was settled in 1958. In 1969, Zion purchased Trinity Reformed Church of Philadelphia at a cost of $220,000. It was transformed into an urban Christian center. Reverend Sullivan was the true "Lion of Zion." Through his leadership, membership grew from 600 to 6,000. The following programs were initiated: a day care center, credit union, community center programs, employment agency, retirement home, adult education courses, reading classes and family counseling.

Other community and social initiatives include Opportunities Industrial Centers, 10-36 Program, Progress Plaza, Zion Gardens and Opportunity Towers I & II. Tragedy occurred in 1970 when a church fire totally destroyed the church. Reverend Sullivan promised that the church would rise like "a phoenix from the ashes." Worship services were held in the Zion Community Center. In 1973, the new cornerstone was laid. Again, financially astute Zion settled its mortgage in record time by paying it off in ten years. Reverend Sullivan retired the Zion pulpit in 1988 and focused his remaining years on international humanitarian efforts throughout Africa.


Reverend Gus Roman, a lieutenant of Dr. Sullivan’s work at Zion succeeded Dr. Sullivan as the eighth pastor of Zion in 1988. Reverend Roman made several socio-spiritual contributions to the church and the community by creating the Zion Center for Corresponding Biblical Studies, weekly Bible Study, transportation ministry, puppet and clown ministry, spiritual retreats, leadership workshops, Zion Outreach Support Ministry and the Human Services Center.


Reverend William Key, a son of Zion, became pastor in 1995 with an emphasis in community development and developing Christian youth leadership. Reverend Key came to the pastorate with close to twenty years of service to Zion having served as the church's Youth Pastor and Executive Director for Zion Community Center. During Reverend Key's administration, he founded New Dimensions, a ministry for Christian young adults to focus on spiritual, social and economic issues; he strengthened funds for the Capital Fund Drive, an initiative for the church's properties; and emphasized the importance of giving through tithing. In 2000, Reverend Key left Zion to accept an administrative position with the American Baptist Churches Southern Division.


Reverend William B. Glenn, Jr. served the church faithfully during periods when it was without a pastor. Reverend Glenn served effectively as Interim Pastor after the departure of Reverend Gus Roman (1993 to 1997) and again as Senior Associate Minister following Reverend William J. Key (2000 to 2002).

 Reverend Glenn’s religious training included three years of study under Associate Minister Reverend Joseph Payne, going on to be licensed to preach in 1960. Reverend Glenn was ordained as a minster under the pastorate of Dr. Leon H. Sullivan in 1962. He was a civil rights activist supporting Reverend Sullivan’s programs. He established and served as president of the National Crusaders Economic Conference that assisted deprived areas around the county by supplying food and clothing. He served as the director of Zion Day Care and Learning Center, and was president of the Education Committee.

Reverend Glenn, along with his wife, Mrs. Louise Glenn, faithfully supported many activities at the church, community center’s events, and the Reverend Leon H. Sullivan Golf Tournament.


Zion welcomed Reverend Dr. Daly Barnes, Jr. as its tenth pastor in July 2002. Reverend Barnes placed an emphasis on proclaiming the Word of God. During his tenure the Fountain of Faith Broadcast Ministry was launched. Through television and radio broadcasting, the ministry allowed the church to evangelize and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to many homes throughout the Delaware Valley. He was also instrumental in the upgrading of the church’s sound system and resigned the Zion pulpit in June of 2009.


In December, 2011, Zion Baptist Church of Philadelphia elected as its 11th Pastor the Honorable A. Carl Prince, a Virginian and former 8th District City Council member in the River City of the City of Richmond, Virginia. Pastor Prince was officially installed on Sunday, September 30, 2012. The installation preacher was Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr., Pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, DC and one of America's most celebrated prophetic personalities.

Worship Services
7:45 a.m. & 10:45 a.m.
Bible Study
7:00 p.m.