Mt. Zion Methodist

Lowndes County
Org 1842
Photography by Amanda Yates

The earliest record of meetings of Mt. Zion date back to 1842. The name was then called Rehoboth Church, but was dedicated as Mt. Zion in 1844. The first church on the grounds was a small, one room log cabin located across the street from its current location, beside the cemetery. The cabin was later replaced by a larger wooden frame building.  

This tabernacle was northeast of the cemetery and was surrounded by 8-10 frame tents located on 6 acres of land deeded in 1862 by Benjamin Seckinger.   The Seckingers were direct decedents of the original Salzburgers who migrated to Effingham County in 1735.  They were some of the very earliest settlers in Georgia. The frame tents at the campground were built by members of the church and each summer, usually during the month of August, a two-week revival was held under the tabernacle. At least 6-8 pastors from different Methodist Churches in South Georgia would come and camp in one of the tents, and do the preaching. In 1925, the presiding Elder (now called the District Superintendent) felt the camp meetings should be discontinued for a while, and they have never been resumed.

In 1924, Mr, John N. Bray gave an acre of land to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and had the current church building built in memory of his mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. J. N. Bray Sr. John Bray is laid to rest in the Mt. Zion Cemetery. Until 1953, Mt. Zion was part of the Lowndes and Echols County Charge. This consisted of Statenville, Lake Park, Clyattville, and Mt. Zion. Services were held at each church one Sunday a month.

In July 1, 1952, members of the Mt. Zion and Clyattville Charge met together and decided to form the Clyattville-Mt. Zion Charge. The Reverend John McGowan was the pastor at that time. In 1958, the Reverend Floyd S. Berger Jr. was appointed as the pastor, and he began weekly Sunday morning services. Sunday morning services, and Wednesday night Bible studies have been held every week since then.

We found some interesting history on the Bray family in the files.  They can be accessed HERE.