New Zion Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1941 by the Rev. W.M. Fennell. Services were held under a tent on Henderson Street near his home in Bryan, Texas. Property at 1524 East Dansby Street was later purchased in hopes of building. The first church building was erected through the physical labor of Rev. Fennell.
In 1945, Rev. A.C. White organized a congregation of believers under the name of Peaceful Rest Baptist Church, becoming the first branch off of New Zion.
After several years of service in this building and under the direction of the Holy Spirit, Rev. Fennell was blessed to be instrumental in constructing the second New Zion church building. There he toiled faithfully unto God until his death on June 8, 1951.
For a time Rev. N.C. Williams served as interim pastor until Rev. H.L. Goods was later called as pastor, however he only served for a brief period of time.
The year of 1953 added yet another branch to the New Zion family tree. In this year, Rev. Eugene Sims and a faithful few formed St. James Baptist Church.
God sent Rev. T.L. Grays in 1953. Rev Grays was a wonderful pastor, teacher and spiritual leader. He had great love for the church. He made considerable improvements to the church building including the addition of a cafeteria, baptistery, and a completely remodeled sanctuary. Rev. Grays served until he was led to retire his position.
After the retirement of Rev. Grays, the Lord sent yet another Spirit-filled young man to spread the Word of God. In 1984, Rev. F.G. Ford took the reigns as pastor of New Zion. In 1990, Rev. Ford's vision of a new church building became reality. The church body moved up the hill, into a new building located at 1505 East Dansby Street. Rev. Ford resigned his position as pastor in May 2002.
Once again without a pastor, New Zion continued their faith in God, trusting Him to send the Shepherd He prepared to lead His people. During this period God used the ministers and deacons of the congregation to lead and feed His word the congregation. God chose "a time such as this" to come in and shake His people and test their faith in Him. Truly by God's Hand New Zion continued to grow spiritually, financially, in fellowship and discipleship during this time.
On December 15, 2002 God answered his people's cry and blessed New Zion with her current Spiritual Leader, Rev. Sylvester Smith, Jr. Rev. Smith took the helm at a runner's pace; moving forward and not looking back. His vision is to prosper spiritually, win souls and reach out to the community; yet remain humble in everything that's done.
Following the vision given to Pastor Smith, the renovations and expansion of the New Zion church facility began. The sanctuary was expanded by an additional 1,609 sq. feet including a new choir stand, raised pulpit area, 18 rows of pews, a “quiet” room for parents with small children, and a media/sound room. A foyer was added along with men and women restrooms. Also, a 3,529 sq. feet multipurpose building was constructed. The multipurpose addition can be converted into multiple rooms utilized for Sunday School classes or used as a single room for Bible Study, meetings, banquets, etc. There are additional men and women restrooms in this area. A new front entrance and additional parking were also added. New Zion family and friends celebrated the completion of the renovation/expansion project with an “Extreme Makeover” celebration on January 21, 2007. Pastor M.O. Cooper and the St. Matthew church family and local dignitaries joined in the ribbon-cutting ceremony as our special guests.
As the years roll on, New Zion looks to be that city that sits on a hill that cannot be hidden, a beacon of light shining and compelling mankind to come unto Jesus.