Zion Church in Jesus Christ was founded in 1947 by the late Elder Joseph H. Edison and his wife, Mother Eva Lane Edison. The Lord had directed them to move from Detroit, Michigan, where he was pastoring the Zion Church in Mount Clemons, Michigan. The first location of the Zion Church in California was on 4th and P Streets. As the church began to grow, Elder Edison moved to 7th and P Streets. The Lord blessed tremendously in that little place and the membership soon outgrew the church. A lot was purchased to build a church and the Ground Breaking Ceremony was held on October 8, 1950, at 3628 Cypress Street, Del Paso Heights. Some of the saints moved from Michigan to continue under Elder Edison’s teaching.
The church continued to grow until the death of Elder Edison on April 12, 1955. Some of the officers at the time of his death were Brothers Ezekiel Williams, Thornton Alexander, Jewett Steel, Henry Duncan, John Howard and Edmond Cooper.
The membership appointed Elder John Howard, a young minister in the Lord, as pastor. He later turned the church over to Bishop Lewis D. Stallworth, Sr. In 1963, Bishop Stallworth, Sr., installed Elder Sam Jones as the Pastor of Zion. At the time of Elder Jones' installation, the church had moved to its present location at 3723 Altos Avenue.
Elder Jones saw that a lot of work was needed on the building. He was young and energetic, so he rolled up his sleeves and, with the assistance of the brethren, he tackled the job of remodeling the church. Through the faithfulness to his duties and the prayers of the sisters at the Noon Day Prayer Services, the Lord blessed his ministry and souls were added to the church.
Again, GOD began to deal with Elder Jones about remodeling and expanding the church. He moved the church services into the Quanset Hut, which at that time was being used as the kitchen. The saints danced and praised God in the Quanset Hut and God added souls to the church.
Many were baptized in Jesus Name and filled with the Holy Ghost; miracles were wrought through prayer; people were healed of cancer and other diseases through the ministry of Elder Jones and his companion, Sister Gloria Jones.
District Elder Sam Jones was elevated to the office of Bishop in August 1982. He was a “holiness or hell” preacher. He taught the saints at Zion that GOD expects true holiness, holy living and not straddling the fence. Bishop Jones was a lover of people, especially the youth and the seniors. He also encouraged the brothers to take the young men on outings and fishing, which he loved. Bishop Jones and Sister Jones would go on retreats with the married couples to teach them how to live holy, to love one another, to respect one another and to live together in peace and harmony. Once a year he would take all the seniors to dinner.
On August 9, 1999, Bishop Jones completed his course on earth and answered the call of the Lord to take his rest. The Zion Church family fasted and prayed for 30 days to seek the Lord for a pastor after his own heart. First Lady Gloria Jones was chosen as pastor of Zion Church and ordained by Bishop Lewis Stallworth, Sr., in January 2000. Bishop D. Rayford Bell, Diocesan of the United Northwest District Council, installed her as pastor of Zion Church in Jesus Christ, on August 26, 2000.
Through her leadership, souls were added to the vineyard. GOD has blessed the ministry to remodel the kitchen, purchase a commercial refrigerator and purchase property on the side and back of the church.
The Dr. Gloria Jones Education Institute, an after-school program which offered tutoring and computer classes, was established in one of the purchased properties on the church lot. Dr. Jones worked to complete the dreams she shared with her husband of building a teen recreational center, a senior citizens facility and a child day care center on the purchased property. Phase 1 was the completion of the parking lot and the beginning of phase II occurred on January 17, 2009, with the ground breaking ceremony for the recreational center. The mission to complete the vision of Pastor Jones continues to this day.
On October 3, 2013, Dr. Gloria Jones completed her course on earth and answered the call of the Lord to take her rest. The Trustee Board nominated Assistant Pastor Elder Bobby Deary to become the pastor of Zion. Elder Deary was voted in as Pastor by the Zion Church family and was installed on August 17. 2014, by Bishop Troy D. Dockery, Sr.
GOD is using Zion to be a light that sits upon a hill, a sanctuary where wounded souls can mend, where the lame and crippled can walk and those that need a physician can be healed. To God be the Glory!