Image excerpted from Mount Zion Baptist Church site.

Mount Zion Baptist Church

After the close of the Civil War, a group of Christians banded together to establish a Baptist church in Freedman’s Village. Freedman’s Village is now the site of Arlington National Cemetery. The church, called “The Old Bell Church”, was under the leadership of the first pastor, Reverend Robert S. Laws.

In 1866 when the federal government moved the congregation from Freedman’s Village, they settled in nearby Alexandria County, which became Arlington County, Virginia. In September 1866, another property was purchased on Mt. Vernon Avenue, which was later named Arlington Ridge Road.

It was here that a new church was erected and named Mount Zion Baptist Church. This two–story red brick building with a white marble front was pastored by Reverend Joseph Matthews who served as the pastor for 19 years (1866–1885). Reverend Matthews was followed by Reverend E.R. Jackson who served three years, from 1887–1900.

Excerpted from the Mount Zion Baptist Church site.