Mount Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Harlem

421 W 145th St
New York NY  10031

Phone: (646) 370-3940

Mount Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Harlem

Brief History of Church & Parish House Buildings:
The Church was constructed in 1888-1889 and the parish house was built in 1908-09. The Church was designed by Joseph Wolf for the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church on land purchased in 1888 from the heirs of Alexander Hamilton who owned much of the surrounding land. The congregation sold the building to St. Mathew’s German Evangelical Church in 1906. St. Matthew’s one of the oldest Lutheran congregations in the nation had been established in 1664 at Frankfort and William Streets in lower Manhattan. The Mount Zion Lutheran Church purchased the church in 1961 from the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church, which had taken title to the property in 1946.

In 1909, under Pastor Otto Seiker, Saint Mathew Lutheran Church completed building the four-story limestone neo-Gothic style parish house and chapel. The building was designed by John Bose.

Brief History of the Mount Zion Lutheran Church Congregation:
What became known as Mount Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (MZLC) was started in the home of a young girl by the name of Lenchen DeVane. It began as a Sunday School and worship Service. Pastor William O. Hill of Bethany Lutheran Church began meeting with Ms. DeVane’s group and the group grew until a new meeting place was needed. They were offered space by Saint Mathews Lutheran Church and they began meeting in the parish house chapel. For many years, they met under the name of Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church.

The history of MZLC began in 1944 when a young Pastor named Clemonce Sabourin answered the call to become the first pastor. The growth of the congregation was a slow process, and after a while an outreach program began whereby the pastor traveled around the community from building to building extending the invitation to all that opened their doors to “Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before our maker”. Outreach was only one approach utilized to increase membership.

Because no congregation can grow without young people, in September of 1947 MZLC established a Christian Day school named “School on the Hill”. The School provided an educational foundation for grades one through six. Not only did the school provide quality education but it also prepared students to become informed on worldly issues (i.e. politics, race relations, and cultural diversity) and to become productive adults in a spiritual environment. The school became known as the “Beacon on the Hill,” opening its facility to children and adults of the community. The community knew that the church was there and apprised themselves of many of the activities including the Walther League, Girl Scouts, Lutheran Interracial Services, Boy Scouts, Drama Club and other programs. The school, through its activities, was instrumental in the growth of the Church membership. Students of the School as well as young people who participated in activities offered through the school subsequently became members of the Church. Through these initiatives, membership in the Church increased significantly rising to nearly 150.

As the school was instrumental in the growth of the Church, members of the Church were instrumental in the success and growth of the School. However in the early 90’s the quality of education in the school began to deteriorate. Increased operating cost associated with obtaining quality teachers and physical plant upkeep led to the closing of the school. Since July 2012, the Global Community Charter School has occupied the Parish house.

Upon Pastor Sabourin’s retirement, Mt Zion was served by Pastor Edwin H. Thompson, Pastor James Thomas, Vicar Ed Holmes, Pastor Meisner, Pastor James Martin, Pastor Edward L. Watson, and Pastor Luther Kriefall. Our current Pastor George Ramsudh accepted the call from Mt. Zion in 2007. At present, we have several organizations such as the Women’s and Men’s Clubs, the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Stewardship Committee and Board of Trustees. In addition to our Sunday Worship Service, we also have Children Sunday School, Adult Bible Study, Prayer Meetings, and Saturday confirmation classes.

Church Restoration Project:
After 125 years, the church needs a facelift. The restoration of Mount Zion is a huge undertaking for our congregation. Our plans are to make the small church on the hill a beautiful building that will remain for another 125 years. Our renovation goals include beautifying the building façade and the interior, removing paint and restoring bricks on the exterior, installing a heating and air conditioning system and restoring our skinner organ. To do this, we need your financial support… Please support us financially through your donations

“MOUNT ZION CELEBRATES 70 YEARS” JULY 11-13, 2014
Save the dates for three days of gospel celebration. Old members, members who have moved away, School On the Hill Alumni, we are calling you.

Mission:
The purpose of this congregation shall be to give honor and glory to God, to help those in need and to foster Christian fellowship and love.


The purpose of this congregation shall be to give honor and glory to God, to help those in need and to foster Christian fellowship and love.

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Past Events

Hamilton Heights Neighborhood Social

Hamilton Heights Neighborhood Social
12:00 pm - 07/29/2017

At Mount Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Harlem

To celebrate its 73rd anniversary, Mt. Zion Lutheran Church is hosting a neighborhood social for the Hamilton Heights community. This event is outdoors, free, and...

73rd Anniversary Service

73rd Anniversary Service
11:00 am - 07/16/2017

At Mount Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Harlem

Mt. Zion Lutheran Church celebrates its 73rd anniversary with a special service on July 16th, with honored guest Bishop Lecakes. Worship service is 11am to 1pm at...

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