Sister Laura Singleton moved to Northport, Alabama in 1922, and after becoming settled in the community began looking for somewhere for her children to go to Sunday School. Finding no place to her liking, she rented the Hampton Hall on 18th Avenue. There, under the leadership of Rev. Patterson in 1923, the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church was organized.
Rev. Patterson's tenure was short due to illness, after which he resigned. Rev. Manuel from Carrolton was the second Pastor and under whose leadership this property was purchased.
Rev. Maize was the third pastor, and the Rev. J.A. Johnson was fourth. In 1925, under the direction of Rev. J.A. Johnson, the first frame structure was built on the present site. The third pastor called was Rev. Maize., Very little info is had on Rev. Maize can be located.
The kitchen, fellowship hall, classrooms and pastor's study were later added. In 1944, under the continuing direction of Rev. Johnson the church was blocked.
Rev. Johnson was succeeded by the Rev. H.T. Carstarphen, and new pews were purchased.
The membership has steadily grown under the leadership of these fine men of God.
The church ministry structure for assembly was set up on a bi-monthly schedule. Meeting on the first and third Sundays monthly, with Sunday School meeting every week.
After that Rev. Hezekiah T. Carstarphen resigned as pastor to establish a full time pastorate at another church where he served both congregations concurrently.
March of 1964, the Rev. Dr. Elijah J. (EJ) James, Jr. was called to service as sixth Pastor of New Zion. Pastor James served from 1964 until he retired in 2013; at that time the church unanimously promoted him to Pastor Emeritus until his passing September 2019.
Under the leadership of Pastor James, the physical and spiritual structure of the church was drastically changed.
Physically: the church purchased multiple properties surrounding the church. In 1990 the church added an educational wing and an additional fellowship hall and made additional cosmetic changes. In 2006, Pastor James led the congregation into building an immaculate fellowship center. As we worshipped in the new fellowship hall the old sanctuary was demolished and a new sanctuary was erected, September 2009.
Spiritually: Pastor James taught the word of God faithfully teaching and leading by example. In 1975, Pastor James was led of the Holy Spirit to embrace the full counsel of the Holy Spirit. He experienced the promise Pentecostal power that every believer should receive. As a result of his yielding, scores of members and believers have been empowered.
Following the leading of the Lord, Pastor James, again strayed from the shackles of tradition and released the gifts in both genders, making room for males and females to proclaim the gospel.
Additional properties have been acquired, renovations and additions have been accomplished, our numbers have steadily increased, and our spiritual growth has flourished under Rev. James' leadership.
Still, no one person can claim responsibility for these accomplishments. From sister Singleton, through Rev. James, and to the last member to join, had not some ears been inclined to God, and some hearts open to his love, New Zion Baptist Church would never have come to be.
Sister Laura Singleton, Rev. Patterson, Rev. Manuel, Rev. Maize, Rev J.A. Johnson, Rev. H.T. Carstraphen and so many other of our loved ones have gone on to glory, but their memories shall live on within us.