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Black Church News in Virginia

Mt. Zion A.M.E. Celebrates Its 143rd Church Anniversary

VIRGINIA BEACH

“Generations of Faith: Committed, Connected, and Consistent” was the theme used as Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church celebrated its 143rd church anniversary. The church is located at 2268 Princess Anne Road in Virginia Beach.

The church began in 1872 with property purchased from Durant Simmons for one dollar. The current Pastor, Rev. Vanessa A. Copeland made history when she was appointed the first female pastor at the Mid-Year Conference in August 2011.

The anniversary celebration began with a pre-anniversary luncheon held at the Samuel Walton Life Center on November 7, honoring members in the congregation who were 75 years old or older. Many of these member are still very active in the church and hold church offices. The oldest member of the congregation. Shirley Lamb is 100 years old.

Other members honored were Robert Lee Cason, Thaddeus Cason, Sr., Melvin Ridley, Sr., Richard Sawyer, Sr., Elsie Brown, Pauline Covington, Ethel Mae Price, Norma Lee Mitchell, Rev. Vivian Gary, Marion Ward Green. Pearl W. Holloway, Vashti Johnson, Mabel Lee Lamb, Barbara Patterson, Dorothy Ward, Madeline Wade, Geneva Wills, Melvin Coston, Annie B. James, Sarah James, Ivia Bell Pyatt, and Sarah Sivells. All of these members were presented a lifetime membership plaque. They have been members of Mt. Zion Church only.

Other members who are 75-years-old or older were Samuel Caldwell, Rev. Helen Cason, Jessie Cason, Velma Cason, Rosetta Johnson, Evelyn Lamb, Rev. Eunice Mitchell,

Rachel Richardson, Faye Ridley, Anita Sawyer, Anna Taliaferro, John Dukes, Charles Willis, and Helen Willis. These members received a framed certificate for their dedication to Mt Zion.

Four members were also honored for their community service with the Trailblazer award. These members included E. George Minns for his service to the Virginia Beach community; Jamelle Bouie, who is the chief political analyst for Slate Magazine and was recently named political analyst for CBS News for his national service; and two youth, Rebecca Johnson and Kelcey Parks for their community service and academic excellence.

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The celebration concluded on Sunday, November 15, 2015 with two worship services. The 10 a.m. service speaker was Rev. Jeanette Phelps pastor of Ebenezer A. M. E. Church Roanoke, and the 3 p.m. service speaker was The Right Reverend William P. DeVeaux, Sr. Presiding Prelate of the Second Episcopal District.

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