2128 Melrose Avenue NW
Roanoke, VA 24017
Once upon a time in a valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, a new town called Big Lick was beginning to flourish. The Norfolk and Western Railway was an attractive employer for African Americans from the North. It so happened in 1882 among the people that migrated to the railroad town would be the catalyst for the beginning of Mount Zion A.M.E Church. This group of five consisted of 2 ladies and three gentlemen. Their tenacity and perseverance gave credence to the adage: THERE IS POWER IN NUMBERS. Among the founders was a man named Edward Carter who opened his home for the first worshipers. Later the township’s public school board permitted them to worship in a small building owned by the railroad.
The first choir consisted of seven members. The first official site was located on the north side of Catholic Hill and was purchased from St. Andrews Catholic Church for $25.00. The first edifice was erected for $350.00 in 1887. With an increase in membership in 1889 the members decided to purchase another lot to build on. By the time this decision was made the membership was in the seventies of which forty-four were women. This location was on Magnolia Street now known as Rutherford Avenue facing Gainsboro Road.
Mount Zion became a number one church with its pastor and members making outstanding contributions to the District and the community. The church remained in this location until 1971. The membership was cognizant of the plans of the city to institute Urban Renewal, known to many African American citizens as Urban Removal. Through prayers, convictions and trust in the grace of God the church officers and members moved to its present location of 2128 Melrose Avenue. We have been in this present location for 49 years.
Through the grace of God, we have labored as an African Methodist Episcopal Church for 138 years. Thirty-three pastors have served us during those 138 years. Our present pastor Rev. Amy Christine Hodge Ziglar holds the distinction of being the first female to pastor Mount Zion A.M.E Church, Roanoke, Va. Through her leadership Mount Zion is experiencing a new level of worship and service. TO GOD BE THE GLORY.
Mt. Zion AME Church - Roanoke
Rev. Amy Hodge Ziglar
Pastor, Mt. Zion AME Church - Roanoke