Mt. Zion Baptist Church

FS64 - Mt. Zion 2 - Web
FS64 - Mt. Zion - Web

Narrator: Cameron Rackley

Historical Narration: Retelling by Jonella McGowan on behalf of Dorris Gaines.

Known locally as the “Civil Rights Church,” Mt. Zion Baptist Church is recognized for its efforts not only during Freedom Summer but before and after as well. Additionally, two weeks before his death in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at Mt. Zion about the “Poor Peoples March on Washington."

A variety of civil rights activities were held on these grounds, including Freedom School and music lessons taught by famous fold singer Pete Seeger. Students learned African-American history and literature that was not allowed to be taught in public schools. Reverend F.L. Barnes served as pastor during Freedom Summer.

The original church was demolished in 1993.

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In addition to attending Freedom School at Mt. Zion, Dorris Gaines went out in the community with adults to register new voters. She recounts this memory and a few others in the audio tour.