Mt. Zion History
1857 - A congregation was organized and plans were begun to build a church. A site was selected near a small graveyard on a knoll between the Lisburn and Lewisberry Roads. Some of the gravestones and markers standing today date back as far as 1851. The ground was purchased from Mr. and Mrs. James Stair for the sum of $1.

April 17, 1858 - Reverend C. F. Stoever laid the cornerstone for the church and became the first pastor.

1858 - Church construction was completed.

1859 - Mt. Zion, New Market, and Mechanicsburg were a pastorate.

May 29, 1859 - Forty people participated in the first communion.

November 26, 1859 - Six people participated in the first confirmation class.

1863 - Additional church ground was purchased from Andrew Hart.

December 7, 1874 - Church repairs were completed in the fall and the church was rededicated on this date.

1874 - Mt. Zion was admitted to the Rossville charge.

March 15, 1894 - Zedena Ross was born in Fairview Township and attended Sunday School at Mt. Zion. She was baptized and confirmed a member of the church in 1908. She received encouragement to become a Deaconess. In the fall of 1920, Zedena Ross entered the Deaconess School in Baltimore. In 1921 she put on the garb of a Deaconess and after five years of training, Sister Zedena Ross moved to Knoxville, TN to do parish work at St. John's Lutheran Church. Forty years later, her religious calling had taken her to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Norwood, PA, serving the Lord in many ways as a parish worker. She believed that being able to help one adult or child to know Jesus better was worth more than all the long hours and hard work involved. On All Saints Sunday, November 3, 1968, Sister Zedena retired as a Deaconess in Baltimore. She returned to Mt. Zion where she continued her life's work and at age 82, she was teaching the confirmation class at Mt. Zion.

1908 - Additional church ground was purchased from H. H. Snavely.

1920 - The Goldsboro-Mt. Zion charge was formed.

1920 - The last ground received by the congregation was bequeathed by Gertrude Drawbaugh.

1925-1928 - A building fund was started for a new sanctuary.

September 1932  Building plans were submitted to the congregation, but a shortage of funds resulted in a remodeled sanctuary instead of a new church building. The total cost of remodeling was $2800.

November 13, 1932 - The remodeled sanctuary was dedicated.

1933 - In the fall of the year, Mt. Zion celebrated its 75th anniversary.

1933  Following the anniversary celebration. The church council laid the groundwork for the future upkeep of the cemetery. Trustees were appointed by the council, and the Mt. Zion Cemetery Association was incorporated

1951 - A Building Committee was appointed by the Church Council to enlarge the church building.

November 27, 1952 - A groundbreaking ceremony was held to begin the new expansion which was to cost $45,000.

March 8, 1953 - The cornerstone was laid for the church expansion.

July 26, 1953 - A ceremony was held to dedicate the new expansion to the church.

February 1957 - The church purchased the land for the parsonage from Paul Snyder for $1.

August 1957 - The new parsonage was completed and a dedication ceremony held.

April 13, 1958 - The congregation celebrated the 100th anniversary of Mt. Zion.

May 21, 1962 - The joint parish of Mt. Zion and Goldsboro was dissolved.

June 20, 1971 - The congregation approved the purchase of 20 acres of land from Paul Snyder for $20,000.

1972 - A garage was added to the parsonage by the congregation at an approximate cost of $1,200.

1972 - As a result of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation improvements to Rt. 382, Mt. Zion lost some ground and an embankment was placed in front of the parsonage.

August 5, 1973 - The congregation approved the design of architect Dana Gangewere of the new church, fellowship hall, and education facility, and authorized completion of working drawings and specifications in preparation for construction.

September 30, 1973  The congregation approved the hiring of Stoudt Associates of Reading as fund raiser for the new church.

March 10, 1974 - The congregation approved the purchase of the approximate .38 acres lot adjacent to the parsonage for $1000.00.

May 5, 1974 - The congregation approved the awarding of contracts for construction of the new church for $305,000.00 (general contractor $220,000.00 and mechanical $80,000.00), contingent upon receipt of a mortgage.

October 3, 1976 - The congregation approved:
a. Building plans for the new church.
b. Accepting the contractor (Glen Gingrich) bid of $315,000 for construction of the new church.
c. A mortgage with Fulton Bank for $225,000 for 25 years at 8-3/4% (with initial rate guaranteed for the first ten years). Monthly payments would be $1,849.83 for the first ten years.
October 24, 1976 - The congregation approved an additional amount of $3,000 for the construction contract to cover minor changes to the design.

October 24, 1976 - Groundbreaking was held to begin construction of the new church.

August 14, 1977 - Church Council approved the purchase of pews and chancel furniture for the new church at a cost not to exceed $18,000.

September 11, 1977  A ceremony was held for the dedication and laying of the cornerstone for the new church.

November 13, 1977 - The congregation approved:
a. The sale of 10 acres of land for $17,500.
b. The purchase of an Allen Digital Computer Organ from Spangler's Music House at a cost of $13,715.
c. The purchase of pews for the choir loft in the amount of $1,804. This amount would be included as part of the $18,000 previously approved on August 14, 1977.

November 22, 1977 - Church Council approved the extension of the parking lot from the church to the cemetery road at a cost not to exceed $500.

June 4, 1978 - The new church building and the Allen Organ were dedicated.

September 21, 1978 ? 10 acres of land were sold for $22,607.

November 26, 1978 - Church Council approved a final mortgage of $200,000 with Fulton Bank.
July 12-13, 1981 - The church bell was installed and the 35x108 cross built by Tibrook, Inc., Brookville, PA was erected.

May 29, 1983 - Founders' Day held to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Mt. Zion ELCA.
September 25, 1983 - Homecoming celebration was held and a plaque dedicated recognizing all of the previous pastors erected/installed.

May 17, 1987 - The congregation approved the installation of single panel doors in the Fellowship Hall to form two rooms at a cost of $15,637.

October 11, 1988 - Church Council approved using greeters to welcome all parishioners attending Sunday service.

November 1991 - The final payment on the church mortgage was made.

February 1993 - Dorothy Wood bequeathed $4000 and an annuity of $14,152 to Mt. Zion ELCA.

December 12, 1993 - The congregation approved the installation of an elevator at a cost not to exceed $30,000.

October 1994 - Carillon bells were ordered with installation anticipated before Christmas.

March 1995 - Elevator installation completed; the final cost was less than $22,000.

February 18, 1996 - The congregation approved awarding a contract to Miller & Norford in the amount of $57,190 for renovations to the church building to include raising the chancellery area one step and replacing the flooring.

February 1996 - Fulton Bank approved a loan to the church for $60,000 at a rate of prime plus ½%.

March 3, 1996 - Church Council approved the purchase of a piano for the sanctuary at a cost of $5,300.

September 9, 2001 - Congregation approved the expenditure of $8,137 to upgrade the church sound system.

February 6, 2005 - The congregation accepted the donation by Kathryn Horst of "Christ With Children" stained glass window in memory of her husband, Bob.

2007  The congregation approved accepting the anonymous donation of hand chimes.

March 9, 2008  The first performance of the Hand Chime Choir took place at the Sunday morning worship service.

May 8, 2008  Church Council voted to assume responsibility for the Mt. Zion Cemetery.

2008 is a very special year, as Mt. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of America celebrates its 150th Anniversary. Special items have been procured to celebrate and provide mementos of this special occasion; these items include pencils, a Christmas ornament, and a commemorative crock. On two occasions during the year, church memorabilia was displayed following the Sunday morning worship service. Today, this 28th day of September, 2008, a special service is being held, with a distinctive musical prelude to celebrate this great achievement. Following the service, a congregation dinner is being held in Fellowship Hall.