Montgomery’s remarkable Mt. Zion Church is becoming a museum—check it out

The Mt. Zion Church That Is Under Renovation To Become A Museum
The famous church that started MLK’s leadership role in the Civil Rights Movement. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Mt. Zion Church is being recognized for its pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement. For two decades the church has been abandoned, but the Montgomery community has recognized its cultural importance and saved it from destruction. It’s set to become a museum in the next year. Check out what’s in store for this church’s future.

Why this church is important

Mt. Zion is where Martin Luther King and other leaders founded the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) in response to the 1955 bus boycotts. At this church, he was elected as head of the MIA. This was the start of MLK’s civil rights leadership role.

So what happened to the church? It was abandoned after Mt. Zion Church moved to a new location in the 90s. Over the years, the building has become so deteriorated, the community nicknamed it the “fall-down-church.”

But times are changing and the future is bright for this church! Right now, the church is being renovated, so it will be up to date and presentable.

Funding the Mt. Zion renovation

Boy Reflecting At The Montgomery Musuem
Montgomery is a cultural hub for civil rights sites. The church is near the Equal Justice memorial. Photo via the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

The renowned World’s Monument Watch List included this church, alongside nine other Montgomery sites, collectivley as one of the most important places in the world. What an honor!

This respectable title brought a LOT of attention to the church.

Another important reason the church is still standing is through the advocacy work of Charles “C.P.” Everett, the president of the Central Alabama Community Fund. He stopped the city from running a wrecking ball through the building.

Not only did Everett bring community awareness to restoring this church, the National Park Service awarded a $500k grant in 2018 to restore the historic site. The plan was to open publicly by 2020, but it was delayed by the pandemic.

No worries, Alabamians, restoration has resumed and the museum is set to open within a year.

What to expect

Montgomery Civil Rights Monument Near Mt. Zion Church
This monument is located near the church. Photo via the Library of Congress prints and photos division

The plan is to bring in thousands of people to help them gain a better understanding of American history. With multimedia presentations in the beautiful fellowship hall, you will find this interactive museum fun, while also being educational.

The church is located right off I-85 and I-65, so it’s easily accessible. It sits across the street from the Equal Justice Initiative’s memorial to lynching victims. There is so much civil rights history in one place.

Montgomery truly is a place of heritage and culture. We’re excited to see this community thrive.

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Summer Guffey
Lover of Weiss Lake in the summertime and camping at Cheaha in the autumn.
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