Abundant Blessing at Mt. Zion, by Laura Kelso
Honey Grove Signal-Citizen, Sept. 26, 1997
A small community church off of FM 2990 in Ladonia, Texas lay in ruin after a devastating fire in January of 1996. This church being Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist, was set back in a little grove of trees, out of site to most passersby. They had already suffered a number of vandalism incidents beginning in 1993. With heavy hearts, the congregation truly felt the fire to be a direct result of arson, though nothing was ever substantiated. The insurance on the church had been canceled some time ago, due to the lack of available water to their location in case of just such a disaster.
The congregation, of unbeatable faith, didn't give up there. They began an all-out campaign to rebuild, just six months after their loss. Pulling together their resources, they began sending letters to tell people of their plight and ask for assistance. They sent letters not just to their community, and their county, but to places as far away as California, Washington and Alaska. Throughout this campaign, they have continued to meet and worship on the first and third Sundays in Wolfe City, Texas. It's also been called to our attention that their Pastor, Cedric Barksdale has even commuted from Shaw, Mississippi to lead and worship with them every Sunday.
If you've drive by that way, you've noticed that their prayers are being answered. Dwight Travis Edwards of DeSota, Texas (formerly of Ladonia) donated a little over an acre of his homeplace, near the site of the church's charred remains. From there, the word has spread and rebuilding is underway!
Numerous donations have been made: Acme Brick of Denton, Texas has donated the brick. A grant has been given to the church for forty thousand dollars from the National Council of Churches of Christ in New York. As well as a second grant for the majority of the lumber from Slaughter Industries of Dallas also set up by the National Council of Churches in Christ in New York. Save the Churches Fund by the Christian Coalition in Chesapeake, VA gave a cash grant of $15,000. Several cash donations have been made to the Building Fund set up at the Alliance Bank of Wolfe City, Drawer K, Wolfe City, TX 75498. The The First Church of Christ of Carrollton, Texas has offered to do the painting, donated $500 and provided them with an organ. Numerous individuals have donated their time and physical labor as well.
Louis Yates Construction Company of Paris. Texas has set a completion date of October 31st, 1997 and if all goes well Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist hopes to have their first fellowship in the new facility (of 7400 square feet) on the first Sunday in November. A dedication ceremony is tentatively set for Saturday. December 13th.
Wynetta Green McCoy, Chairperson and Treasurer of the Church (whose great grandfather Henry Green founded the church in 1877) has stated that if you would like to donate to their rebuilding efforts in any way please contact her at (903) 496-2504 or anyone of the following: Pastor Cedric Barksdale (903) 454-3151: Deacon Gifford Cooksie (903) 496-2494: Deacon John Brown (903) 496-2944: Joycelle Oaks (903) 367-7616: Horace McCoy (903) 367-7591.
And to all of those who have helped them come so far . . . Thank you and God Bless.
Mt. Zion Missionary
Baptist Church of Ladonia
Organized & Founded
September 6, 1877
By Brother Henry Green
Destroyed by Fire January 19, 1996
Rebuilt & Dedicated January 24, 1998
Pastor Cedric Barksdale
Church Clerk Sister Rosie Herron
Wynetta Green McCoy
Deacon John Brown
Deacon Gifford Cooksie
Located on FM 2990 near Ladonia
Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church was organized in September 6, 1877 on 3 1/2 acres west of Ladonia, Texas. The first service and meeting was on November 10, 1877 to choose someone to build the first church building. Elder Boytt served as chairman of the meeting. Brother Watley served as secretary with Brother Rambou and brother Rhemen serving as deacons. Brother Tom Turner was selected to build the first church building. The first pastor was the Reverent Green Baldwin. The first foundation was made of cut logs, and the logs were cut from Brother Davis Leftridge farm. Since the existence of Mt. Zion there have been 4 buildings erected.
The carpenter who built the second building was Brother Sand. This was around 1928. The pastor at that time was Reverend Jasper Brownwood. He was succeeded by Rev. A. B. Lenox. Two deacons who served during this time were Brother Gilford Dickerson and Deacon Jessie Jackson.
The third building was started in October 1938. The building committee consisted of Deacon Lar Green as chairman, Deacon J. W. Pruitt and Deacon Alex Walker.
Past Pastors Include:
L. K. Kimbrough
W. C. McCain
J. J. Proby
J. W. Smith
H. A. Spigner
On January 17, 1996, the Mt. Zion church burned. In March of 1996, property was donated to the Church by Dwight Travis Edwards of Desoto, Texas. Numerous organizations from all over the country donated to the rebuilding of the church, which was dedicated on January 24, 1998.
From the Greenville Herald Banner, February 29, 1996
Ladonia church hit by hardships, fund established to help
A fund has been established for the 119-year old Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Ladonia, which was vandalized in 1993 and again in December 1995 and burned to the ground in January.
Members of the building fund committee have established an account at Sulphur Springs State Bank in Wolfe City, and financial support as well as prayers are sought, said Wynetta McCoy, church treasurer.
Photo of the previous church from
A Community Affair, 1836 Toward 2000, Ladonia.