About Mount Pleasant AME Zion
Committed to Spiritual Enlightenment
The congregation succeeded in building a church edifice on Rowan Street in 1908. The record show that the church was dedicated in September 1909. Rev A.S. Tolbert was pastor, Bishop Walters was the Presiding Prelate and the Rev. Balls was the presiding Elder of the Hartford District. On October 4, 1964, under the pastorate of the Rev. Leslie Lawson, the ground was broken for a new edifice. The old building was raised to make way for a new sanctuary. Rev. Lawson one of the outstanding pastors of Mt.Pleasant, led the congregation into a new edifice for the first service on December 16, 1965. The Rt. Rev. Stephen Gill Spottswood was Bishop and Rev. Dr. James Charles Brown was presiding Elder. The official opening was May 8, 1966 and the cornerstone was laid on October 30, 1966.
Rev. A.J. Parker was sent to pastor Mt. Pleasant in 1969 and initiated the first of our annual Church Anniversary Celebrations. This was done during the week of April 5-12, 1970. The dining hall was renovated this year by the Action Day Care Center in order to accommodate the food service program adopted by the church. Mr. Bill Oliver and Mr. Sam Neville accomplished the
The Rev. Leroy Blair came to Mt. Pleasant as Pastor in 1977. He began to work with the youth of the church and started several educational and recreational programs during his tenure. The Junior Choir was also organized then. The front structure of the church was renovated under Rev. Blair's administration. As our pastor, he was active in civic and political affairs of the city.
Bishop Herbert Bell Shaw, our then Presiding Prelate, consider the needs of the church and appointed the Rev. Leounidas Reed Dumas. The new pastor, his wife Lillye and daughter Beverly arrived on August 17, 1973. Under his leadership, the following groups were organized: Deaconess Board, Men's Chorus and the Lay Council. Other departments such as the Junior Choir, Buds of Promise and Young Women's Department of the WH&OM were revitalized.
The role of the pastor was assumed by the Rev. William James Hooker in 1978. Rev. Hooker steered Mt. Pleasant on a steady Christ centered course diligently, to secure the ministries of the church and community. The efforts came to function in our outreach program. The program started with senior citizens transportation and personal care. It was extended to include a food pantry, health information and a health screening located in one of the city's housing complexes. Our church was greatly blessed under Rev. Hooker's guidance. He was our pastor for 15 years. Rev. Hooker was retired by the New England Conference in May 1993.
The Rev. Mark John Roderick, Sr. was appointed pastor of Mt. Pleasant at the 1993 Annual conference by Bishop George Washington Carver Walker, Sr. He came to Danbury with his wife Betty Lou and their son, the Rev. Mark J. Roderick, Jr., then an ordained Deacon. The Rodericks have bought new spirit to the church and their ministerial style. Rev. Roderick's tenure has now spanned sixteen years. The improvements and enhancements of the church have been benefitted by his hard work and excellent administration.
Our Church was established on the ideals of giving everyone a chance to learn, grow, and define their own religious identity through worship. Becoming a church member means joining a family who, each day, are devoted to expressing their love of God.
Faith. Passion. Community. Worship. These are the cornerstones behind The Mount Pleasant AME Zion, and we approach each day with these in mind. Founded in 1889 under the leadership of Rev. Monzinga, a missionary preacher sent to Danbury by the New England Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. The black population was surveyed and worship services for Sunday evenings were organized and held in a home on Cherry Street. Services were moved to various homes until the congregation became large and strong enough to rent a place of worship on Liberty Street which was later purchased as church property. After a while this property was lost due to a lack of interest and diminishing financial support. Worship services did pick up again and were held at the loft of Barnum's Grain Store on Main Street. Later, property was purchased on South street but met with resistance. Transactions were then made for a site on Rowan Street in exchange for the South Street property.