About Mt. Zion Baptist Church - Donaldsonville
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” - Philippians 1:6
So a great work began when a council of seven persons met on February 20, 1880 to organize the Mt.Zion Baptist Church. The persons were the following ministers: Rev. John Asberry, Rev. Joseph Daiges, Rev. Isiah Lawson, Rev. Henry Nelson, Rev. Union Suthern, Rev. Jacob Werner, and Senior Deacon Rev.Moses Vincent. The original church was located on Lessard Street where it operated for God and humanity.
In November 1882, Rev. Moses Vincent was chosen pastor. His tenure as pastor lasted thirty years. His leadership was followed by that of Rev. Charlie Armstead who served for five years. Under Rev. Armstead’s leadership the new Mount Zion Baptist Church was built.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” - John 8:31.
A great work continued in 1919, Rev. E.J. Ellis was chosen as pastor and by 1926 his work was more than demanding for the building was torn into splinters as result of a storm on August 25, 1926 the building was reconstructed on November 7, 1926.
In June of 1939, tragedy struck and Pastor Ellis died in a drowning accident. Even though the leader was taken suddenly, Rev.Ellis left behind a capable leader in the personality of Rev. Mark Hannon Butler. Rev. Butler served Mt.Zion tirelessly for twenty-one years. It was during his tenure that we added an annex to our edifice.
Death and transition came again in January of 1961 upon our leadership and Pastor Butler passed away. Nonetheless, the congregation, with grief in its midst, knew that God’s work must continue. Within our congregation, we had one who worked with Pastor Butler and this person was Rev. Mansfield Lawson, who was chosen a pastor in February of 1961 to further the work of the Lord thru Mt.Zion Baptist Church.
Times had been hard but God enabled the Mt.Zion Baptist Church to continue to prosper; thus under the leadership of Pastor Lawson, and entirely new and modern edifice was built and dedicated on March 24, 1968.
Ten years later to the date on Good Friday the Lord called Pastor Lawson to his eternal home in glory.
As always, God’s work must continue, for the salvation of mankind. Therefore, it became encumbered upon us to undertake the responsibility of selecting another leader for our church. Rev.Felton C.Ceasar was chosen as pastor on June 3, 1978.
Under Pastor Ceasar’s leadership the Mt.Zion Baptist Church continued in growing in all areas, financially and spiritually. Pastor Ceasar served the church faithfully for thirty-four years. During his tenure many physical improvements were made. Pastor Ceasar resigned as pastor in June of 2012.
After praying to our Father for guidance Rev. Darryl L. Smith Jr. was chosen as pastor to lead God’s chosen people in December of 2012. Pastor Smith was duly installed on February 1, 2013. Our goal is to continue with physical improvements; but our desire is to equip the saints for service and to evangelize to the lost. As blood washed believers in Christ Jesus, we will continue to work together on one accord.
At the helm of the ship and with God as our guide, Pastor Smith is steering under the Master’s command. However, sailing on rough seas we are still on course, the skyline of the city is in view. The word from our Pastor is the same of the Apostle Paul over two thousand years ago. Apostle Paul said, “If you want to be saved stay on board”. We are a Progressive Church, Proclaiming the Gospel, and Pursuing the Kingdom.
Mission Statement: To be a Progressive Church, Proclaiming the Gospel, and Pursuing the Kingdom.
Church Vision Statement: We are striving to progress into a ministry that provides an exhilarating life giving encounter, God honoring environment for reverence and worship that will transform Culture, Community and ultimately bring others into Communion with God. We understand that we are granted the opportunity to partner with God and serve our fellowman.
Proclaiming the Gospel: We reach out to people who are outside of the family & fellowship of God and bring them in through the compelling Great news of Jesus Christ. Every chance we get we want someone to hear & ultimately believe the Gospel. We apply biblical principles to everyday life to bring resolve struggles and strongholds.
Pursuing The Kingdom: We exist for a purpose, our purpose is to assist people into spiritual mature growth. We exist to gain ground and increase souls for the Kingdom of God. We exist and exercise a sense of urgency to make sure that Heaven is occupied to capacity.
Church Theme Scripture: Acts 6:7 (KJV)
“And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
Darryl Leon Smith, Jr. was born November 27, 1979 to Darryl L. Smith, Sr. and Cassandra Delaney Smith; he is the elder brother of D’andra Lachelle Smith. He was reared in Donaldsonville Louisiana until his family relocated to Gonzales Louisiana in 1984. He was baptized at an early age at First Baptist Church of Smoke Bend by Pastor Melvin Williams, Sr. where he served as a junior deacon, usher, and choir member.
He is a graduate of Donaldsonville High School Class of 1998. Wanting to take his education further, he studied at I.T.I. Technical College in Baton Rouge Louisiana where he received a degree in Industrial Instrumentation. He later attended Louisiana State University Law Enforcement Academy where he graduated in June of 2002.
In October of 2006 he was licensed to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ by his pastor, Rev. Myron Jones, Sr at Hopeful Baptist Church of Darrow Louisiana. While under the leadership of Pastor Jones he served as a youth and adult bible teacher. He was ordained September 2011 by the New Hope Ministerial Alliance. On May 11, 2012 he graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary after studying Pastor Care. Eager and still wanting to learn more, he attended Ever Increasing Word Training Center in Darrow Louisiana and graduated on May of 2014. He attended The F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico, Virginia and is a graduate of class #273. He is a decorated veteran of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Department where he has worked his way through the ranks and currently holds the rank of Captain. He has been employed there since June of 2002. He has worked with many social and community organizations within the community.
On July 28, 2001 he was united in marriage to LaTosha Robinson Smith. He is a loving and dedicated husband to his supportive wife. God has blessed their marriage with three children, Taiylor Dionne, Harper Maree and Chayse Leon.
He will always remember the guidance of his parents and grandparents who taught him to always honor and reverence God. Pastor Smith’s favorite scriptures are: Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” And 1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
Pastor Smith teaches and believes that Faith, Hope and Love are important but Love can conquer anything. He exemplifies Matthew 20:20 “whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant”. He leads by serving others.