By Annette M. Myers
September 25, 2020
New Zion Missionary Baptist, the second oldest African American Church on Amelia Island, celebrated its 150th year anniversary and 23rd anniversary of the pastor on Sunday, September 20th at its eleven o’ clock morning service. Songs were sung and prayers were prayed.
The anniversary message was given by Reverend Brian James, New Elizabeth Baptist, of Crescent, Florida.
Proclamations were presented by the Fernandina Beach City Commission and by Florida State Senator Honorable Aaron Bean.
Reading the proclamation from the city commission of Fernandina Beach was Commissioner Mike Lednovich. Accompanying him was Commissioner Phillip Chapman, III and Commissioner Dr. Chip Ross.
New Zion has served the community in many ways and through the years including the annual MLK, Jr. commemorative service.
Peck High School graduations were held at New Zion until the Peck gymnasium was built in 1957.
New Zion was founded in 1870 under the pastorship of Rev. Lewis Cook or Father Lewis Cook as he was also called by his parishioners. Two of his descendants, Narvea Gardner and Johnnie Robinson III, currently serve as church deacons.
New Zion is located in the historic district of downtown Fernandina Beach.