On December 5, 1955, the first full day of the bus boycott, Mount Zion Pastor, Rev. Roy Bennett, who was also president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, hosted a meeting of local community leaders. These individuals met in the Mount Zion Church tower, Founded and organized the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). The MIA's first task was coordination an extensive bus boycott. At this meeting Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. was elected president and Rev. Bennett was elected vice-president. Rev. Bennett also served on the transportation committee arranging rides for people during the boycott. The MIA's formation was crucial to
the organization and Implementation of civil rights protest in Montgomery. Over the next year the MIA organized carpools and held weekly mass meeting to keep the black community mobilized. Leaders negotiated with Montgomery city officials and launched legal challenges to the city's bus segregation ordinances. The MIA also financially supported the boycott, raising money at meetings and soliciting support from northern and southern civil rights organizations.
Two later pastors of Mt. Zion, Rev. Simmie Walter Schultz and Rev. James T. Hemphill, also served as president of the Black Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. In1971, Mt. Zion's Rev. Percy L. Smith Jr. became the first black man to run for mayor of Montgomery.
Additionally, the church scene in the movie. "The Long Walk Home" were filmed in this building. In 1965 participants in the Selma to Montgomery Voter Rights March received refreshments and used the restrooms at mount Zion.
In 1990, the congregation moved to a new sanctuary on West Jeff Davis Avenue
The original Mount Zion AME Zion Church building was listed in the National Register of Historical Places in 2002.
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|Placed By||National Register of Historic Places|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 8:18pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||16S E 563920 N 3581466|
|Decimal Degrees||32.36833333, -86.32055000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 32° 22.1', W 86° 19.233'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||32° 22' 6.00" N, 86° 19' 13.98" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 616 Stone St, Montgomery AL 36108, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|