Church History

The Early Formative Years (1870-1899)

Rev. Clem P. Davis, the church's first Pastor, was a former slave of Joel Adams, Jr. During Pastor Davis' tenure, Zion Benevolent Baptist became a member of the Gethsemane Association Upper Division in 1871. At that time the Church's membership totaled around 68. By 1873, the church's membership exceeded 120 members.

The 20th Century Initial Years of Growth (1901-1964)

Rev. Spencer Adams, whom was the Church's seventh pastor, was the first minister to preside in the newly rebuilt church. During that era the songs sung at the ZBBC were the old slave type songs that were sung in common meter. The older ones would sing songs such as " When The Dark Clouds Roll Away".

Spiritual Growth in the New Age (1964-Present)

Pastor C. L. Jackson became pastor during the new aged era, (February 1964). Like many of his predecessors, as the new pastor, Rev. Jackson concurrently served as pastor for two churches, St. Mark Baptist Church and Zion Benevolent Baptist Church.

Under Rev. Jackson's watch, several new ministries and programs were adopted. The Lydia Unity Circle, the Nightingales, Children's Church, a Men Chorus, a Scholarship Committee, a Youth Choir and the Youth Committee were some of the successful ministries and programs implemented.

During his tenure, the Church expanded its capacity by adding two wings to the sanctuary. One wing served as the Education Annex and the other as a Fellowship Hall. Also, the parking lot was paved and an indoor baptismal was added to the sanctuary. This changed the long time church tradition of baptizing its converts in the old creek.

As the Church entered the new millennium, Pastor Jackson had proven his love to the Church as a faithful and caring shepherd. In February 2002, the congregation of Zion Benevolent recognized him through acts of love and appreciation for 38 years of service as the Church's pastor.

Rev. Gerald A. Tucker was elected to serve this congregation June, 2004. Under Pastor Tucker leadership, several new ministries and programs were adopted such as: consecration service, every first Wednesday family bible study, every first Sunday family Sunday School, New Discipleship teaching Ministry, re-instated Youth Bible Study, New Disciples fellowship Ministry, Publicity Ministry, training classes for the Deacons (5 walking deacons), voice mail for the church, and the Tape Ministry.

During his tenure at ZBBC, much progress took place such as: workshops (community health fair), baptism every 3rd Sunday, a new steeple, remodeling the Pastor's study, and additional spaces for handicapped parking.

Now that we have entered the 21st Century, Zion Benevolent Baptist Church remains a spiritual beacon in the Lower Richland Community. The Church has prospered in growth and spiritually. Yet, this family of worshippers has not lost its true focus of fulfilling the Lord's Great Commission.

Currently, Zion Benevolent is under the leadership of Dr. Travien L. Capers. Dr. Capers was the youngest pastor elected in church history - 29 years of age at the time of election in March 2010. Since his election, Zion has flourished in the following: New website redeveloped and logo development, ordained three deacons and appointed two trustees, ordained three ministers and licensed one, church became a 501(c)(3), $300k church renovation and expansion project started and completed under his administration debt free, spearheaded the homeless outreach initiative, implemented Friday night fellowship with youth, partnered with the NBA for Faith & Family nights and partnered with American Red Cross for disaster relief with the flood of 2015. We know that the Lord is not done with what He has in store for Zion Benevolent under the leadership of Dr. Capers.