In the early Autumn of 1991, a group of 8 people began praying together and seeking the Lord about starting a church. After many months of praying and planning, and then meeting for a short time in homes; we held our first public service in the ballroom at Howard Johnson’s Hotel on Christmas Eve of 1991. Howard Johnson’s would remain our church home for seven years! We rented the ballroom for worship, and various other rooms in the hotel for Sunday School classrooms.
After seven years the Hotel management notified me that the Hotel had been sold and the building would soon become a Senior Care Center. I was told that we may have two weeks or two months, but we better find another place.
We called the whole church to prayer and fasting. Before long someone from Union Baptist Church in Carrick contacted us. They had a building they were not using due an attempted merger with another Baptist Church in the area, and had heard about our plight. We were invited to come and hold a Service in their building to see if it seemed like home. We have been here ever since!
Union Baptist Church ended up asking us to buy the building from them, and we agreed in principle on a price. After their Congregational Meeting to ratify the sale, they came into our Service to let us know the results of their Congregational vote.
After the first song, their speaker took the stage. He announced that their Congregation had voted not to sell us the Church and the Parsonage after all. We all gasped! Another person from their Congregation then came to the podium and announced that a second vote had been taken, and they had voted unanimously to give us the Church, the Parsonage, and everything in them as a free gift!
We did not have a normal service that morning after his announcement! People from both their and our Congregations were laughing, crying, hugging, rejoicing, and praising God. Their beloved building would remain a worship Center for the gospel, and our Congregation had a home!
God is good, and many wonderful things have developed since then.
The church began the process of becoming established in Carrick, and enjoyed a great outpouring of God’s Spirit. Another major, wonderful event would take place in 2007. ‘South Pittsburgh Assembly of God’, located a couple of blocks from Zion’s building, found themselves without a Pastor. Pastor Dan, although not credentialed with the Assemblies of God, applied to become the Pastor of that Congregation and merge the two Congregations into one and turn South Pittsburgh’s building into a Community Outreach Center. Both Congregations and the leadership of the Assemblies of God viewed this as “a God thing”‘. The merger was approved by both Congregations. The other building became “The Oasis Coffee Center” where we continue to engage the Community in a variety of ways. Everything in the life of the Church became better and more established due to the merger.
God also continues to add wonderfully gifted people to the Worship ministry and other aspects of the life and ministry of the Church. We want to invite you to come had share in the good things God is doing! Taste and see that theLord is good.
In the Spring of 2011, Pastor Frank Rondon and his wife Stephanie (Pastor Dan and Charlene Cramer’s daughter) relocated to Pittsburgh after Pastoring in New England for an extended time. They became a part of our Congregation and blessed the Church and our family in many ways. In the Summer of 2012, we were able to see the birth of a wonderful Hispanic Congregation Pastored by Pastor Fran and Stephanie; Zion Christian Church, Spanish Edition. The Church is doing well and moving forward in God’s purposes. The Spanish Edition meets at 2:00 pm on Sunday afternoons. Although Pastor Frank is from Venezuela, his prior ministry has all been in English.