The autumn breezes of 1991 carried something unique that year. Specifically, the prayers of eight people who were seeking the Lord for discernment to plant a church. Dan and Charlene Cramer were part of that eight. After many months filled with prayers and meetings, the beginnings of Zion Christian Church held its first service in a Howard Johnson hotel during the Christmas season. Howard Johnson’s hotel was the church’s location for seven years. Zion rented the ballroom for worship and several other rooms for Sunday school.
After seven years, the hotel management notified Dan that the building had been sold and would soon become a Senior Care Center. He was told that the church body may have two weeks or two months, but they needed to find another place regardless. Dan called the whole church to a time of prayer and fasting. Before long, someone from Union Baptist Church in Carrick contacted Zion. They had a building they weren’t using at the time due to a current merger and invited Zion to hold a service in their building to see if it felt like their new home. Zion has been here ever since!
Eventually, Union Baptist Church asked Zion to buy the building from them, so both agreed on a price. After they held their congregational meeting to ratify the sale, they came into Zion’s service to let the congregation know the results of the vote to sell the building. After the first song ended, their speaker took the stage and announced they voted to not sell the church and parsonage. Everyone gasped! Another person from their congregation came to the stage right after to announce a second vote had been taken and that they voted unanimously to sell the church, parsonage, and everything in it as a gift. The service that followed that morning was anything but normal! People from both congregations were laughing, crying, hugging, rejoicing, and praising God. Union Baptist Church could have confidence their building would remain a house of God and Zion officially had a home. God has done incredible things since then.
After that, Zion began the process of becoming established as a church in the Carrick neighborhood and enjoyed an outpouring of God’s Spirit. In 2007, another wonderful event had taken place. South Pittsburgh Assembly of God, located a few blocks away from Zion, found themselves without a pastor. Although not credentialed with the Assemblies of God, Pastor Dan applied to become their pastor to merge the congregations and turn South Pittsburgh’s church into a community outreach center. Both congregations and leadership teams viewed this as “a God thing”. The merger was approved by both congregations.
The other building became “The Oasis Coffee Center”, now used by Youth with a Mission to help with their outreach throughout Pittsburgh.
God has been faithful throughout the history of Zion Christian Church and He continues to amaze us through the outpouring of His blessings and goodness. Come join us Sundays at 10 a.m. and see what the Lord is doing!
Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).