Mother Zoar United Methodist Church
Founded 1794
Zoar Timeline

  • 1794 In November of 1794 Eighteen men and three women withdrew from George's Church.
  • Harry Hoosier was the Patron Preacher
  • 1796 Zoar's new church was dedicated by Bishop Francis Asbury on August 4th.
  • 1835 Perry Tilghman, a lay preacher, was the first Negro pastor assigned to Zoar. Served 1835-1844
  • 1837 Zoar received its Charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • 1852 August 5th & 6th - The first convention of Colored Local Preachers and Laymen convened at Zoar.
  • 1857 First Colored Conference of Local Preachers met at Zoar under the authority of the 1856 General Conference. Out of these yearly conferences, the Delaware Conference was organized in 1856.
  • 1883 A red brick building on Melon Street west of Twelfth (Bethlehem Protestant Church) was given to African Zoar by Joseph Bennett.
  • 1887 Founding of the Ushering movement by Charles "Pop" Dorsey, Zoar Member
  • 1924 Zoar Community Building and Loan Association was founded.
  • 1926 Zoar Church was remodeled and the basement was dug out. "Well Baby Clinic" was established.
  • 1964 The Delaware Conference was dissolved and Zoar became a member of the Philadelphia Conference, now known as the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
  • 1970 Additional land purchased in order to expand Zoar's facilities to include an educational building.
  • 1979 Zoar was officially named an historical site by the Eastern PA Conference.
  • 1983 Formulation of the Intergenerational Choir Gospel Choir.
  • 1984 July 29th, under the leadership of Rev. Clyde Henry, ground breaking ceremony took place for Educational Building.
  • 1985 In May the Educational Building was completed and named in memory of the late Vivian Licorish and Rev. Joshua E. Licorish.
  • 1985 Rev. Ralph E. Blanks appointed as Pastor.
  • 1986 In May, the first child born in the parsonage in more than 75 years. Noelle Blanks.
  • 1994 Mother African Zoar celebrates 200 year Anniversary.
  • 1996 Mother African Zoar UM Church sponsors and houses 204 West Poplar Nehemiah Townhouses for low to moderate income families.
  • 2001 Rev. Anthony Arrington appointed Pastor.
  • 2005 Renovation and renaissance of Zoar Sanctuary completed.
  • 2005 June 19, 2005 congregation march back into the sanctuary.
  • 2005 Rev. Shawn M. Wilson appointed Pastor
  • 2007 Rev. David W. M. Cassidy appointed Pastor
  • 2012 Rev. Jessica Lynn Ross, is appointed as first female Pastor.
  • 2015 Rev. Shayla L. Johnson is appointed as pastor

  • Fast Facts
    Pastors Since 2000

    Zoar Firsts

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