Mount Zion Baptist Church, Nauck Community

Historical Significance

In 1866 the Mount Zion Baptist Church was first organized under the name “The Old Bell Church” and located in Freedman’s Village in the District of Columbia. When the federal government disbanded Freedman’s Village, the church moved to Arlington and purchased land on Mount Vernon Avenue (later renamed Arlington Ridge Road). A new two-story red brick building was constructed, and the church was renamed “Mount Zion Baptist Church.” However, construction of new roads forced the church to move again in 1944-45 to its current site at the corner of 19th and South Kenmore Streets. Today, the church is fully operational and open for worship. Along with Lomax African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church, it is the oldest church in Arlington constructed by a Black congregation.

Physical Description

Mount Zion Baptist Church is a large, red-brick building with a white marble front. The old bell, for which the church was originally named, has been preserved, and is now located inside the church. 

Geographical and Contact Information

3500 South 19th Street
Arlington, Virginia