MT. ZION AME CHURCH

MUSIC MINISTRY

At Mt. Zion AME Church, we believe in the power of music to comfort, uplift, and provide a tangible experience of God's Holy Spirit among us. As well as being an integral part of our daily lives, music is also one of the best ways to worship our Heavenly Father. We encourage our Mt. Zion family and friends of all ages to participate in the many music and creative arts groups here at Mt. Zion. Worshipping through music is a uniquely rewarding way to connect to God emotionally, grow spiritually, and serve Him with our offering of worship. These are gifts from God to us, and we enjoy using them as gifts to God in return.

 
 
 
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Mt. Zion’s musicians and choir members has always been at the top of AME churches in South Carolina. Since its establishment in 1882, it has always perpetuated a high standard of musical excellence. Mt. Zion stage has hosted some of America’s best black musicians from all genre of religious and secular music. Presently, research has been unsuccessful in determining the first organist/choirmaster from the 1882 congregation. Professor Johnny Moore was the second organist and is still remembered by many of Mt. Zion’s elderly members. Professor Moore taught at Avery and was a member of the Black Professional Music Society. The great musician/composer, Edmund T. Jenkins was also a member of this prestigious society. Miss. B. O. Knox from Sumter, South Carolina was the 3rd organist, with Saxton Wilson serving as choir director. Miss. Knox was said to have large feet and was a wonder of how she so eloquently executed the pedal pedagogy. The 4th organist was Mr. J. Michael Graves, with Moses Moultrie as choir director. 

The choir still participates in many community events in the Southeast including the Piccolo Spoleto Festival of Churches doing an all Negro Spiritual Concert.  In addition to their annual concerts, every other year the Choir performs the Dubois’ “Seven Last Words of Christ and at Christmas for their Candlelight Service they perform several selections from Handel’s Messiah. For the Mt. Zion family and other hymn lovers, the choir has recorded a CD entitle “Favorite Hymns of Zion.”  During the year, the choir sponsors events such as organ concerts, solo vocalist concerts, and instrumental concerts.

Mr. Brown organized the Mt Zion Spiritual Singers which has been dubbed by Spoleto as their “Annual Premier Performance” for their renditions of the old unarranged Negro Spirituals in their production of “Camp Meeting.”  

 

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(Painting by John Jones of live performance)

The Spiritual Singers perform extensively over the South East at colleges, concert halls, and churches, Fortune 500 convention and the Kellogg Foundation convention, and in several television productions which includes a documentary for the Australian Television Network, and The Porgy and Bess documentary “An American Dream.” The Spiritual Singers represented South Carolina at the State Capital when the Spirituals were proclaimed as the official State Songs.