Zion Baptist Church, Home Church to Black Community on Main Line, Celebrates 125th Anniversary

Christine Tarlecki
By
Image via The Zion Baptist Church of Ardmore.
For the past fifty years, Rev. Dr. James Pollard Sr. has been leading the congregation.

Zion Baptist Church in Ardmore, the home church to the Black community both on the Main Line and beyond, is celebrating its 125th anniversary, writes Melissa Jacobs for the Main Line Today.

For the past fifty years, Rev. Dr. James Pollard Sr. has been leading the congregation.

“We’ve always had congregants from the whole region,” he said. “Now, because of COVID, we have people from around the world join us on Zoom.”

Racism played a major role in the formation of the church. In the 1800s, First Baptist Church of Ardmore was built from money and resources contributed by both local Black Baptists and their white neighbors. But once it opened, Black worshipers had to stay on the balcony and were forbidden from sitting in the main sanctuary.

Refusing to accept this, Black members set out on their own to start again, pooling funds for a plot of land. There they built Zion Baptist Church in 1890 where it still stands.

Today, the church remains the cornerstone of the community offering many community initiatives, including tutoring, scouting, and a program to combat food insecurity.

Read more about Zion Baptist Church at the Main Line Today by clicking here.

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