The History of City of Zion Church
The fellowship of this community is so rich that it extends to the homes of all who partake; the “unsaved and unchurched” are compelled to join.
hrough much prayer, fasting and Godly counsel, Pastor Gregory O. Strong and his wife Mineva stepped out on faith to God’s call for them to organize a new Church family in Laurel, Maryland. On Wednesday, January 7, 2004 in a rented classroom in Laurel’s Oseh Shalom Synagogue, Pastor Strong and his wife gathered with five other disciples for Bible Study – Detra Battle, Vashtaii Strong, Don and Kim Watson, and Carolyn Welch – and the seed for City of Zion Church was planted.
Over the next four months, attendance at the Bible Study steadily increased; so much so that it became necessary to add a Sunday Morning Worship Service. With God’s guidance, Pastor Strong and his Elders decided upon April 11, 2004 – Easter Sunday – for the inaugural service of the fledgling congregation. A location had been secured at the Best Western Maryland Inn, located near the intersection of I-95 and Route 198 in Laurel, Maryland.
And so, it was on Resurrection Sunday 2004, that approximately 50 people gathered together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the full birth of a new ministry. We continued to hold Bible Study at the Synagogue and Worship Services at the hotel until space at the Synagogue became limited. In October 2004, all activities were moved to the Best Western Hotel.
We continued to worship at the Best Western Hotel (which changed over to the Holiday Inn in October 2005) for a little more than 3 more years. After much searching, the Lord directed COZ to our own building located at 14100 Laurel Park Drive, Laurel, Maryland 20707. After negotiating and reaching an agreement with the owners, the Elders of COZ signed a lease for the new property in February 2007. However due to numerous zoning challenges with the City of Laurel, we were not able to move into the new property immediately. Nevertheless, after many building renovations, numerous meetings with the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, and much prayer and fasting, the Lord allowed us to move into the new property on Sunday, January 27, 2008.
After a fruitful season of growth and ministry at the Laurel Park Drive location, the Lord opened up a new door of opportunity for COZ in 2017. With God’s help, we moved all of our Services into Laurel High School on the 1st Sunday of July 2017. This new season of ministry has provided us with a much larger state of the art facility, higher visibility in the Laurel community along with a new field of ministry opportunities.
Pastor Strong’s vision for City of Zion Church is vividly described by the Apostle Luke in Acts 2:42-47 (NIV) “where all the Believers were together and had everything in common.” This community is united because of each person’s relationship with Jesus Christ. Their unity facilitates the manifestation of God’s miraculous healing and life-transforming power in the lives of all who come into the fold.
The abundance of God’s blessings on this community spills over and is shared by all who enter so that none suffer lack. The fellowship of this community is so rich that it extends to the homes of all who partake. Each and every attribute of this community is so attractive that the “unsaved and unchurched” are compelled to join. What is the name of this community or city? This is the City of our God called Zion (Ps 48: 1-2).
City of Zion Church is a non-denominational church whose vision is “Serving Jesus Christ, Making Disciples, Living Abundantly.”
The Mission of the City of Zion Church is to reach the “unsaved and unchurched” for Jesus Christ. Our goals are to lead them into Christian Discipleship and abundant Christian living, so that they will be equipped to impact the world for Jesus Christ.
What We Believe
- We believe in the Bible as the inspired, infallible Word of God (II Peter 1:20-21).
- We believe in the Triune God, manifested in three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (Mat 28:19/ Col 2:9).
- We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, the immaculate conception and His virgin birth (Mat 1:18-23/ Col 2:9).
- We believe in the substitutionary atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ and justification by faith. We further believe that salvation is a result of the sovereign grace of God, free and apart from any work of man. (Eph 2:8/I Jn 2:1-2).
- We believe in the physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, that He ascended bodily into heaven, and that He is now seated at the right hand of the Father. We also believe in His imminent and visible return, along with His Saints (I Cor 15:3-8/I Thes 4:13-18).
- We believe in the divine personhood of the Holy Spirit and His present day ministry to Believers, which includes regenerating, indwelling, filling and the sealing of Believers until the day of Christ’s return (Tit 3:4-5/Eph 1:13-14/Eph 5:18).
- We believe in the manifestation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. We also believe that the Holy Spirit sovereignly distributes the Spiritual Gifts to Believers for the purposes of serving others and edifying the Saints (I Cor 12:1-11).
- We believe in Holy Communion and Water Baptism by full immersion as the ordinances of the Church. We further believe that these ordinances are to be observed as a public declaration of salvation through Jesus Christ and the commemoration of His death, burial and resurrection (Mat 28:16-20/I Cor 11:23-34).
- We believe in the Biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman (Gen 2:22-24/ Mat 19:3-6).