Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The History of Big Zion African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church of Roseland, LA.

Big Zion A.M.E. Church in Roseland, LA
Unique in the history of The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, is the history of the founding of Big Zion Church in the Roseland Community in Tangipahoa Parish, in the State of Louisiana. This Church is the eldest of the so-called "Black Man's Churches" in the parish although the The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church has never approved nor included in it's tenets and pelity any limitations to membership based on race. Unique also is the fact that Big Zion Church is older by at least three years that the conference of which she is a part.

The growth of the "A.M.E. Zion" Church, as demonstration in the South, and particular in the State of Louisiana, is credited largely to the effort made by Bishop Joseph who was consecrated a Bishop of the Church at the Eighth Session of the Church 's General Conference in 1864. This pioneering Bishop is credited with establishing a great number of "missions' in the South and Southwest than and other "Zion" Bishop.

In the year of 1863 there appeared in Louisiana one Rev. David Hill, and ordained Deacon in the ministerial ranks, and member of the North Carolina Conference. A great preaching evangelist, the Rev. Hill conducted ' pretreated" meeting in and around Arcola, Fluker, Kentwood and the Roseland Community, winning numerous of souls to the Cause of Christ.

A slave, on Solomon Johnson, prayed his "master" permission to build a 'brush-harber' on what was then the plantation. Own his own to accommodate the Evangelist Hill's meeting. This permission was granted. Another great evangelist campaign resulted. So impressed was the owner of the slave Johnson that gave the site of "brush-barber' as permanent meeting place for the worshipping spot for his slaves.

This was in 1863 to which documented evidence will attest, and which remain of records in the Courthouse at Amite City ( three miles from Roseland, Louisiana. This was the beginning of the church known today as the Big Zion Church, but which in the beginning was known simple as " The Roseland Methodist Church." In 1865 Bishop Clinton set apart the Louisiana Conference of the African Methodist Episocpal Church with three Churches namely, Big Zion, Butler Chapel ( another church which had been started by the Butler Family in Amite, LA., and Tasker Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Ponchatoula, LA.

Later, additional land was given to the little Church at Roseland, the whole being about four acres. A burial site was laid out which today is Big Zion Cemetery.  The original house of worship still stands. It's Founder sleeps in Big Zion's Cemetery.