Mother African Zoar UMC

Historic Perspective​




1794 In November of 1794 Eighteen men and three women withdrew from George's Church.
Harry Hoosier was the Patron Preacher
1796 Zoar's new church was dedicated by Bishop Francis Asbury on August 4th.
1835 Perry Tilghman, a lay preacher, was the first Negro pastor assigned to Zoar. Served 1835-1844
1837 Zoar received its Charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
1852 August 5th & 6th - The first convention of Colored Local Preachers and Laymen convened at Zoar.
1857 First Colored Conference of Local Preachers met at Zoar under the authority of the 1856 General Conference. Out of these yearly conferences, the Delaware Conference was organized in 1856.
1883 A red brick building on Melon Street west of Twelfth (Bethlehem Protestant Church) was given to African Zoar by Joseph Bennett.
1887 Founding of the Ushering movement by Charles "Pop" Dorsey, Zoar Member
1924 Zoar Community Building and Loan Association was founded.
1926 Zoar Church was remodeled and the basement was dugout. "Well Baby Clinic" was established.
1964 The Delaware Conference was dissolved and Zoar became a member of the Philadelphia Conference, now known as the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
1970 Additional land purchased in order to expand Zoar's facilities to include an educational building.
1979 Zoar was officially named a historical site by the Eastern PA Conference.
1983 Formulation of the Intergenerational Choir Gospel Choir.
1984 July 29th, under the leadership of Rev. Clyde Henry, ground breaking ceremony took place for Educational Building.
1985 In May the Educational Building was completed and named in memory of the late Vivian Licorish and Rev. Joshua E. Licorish.
1985 Rev. Ralph E. Blanks appointed as Pastor.
1986 In May, the first child born in the parsonage in more than 75 years. Noelle Blanks.
1994 Mother African Zoar celebrates 200 year Anniversary.
1996 Mother African Zoar UM Church sponsors and houses 204 West Poplar Nehemiah Townhouses for low to moderate income families.
2001 Rev. Anthony Arrington appointed Pastor.
2005 Renovation and renaissance of Zoar Sanctuary completed.
2005 June 19, 2005 congregation march back into the sanctuary.
2005 Rev. Shawn M. Wilson appointed Pastor
2007 Rev. David W. M. Cassidy appointed Pastor
2012 Rev. Jessica Lynn Ross, is appointed as first female Pastor.
2015 Rev. Shayla L. Johnson is appointed as pastor

2019 Mother Zoar UMC celebrates Anniversary 225 years of ministry.

2020 Rev. William Brawner appointed as pastor