One of Windsor’s more recently designated buildings, the Mt. Zion Church of God in Christ, at 795 McDougall, has been immediately closed, and deemed unsafe.
The sign out front, directs members to alternate places of worship. I may have missed any mention of it in the Windsor Star, but CBC news covered it 2.5 weeks ago.
The brick building at Elliott and McDougall was built in 1939, and designed by Windsor architect J.P. Tompson.
From the 2004 Designation Report, here are some points about the church:
· Mr. Zion Church was established by Bishop Clarence Morton Sr. (1897-1962), an
internationally renowned preacher and founder of the Canadian and International
Churches of God in Christ in the Windsor/Detroit region. While he was the leader of
six churches in the United States, here in Canada he was instrumental in the
establishment of five churches in Windsor, Chatham, Harrow, Buxton and
Amherstburg. Bishop Morton was also famous for his radio ministry. Services were
broadcast live on CKLW radio for thirty years.
· The Mt. Zion Church of God in Christ, built in 1939, is the oldest Canadian Church
of God in Christ – the largest Black Christian denomination in the world with
headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. The annual River Baptismal Service, hosted
by Mt. Zion Church, brought thousands to the City during the 1940s-1950s.
· Construction of the church was undertaken by members of the congregation who dug
out the foundation of the church with a team of horses
· The church is a modest, rectangular-shaped, eclectic Gothic-Revival style red brick
structure with gable-roof, designed by local architect J.P. Thompson.
· Architectural elements of note include: three storey tower with crowstep gable, mix
of window styles with some Gothic-shaped masonry-arched windows with pressedstone
key and voussoir stones and sills, diamond-paned beveled glass windows,
central entrance with Gothic-arched stained glass fanlight, entry steps flanked by a
flared brick wall.
· The front wall of the sanctuary originally had a black manger scene painted on it.
Hopefully the building is saved, as we all know, far too much of this city’s history has already been lost.