Zion Travelers Primitive Baptist Church

Zion Travelers Primitive Baptist Church was organized in 1920 under the leadership of Elder Emanuel High on the ditch that was located on 19th Street, Ensley, Alabama. There were three original deacons—Deacons Jennie Reese, Jessie Muse, and Tommie Thompson.

Elder High served for 25 years. The following served as deacons under Elder High:  Deacon Joe Hill, Deacon Willie Harris, and Deacon Robert Davis. In 1945, Elder R. B. Davis became the second pastor. Under his leadership, there have been five (5) chairmen of the Deacons’ Board serving in the following order:  Deacon Jessie Muse, Deacon Walter Waller, Deacon Darnell Gardner, Deacon Wash Wilson, and Deacon Walter Waller. Other deacons serving under Elder Davis’ leadership are Deacons Jessie Muse, Willie Harris, Joe Hill, Felix Major, Ernest Hatcher, George Sanders, Henry Sanders, John H. Ray, Garfield Griffin, Jeff Duncan, Wash Wilson, John Wilson, Walter Waller, Richard High, Tom Danner, Daniel Gardner, Charlie McCall, James L. Franklin, Lawrence Finely, Arthur Young, Willie Hood and Cleveland Grace.

The Mother Board was organized under Elder Davis having two deceased presidents—Sister Tina Davis and Sister Goldell Gatson. The following served on the original Mother Board:  Sisters Harvey High, Birdie, and Laura. These matriarchs were followed by Sisters Lize Muse, Hattie Sanders, Willie Major, Mary Griffin, Rosa Wilson, Mildred High, Carrie Waller, Hattie Danner, Birdie Finley, Johnny Young, and Edgie Davis.

Elder Davis organized the Trustee Board, which had two chairmen—Brother John Wilson and Brother Frank Green with numerous faithful brothers serving along with them.

The following auxiliaries were formed under his leadership:  Usher Board I and II, Choirs I and II, Davis Youth Choir, and now the Mass Choir, Missionary Society, Nurses’ Guild, and Men’s Fellowship Club.

In 1953, Elder Davis organized one of his greatest accomplishments—the Sunday School with its first officers: Deacon Willie Harris, Superintendent; Deacon George Sanders, Assistant Superintendent; Sister Rachel Payton, Secretary; Sister Catherine Bracey, Assistant Secretary. Those who served as teachers were Sister Tina Davis, Sister Hattie Sanders, Sister Hattie Harvey, Sister Pearl Sledge, and Sister Ruth Sanders. Others who have served as superintendents are Deacon W. Harris, G. Sanders, L. Finley, J. L. Franklin, and Brother Frank Green.

During Elder Davis’ tenure, he served as vice moderator of the Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Association and dean of the District Sunday School Convention, which is an auxiliary of the association.

The following ministers were ordained under Elder Davis’ leadership:  Elder Calvin Danner, Elder John H. Ray, Elder James A. Gibson, Jr., and Elder James L. Franklin.

From Zion Travelers “on the ditch” to sharing fellowship with Little True Vine Primitive Baptist Church under the leadership of Elder A. J. Colvin, to a march up 19th Street into a building that now stands at 1621 19th Street, Ensley, Alabama, the church accomplished noteworthy the acquisition of the adjoining property that is now a parking space and annex. In January 1990, Elder Robert B. Davis announced his pastoral retirement, which became effective in June 1990, and Elder Melvin Robinson, Jr., the former pastor of the Little Canaan Primitive Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama, was elected as pastor of the Zion Travelers Primitive Baptist Church. Currently, Elder Elijah Weatherspoon is the pastor.

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