Our History

Mt Zion Baptist Church is a historic church located in one of the most picturesque locations in all of America. It is located on the shore of Lake Arthur inside Moraine State Park in Butler County. The man-made lake was created in the 1960's. Because the church cemetery was unable to be moved, the church was allowed to keep its privately owned land.

The church was originally formed in 1819, and met in local farmer, Cadwalder Baker’s Barn in Muddy Creek Township. For the first years of its life, the church was known as Muddy Creek Baptist Church. It was moved in 1844 to the current location off Route 528, which at that time was a small rural town named “Isle”. In 1895, the name was changed to Mt Zion Baptist because of confusion with Muddy Creek Presbyterian Church. The present structure was built with bricks made from the “fire clay” found in Muddy Creek’s basin which ran right by the church. Baptisms were performed in the creek for over 100 years. There are records of the church breaking ice in the creek during the winter to baptize converts. Weather permitting, baptisms are still performed in Lake Arthur. For many years the church was heated with two pot belly stoves and lighted with candles and oil lamps. A few elderly members can still recall stables and hitching posts in front of the church which made up the old “parking lot.” There have been two major additions built on to the original structure making up the present building. There have also been many upgrades inside the building as well, including a slanted floor, balcony, indoor baptismal pool and church steeple with the original bell that still rings for every Sunday service. A unique broadcasting system projects songs and preaching out over Lake Arthur.  We thank God for all the faithful servants who have stayed the course and kept these church doors open over many years of both ease and hardship. We also praise the Lord that He has used this church to draw many to Christ over its nearly 200 year existence and we pray that He will continue to do so for many years to come.

With the many years of history and service, it is easy to see that we are a historic church with a godly legacy, but we are not satisfied with only what has been done in our past. We have a fresh vision for the future. Philippians 3:13-14 says, “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

At Mt Zion Baptist Church, we believe the Bible teaches that a church is not a building, but a local body of believers who seek to know and serve the Lord with their lives. And although we have many activities, fellowships and other social events, we are not a social club, but a true family that lives out the truths of the God’s Word in our interaction with people. We believe that the Word of God is true and should be followed in every aspect of our lives (even in the 21st century). We believe that God is very active in our world today, and wants us to know Him and be guided by His Spirit. We are very concerned about the state of America, the modern church and the message that is being propagated in the name of God. The old paths are being forsaken and the foundations of our country, churches and families are being destroyed. Psalm 11:3 asks a pertinent question, “If the foundations be destroyed what can the righteous do?” Our hope is that God may use us, if even in a small way, as we partner with other Bible believing churches, to help stop this destruction and return us to building solid foundations in our communities, that our churches may again be the “pillar and ground of truth” that God has called us to be.


To effect this change we need to be true to God and His Word and reach others with His truth. We believe that real change in our country will not come from the top down but from the bottom up. This “grass roots movement” is accomplished by reaching one person at a time with the life changing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To do this we must cultivate relationships that will open opportunities to share the Gospel and show others the love of Christ. It has been stated that “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care." We find this to be true.  The church is not a place, a building, or a piece of property. It is real people in real relationships; caring for others, bearing one another’s burdens, sharing the gospel with those around them, speaking the truth in love, being the pillar and ground of truth, and meeting the needs of those they come in contact with. We do not claim to do this perfectly. Like any honest person would tell you, we often fall short of our goals. Nonetheless, we believe this is our mission and we pray that God will work through us to fulfill it. Please know that our doors and hearts are always opened to anyone seeking to know God. We would love to have you visit with us and we desire to be a help to you in any way that we can.