Restoration of the Zion Baptist Church Annex

Zion Baptist Church, along with Wharton-Wesley United Methodist Church and the Philadelphia Masjid, all received grants ranging from $275,000 – $298,000 from the William Penn Foundation, to support pre-development activities to transform the congregations’ underutilized religious properties into community hubs.  Called To Serve and the Leon Sullivan CDC, Zion’s partners in the project, are leading the effort to reestablish the Zion Annex as the community hub that it was, following its purchase by the church in 1969.

All three congregations began their community-engaged design process as part of the Infill Philadelphia: Sacred Places/Civic Spaces initiative. The Community Design Collaborative and Partners for Sacred Places launched InfillPhiladelphia: Sacred Places/Civic Spaces in 2018, with support from William Penn Foundation, to tap into Philadelphia’s collective expertise, expand the constituency for the shared use of sacred spaces as civic spaces in Philadelphia neighborhoods, and to activate underutilized neighborhood assets for ongoing ownership by and benefit for communities.

The Zion Annex is the place that Called To Serve’s founder and Board President, Rev. Michael Major, was formed and shaped as a youth growing up in the Nicetown-Tioga community, while the Zion members, under the leadership of the late Civil Rights Leader Rev. Leon Sullivan, were the people who played an active role in shaping his life.

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