In the mid 1880’s there were 400 Blacks, the children of slaves in Oberlin, which represented a fifth of the Oberlin’s total population. The Black citizens of Oberlin participated in worship services among two Black congregations and in the First Baptist, Congregational, Episcopal and Methodist churches. Some families wanted their own church to exercise their religious freedom separate from the established churches in Oberlin.
A group of Black individuals, which aligned itself with the Baptist faith, chose to be called Mt. Zion. The group held prayer meetings in the homes of three families. In 1886 the pastor of First Baptist Church helped eighteen charter members organize into Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Worship services were held in three different locations before enough money was raised to begin building the present church at the corner of Mechanic St. (now Locust St.) and South Pleasant St. On July 4,1893 the pastor, members and friends dug the foundation from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., afterwards a dinner was served by the ladies of the church. While the church building was under construction, the members held worship services in a chapel on the site. The new sanctuary was dedicated July 16, 1905.