Church History

ZT Church History

In April 1927, with the aid of the Holy Spirit and guidance of the St. John Baptist Church, the organization and format of the Church, later to be called Zion Travelers Missionary Baptist Church, began with nine members. The records reflect that the first pastor was Reverend Benjamin Miller, the first Deacon was Brother Irving Scott, the church clerk was Brother Sam Bouie and the treasurer was Brother Jordan.

Under the leadership of Reverend B. Miller, the church began to grow. He ordained and added to the Deacon Board, Brother V. J. Jones, Brother Murphy and Brother Powell. He also saw the need for a Mother’s Board. The first members were Mother Moore, Mother Powell, Mother Baker and Mother Flowers. The first officers were: Brother Irving Scott-Deacon, Brother Sam Bouie-Church Clerk and Brother Jordan-Treasurer.

Within a year, it became apparent that they needed to look for another building. Their new location was 16th and Biddle.  There, the Lord led the Pastor to organize the Sunday School Department. The members were Sister Maggie Walker, Sister LattieDawson, Brother Eli Walker, and Sister Alice Jones, who was elected the superintendent. Souls were being added to the church but because of inadequate facilities, baptism services were held at the Mount Olive Baptist Church, 17th and Cole Street.

The church continued to flourish with eyes ever looking upward and thoughts toward the future. It became necessary once again to find a larger place for services. Accommodation was soon found, and the church moved to a storefront building at 18th and O’Fallon Streets.

Reverend Miller’s desire and prayer was for a place that they could call home, but more importantly was his request to bring souls to Christ. His prayer was answered, and God continued to bless Zion Travelers and once again it became necessary, because of steady increase, for the membership to seek out a new location as a place to worship. The church relocated to 2210 Franklin.

We continued to experience God’s blessings as fifteen years later we continued to grow and prosper. Ministries were being added to the church. Two choirs were organized, the Number 1 Choir and the Junior Choir. Brother Robert Cotton served as the president of both choirs.


Reverend Miller’s prayer for a place the church could call home was actualized in the mid 1940’s when the church was able to purchase their first building located at 2031 Franklin. 

God allowed him to see his vision become reality before He called him from labor to his reward in 1947.Reverend Arthur Mitchell an Associate Minister of Zion Travelers was called to head the flock in 1948. Under his leadership, a Health Unit was organized and Sister Patsy Simpson was elected President. God added more members to this congregation: ministers, deacons, mothers, and other auxiliaries. Because of the growth of the membership, Zion Travelers was once again in need of a larger place for worship services.

In 1955, property was purchased at 3064 Thomas and the church moved to this site. Sister Georgia Caruthers introduced the first Women’s Day Service to the church. In 1961, under the leadership of Reverend Mitchell, the property at 1444 GoodfellowBoulevard was purchased. As more young people came into the fold, we were blessed with the organization of a Junior Usher Board.

In 1966, Reverend Mitchell resigned as pastor. Reverend Roger Whitley became our spiritual leader in August of 1966 and served until 1969. Reverend Felix Brown was elected as Pastor in November 1969 and served until 1981.

The church went in prayer for a spiritual leader. We were blessed when the Lord sent to us Reverend William Triggs in September 1982 as our Under Shepard. The Church flourished under his leadership. A Deaconess Board was organized in 1982 with Sister Verlene Cook as the president.

Additional Deacons were ordained. The property adjacent to the church was acquired for an educational building. Due to illness, it became necessary for Reverend Triggs to retire.

The Lord laid it on the hearts and minds of the members to elect Reverend Linden Bowie as Pastor. He was elected by the church and installed in December 1987. Under his guidance, the building expansion, initiated by Reverend Triggs was completed. The improvements were expanding the dining area, addition of three classrooms, a Pastor’s study, new restrooms, carpeting, outside signage, padded pews, awnings, carpet and railings for the front porch.

In 1989, the Youth Department of the WMU was activated with Sister Michelle Bowie as Director and Sister Annie Tucker as President. The Children’s Church was created and implemented to assist the spiritual growth of young members and visiting youth in the Word. Additional souls have been saved and oriented in God’s plan for His church body.

As we continue under Reverend Bowie’s leadership, additions to the clergy, deacon and trustee ministries have abounded under his watchful guidance. 

He has truly been a blessing to the Zion Travelers church family. We are a purpose driven church with a purpose being the gratification and glorification of our Lord and fulfillment of our Mission of reaching the maximum number of people for Christ by serving the spiritual, social and educational needs of this present age!

In our quest to fulfill our Mission, once again God has blessed us under the prayerful and spiritual guidance of Reverend Bowie to move. Accomplishments in the past twenty years have been tremendous. 

After 43 years at 1444 Goodfellow Boulevard, God blessed us to move on September 3, 2005 to 351 Chambers Road, in the village of Riverview, Missouri where God continues to bless us and continues to add to the congregation.

Pastor Bowie has assigned Pastors over ministries of the church: Youth Pastor, Christian Education Pastor and Hospitality Pastor. Zion Travelers has hosted the Berean District Leadership Training School for fiveyears. We have a USDA certified food pantry that serves many families in our community. We have sponsored a Summer Camp along with the NCCP (North County Community Project). We have a Joan Owen Peters Fitness Center which focuses on regular nutritional information, annual health fairs and weekly exercise classes. Our Intake Ministry welcomes new members in a special way by seeking to show them love.

Up and going in April 2009, under the direction of Pastor Bowie, the Youth Pastor, Rev. Charles Jones Jr., the Youth Ministry was called the project: NeXgen Ministry. The project NexGen Ministry is the whole youth ministry and all youth services. The Street Team is the evangelism part of the ministry.The NeXgen Ministry included drama, arts-n-crafts, flag and drum corp., NeXgen step   squad, tiny tots (ages 2-5), kingdom kids (ages 6-8), open gym basketball and healthy generations.  After Rev. Jones was called to pastor, the youth ministry was able to grow under the leadership of Rev. Garland Williams.

Zion Travelers collaborated with the St. Louis County Family Court to found Missouri’s first Evening Reporting Center. This was a place for Juvenile Offenders to come each evening as required by the County Facility.

As the Lord continues to bless our church, on August 20, 2012, our church pews were padded. August 2015, Zion Travelers opened a community gym for ZT church members and our local community to focus on improving our health and wellness. 

Every year in August, Zion Travelers hosts their great Annual Back to School fair, Health fair and Church outing. By combining these events, we continue to reach out to this community to become a meaningful part of this community and we anticipate many new and exciting ministries designed to further our mission for God and to this Community.

Zion Travelers partnered with Better Family Life in their ‘Pulpit to Porches’ community involvement initiative; where we bring much needed resources to families in our community.

In October 2016, Pastor Bowie was elected President of the Missionary Baptist State Convention of Missouri and his investiture took place in December of that same year. 

Zion Travelers partnered with Ms. Phyllis Jones from Helping Hands Healing Hearts to provide clothing to our community family and those we support for the Winter’s Inn Shelter. Zion Travelers has a working relationship with Rising to the Occasion Foundation to assist in providing the basic need resources to our community. We were the host church to their 1stAnnual Giving Back the Love New Year’s Eve Celebration December 2016.  In 2017, the Children’s Ministry was under the leadership of Rev. James Branch. Our Christian Education Ministry is expanding under the leadership of Rev. Curtis Williams.

January 2017, Zion Travelers opened and operated a Winter Inn Homeless Shelter where we served individuals who were experiencing homelessness during the winter months. Volunteers and individuals donated items to assist with our effort. 

In the summer of 2018, Members collaborated in sacrificial giving to ensure the parking lot was paved.

The summer of 2019, ZTCIA hosted its first Fun Day inviting the community to fellowship with us. Zion Travelers continues to host our Annual Back to School and Health Fair in August.





Cornelius Weaver Jr on 01-18-2024 at 6:42 PM
maybe the church can post some meal preparation or dietary
considerations/suggestions for restrictive conditions such as diabetes and heart conditions
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