Dr. Jimmy McCarter was the Pastor of Zion Hill for 16 years and 4 months. He retired from the pastorate of Zion Hill on April 27, 2003. We miss him and his wife Ozella, and they will always hold a special place in the heart of Zion Hill!
Dr. McCarter had a unique style of preaching that got the truths in God's Word across so that it changed lives. He also had a caring spirit about him that caused others to want to reach out to others the same as he did. Many people confided in Dr. McCarter with their spiritual needs. A lot of those folks came to know Christ as Savior and Lord, and Dr. McCarter had the pleasure in baptizing many of them.
Even when Dr. McCarter was experiencing health problems that were to the point he probably should have taken a leave of absence, he stayed adamant about serving his Lord in the pastorate of Zion Hill. Many times, he visited the sick in the nursing homes and hospitals while walking with a cane or walker himself. And when he could not stand to preach, he would sit at the pulpit to make sure God's Word was given to the congregation of Zion Hill. Dr. McCarter was and is a true example of dedication to the cause of Christ!
Not only did Dr. McCarter lead people to Christ, he taught them how to serve. Many men, women, boys and girls have learned what it means to be in service to the Lord through Dr. McCarter's teaching and encouragement. And, other pastors, young and old alike, looked to Dr. McCarter with respect, seeking to learn more about their own calling through him.
We contribute a lot of the success of Zion Hill’s ministry to the longevity of our pastor/ church relationship. Zion Hill saw its membership grow by many numbers, at a rate that was phenomenal. Through Dr. McCarter, Zion Hill was led in building programs that helped to increase the space needed for the continued ministry of God through Zion Hill. Through Dr. McCarter's tenure, Zion Hill added a Family Life Center and a new sanctuary, along with renovations to the old church building to convert it into the educational building that it is today. Also, the property surrounding the church was bought to insure we can continue to grow. And grow we will!
One of the visions brought to Zion Hill by Dr. McCarter is that one day there will be a Christian School located on site. There has already been enough land purchased to accomplish this task. We know that this school will take much prayer and careful planning to become the educational site that God wants. Jesus is the foundation that all ministry has to be built upon, and we at Zion Hill want to see that no step is taken without prior approval from God.
For being not only our pastor, but our friend, teacher, leader, example, and encouragement, we bless Dr. Jimmy L. McCarter by giving him the honorary title "Pastor Emeritus"!
October 5th, 2003, 181st Anniversary of Zion Hill Baptist Church