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Mount Zion Baptist Church

The site has been evaluated as part of the Black Historic Sites Survey for its significance as a hub for the African American community, fostering spiritual, social, educational, and political empowerment. Mount Zion Baptist Church was organized in Seattle in 1894, up until 2000, it stood as the home of the largest Black congregation in Washington state and holds the distinction of being Seattle's oldest standing black Baptist Church. In the Pacific Northwest, the church established the first Black protestant church credit union, a daycare center, an Ethnic School, a kindergarten and an academic scholarship fund awarded to the students annually. The credit union building 1604 19th Avenue is located at the property site complex. The function of the building has evolved; however, its legacy persists. 

The architectural gem was designed and constructed by a Black architect. Its profound relevance is further accentuated by its association with prominent figures such as Samuel B. McKinney, a civil-rights leader, and Norman B. Rice, who served as Seattle's Mayor in 1989, alongside other notable churchgoers. 

Inside the sanctuary, 18 exquisite stained-glass windows, masterfully crafted by Douglas Phillips of Cleveland, Ohio, grace the interior. Remarkably, Phillips was the sole Black individual to own a stained-glass studio in the entire United States (Henry 1999). These windows portray various distinguished Afro-American personalities and leaders, including Lott Carey, the inaugural Black missionary from America to Africa, and George Washington Bush, recognized as the Father of the State of Washington, among others. 

From an architectural perspective, the 1975 block embodies a vivid representation of African heritage, evident through the incorporation of distinctive elements, designs, colors, and symbols. 

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