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Pastor and Teacher 

Reverend Doctor Philip Karl James -
Pastor, Teacher

The Reverend Doctor Philip Karl James, the son of a Gospel Preacher, was born and reared in Jamaica, New York.  He is one of eight children.  He is married to the former Jameel Marketta Kee (an Evangelist) of Columbus, Ohio.  He and Jameel have been blessed with a beautiful daughter, Joyreece and a handsome son, Joseph.  See photo of Pastor James and family below.

Reverend James was educated in New York City's Public School System.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.  He studied Economics at the master level for one year.  Following college, he worked as a Management Information Analyst and Accountant for Bankers Trust Company in New York City.  He also worked as a Financial Planner at New York  Life Insurance Company.

In 1985, Reverend James responded to God's call to ministry and left his job, family and friends to enter the Seminary.  He graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Methodist Theological School, Delaware, Ohio in 1988.  That same year, Reverend James was ordained by the American Baptist Churches of Metro, New York and the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.  Rev. James earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio in 1993, where he was a Samuel D. Proctor - Otis Moss Jr. Fellow.  He served as Pastor of churches in Ohio and New York prior to the call to Mount Zion Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Pastor James was or is currently in service with the following organizations:  American Baptist Churches, USA - General Board of Directors; American Baptist Churches of Greater Indianapolis Region - Representative; Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition - Board of Directors and Treasurer; Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) - Field Education Supervisor and Richard Pettigrew Seminar Committee; Black American Baptist Caucus - Executive Committee; Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) - Board of Directors, an appointment by Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson.

Listed in Who's Who in Black Indianapolis (4th Edition, 2007).

In May 2012, Pastor James was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Divinity by the Board of Trustees, Faculty and Staff of Franklin College of Franklin, Indiana.

Dr. James is the most recent past President of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial State Convention of Indiana, affiliated with the Progressive National Baptist Convention.

Dr. James was named Affiliate Professor at Christian Theological Seminary, November 2017; Chair of the American Baptist Biennial Mission Summit Plannning Committee for the 2019 National gathering.

Pastor's Assistants in Ministry 

Minister LeWana Britt
- Director of Christian Education

Minister Douglas Hairston
- Assistant to the Pastor

Minister Doug Hairston and his family (wife, Jocelyn and children, Yara and Nile) are active members of Mount Zion Baptist Church. Since being licensed in July 1999, he has focused his ministry on "Building Bridges In and To Our Community."

He is currently Director of the Front Porch Alliance for the City of Indianapolis.  Minister Hairston also is active in many community organizations: Marion Country Commission on Youth - Board of Directors; Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition - Active Partner: Peace Makers of Indianapolis - Lead Facilitator. He has also led the men of Mt. Zion into the neighborhoods for Street Outreach.

Joyce E. Johnson

Coordinator and Teacher for Discipleship Ministry, Children's Church, Children's Moments, and the Biblical Storytelling Team

Sister Johnson is a retired elementary school teacher. She holds a Master's Degree in Christian Education from Christian Theological Seminary (Indianapolis). She is also a Master Certified Biblical Storyteller and workshop presenter, active with the Network of Biblical Storytellers, International.

Minister Geoffrey L. Kelsaw
- Minister of Worship and Creative Arts

A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Kelsaw has taught in the Music Departments of Purdue University, Taylor University and Christian Theological Seminary with a focus on Gospel Music.  The Music Department of Pilgrim Baptist Church (Fort Wayne) performed with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra four times under his leadership as Music Director. His other involvements have included: directing a community choir that participated in concert with Larnelle Harris, providing private instrumental and vocal lessons, conducting subject lectures for Church Music Workshops/Conventions and orchestrating score notation for all choral and instrument arrangements.

Minister Kelsaw is a licensed preacher and full time Minister of Music at Mount Zion. He is the Choral Director of the Gospel Choir at University of Indianapolis and teaches a music class at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.

Ministry Support Staff 

Office Manager and Secretary to the pastor

Contributions Coordinator



Eddie Cox


Kathryn Woodard

Financial Secretary and Trustee

Pamela Tate-Baird 

Administrative Assistant to the pastor


Elder Levon Sanders

Pianist, Organist  and Director of Male Chorus

Church Leadership 

Diaconate Ministry - Hershell Baird, Sr., Chairman

John Conner


Lawrence Hooks, Chair Emeritus

Sharon Hooks, Secretary

Ivan Baird, Sr.

Cherrie Barbour

Marcelia Duvall

Helen T. Coleman

Carl Horton

Natalie Clay

Lenora Hooks

Anthony DeForest

Theresia Wynns

Charles Price

Lois O'Banion

Fred McKinney

Loston Perry

Gloria Kidd
Joseph Wynns Donald Bradley

Philip Duvall


Trustee Board - Joseph Wynns, Chairman

Ebenezer Smith

Kathryn Woodard, Financial Secretary

Dorothy Crenshaw

Grace Dowe

Malcolm Orton

Lorenza Davis

Ruth Baird-Holloway

3500 Graceland Avenue | Indianapolis, IN 46208  | PH: (317) 924-4748
Office Hours: Tuesday - Thursday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.     Friday, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

The Proclamation of the Word

Sunday, September 9th, 2018




 This Week at Mount Zion 

Focus on the Family:

Mt. Zion’s mission is outside of the four walls!

We enter to Worship, we go out to Serve!

Let August be filled full of

Random Acts of Kindness!

  • You can pay for someone’s coffee/meal in the drive up!
  • Make an extra meal for someone and deliver it!
  • Weed someone’s flower bed or garden!
  • Go to the laundromat and pay for someone’s laundry!
  • Spread cheer to everyone you meet!
  • Buy a dozen of roses and pass them out to those you meet!
  • Pay for someone’s hair appointment!
  • Put money on the lunch tabs for students!
  • You and your walking partner pray for people you meet!
  • Invite someone to eat lunch with you!
  • Send Thinking of You cards!
  • Do Ministry that Makes a Difference!

2017-18 Theme:  “Saved to Love”

GOAL:  Develop a Culture of Love for Each Other

Scriptures to meditate on, memorize and implement through 2018

     Leviticus 19:17-18

     Mark 12:28-34

     Luke 10:25-28

     Deuteronomy 6:1-9

     Micah 6:8

How does this look like in practice?

How do we internalize this Love that God requires of us?

How do we express it externally?

What does Love look like as it is practiced in the ministries?

Love in the congregation, members, and ministries.

                WHAT DOES LOVE MEAN?

You are challenged to pray more, and more earnestly during this first Month of the New Year.  By Prayer God will launch and lift you into the orbit of His Grace needed for the Journey of 2018.

Read: Jeremiah 29:7; Jeremiah 33:3

This 1st week of January pray for Men.... fathers and young adult men

The 2nd week pray for Women.... mothers, young adult women 

The 3rd week pray for marriages and families 

The 4th week pray for Children, Youth and Teens 

- Pray and ask God to lead us, to give us ears and hearts to hear his voice, and obey his voice

- Pray and ask God to keep us and Cleanse us from hidden faults, our negative attitudes, lack of faith, and Keep us from deliberate sins! 

- Pray and ask God for a closer walk with him

- Pray to be more bold in your witness for him

- Pray for grace to practice loving each other as we want to be loved

- Pray  for more patience in attitude and and the grace of hospitality when activities you serve in go longer than you planned stay

- Ask God to heal you every where you hurt.... And to Restore the Joy of your salvation...

- Ask God to keep you aware that it is in His presence that the full completeness of Joy is found

- Ask God to work through you to help add 100 new believers to our congratulation in 2018!

There is power in prayer!  Imagine what is possible as we focus in together and pray this month!

The Spiritual Promise:

Make your request known unto God.... And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding..... 

Shall guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus our Lord!  Phil. 4:6-7