From the pastor’s pen

          I trust that you and your family are well and adhering to the advice from the CDC and other Health Agencies  on the Coronavirus.  These are uncharted and challenging times in our lives.
          We are operating virtually even though we have suspended in-person indoor activities.  Check the website’s homepage for information on Worship Service, Sunday School, Bible Study, and other church activities.  Many of our ministries have been actively working; contact the ministry leader if you are unsure about a ministry that you have been involved with.
          Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes you have sent our way.  Please continue to reach out to one another in prayer and encouragement.  Let’s remain connected to God and each other through these days.
Be Blessed, Be Safe and Be Careful.
Remember, God is on Our Side.
Love & Peace,
Pastor Cantrell

This summer we lost two legends of the Civil Rights movement.  I had a personal connection with one of them, Rev. Cordy (C.T. Vivian), and wish to share my thoughts about him with you:

The Reverend C.T. Vivian was considered one of the most significant leaders in the mid-20th century fight for racial equality in Chattanooga and the nation.

Rev. Vivian arrived in Chattanooga in 1962 after doing his theological studies and teaching in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Rev. Vivian pastored the Cosmopolitan Communit Curch.  Vivian said that he came to Chattanooga to pastor and build a church and its membership like he had in Nashville, although the Nashville church was not the situation that he desired.

Because of his efforts in Nashville, Rev. Vivian was approached by a pastor in Chattanooga who had good statistical information regarding black voting in Chattanooga,  Rev. Vivian became a natural leader in Chattanooga from that point forward.   From the statistics, he saw that Chattanooga’s black population was ripe to begin electing local officials who were more responsive to the black community.  He said, “What are we standing still for?”  He got persons together and began real action.    Rev. Vivian saw it was common at that time to pay blacks, who represented 20% of city voting total, to vote for someone.  He encouraged the local Black citizens to take advantage of that, but in a way beneficial to them.  In his words, “They have been making fools of blacks as though we are slaves, so let’s make fools of them. Take their money and keep it, but vote like you want to.” That spirit changed the voting behavior and power of blacks. As a result, three-fifths of the city commissioners elected were black.

While in Chattanooga, his wife gave birth to their youngest son Albert. They had to use the new “black” hospital, Carver Hospital.  Erlanger Hospital was still segregated.  Consequently, Rev. Vivian led the push for the integration of all hospitals in Chattanooga and Tennessee.

Rev. Vivian’s work in the area of voting was why Dr. King asked Rev. Vivian to join SCLC as a director.  He was one of many who recognized the influential work of Rev. Vivian.

I did not personally know Rep. John Lewis, but I continue to be inspired by his call to stir up Good Trouble.  Join me in this by registering to vote (if you haven’t already) and by voting in the November election.  If you plan to vote by mail, mail in your absentee ballot application as soon as possible.  If you plan to vote in person, remember early voting at the Board of Elections begins October 6 and election voting at your local polling place occurs Tuesday, November 3, 2020.  Click the boxes below to check your registration status and to find your polling place.


Yours in God’s Service,

Pastor James H. Cantrell

Pastor, Zion Baptist Church

Check Your Registration Status


Find Your Polling Place (Hamilton County, OH)



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