Mt. Zion Baptist Church was organized in 1867 in Stafford County, Virginia with 30 members. In 1873, the Church body separated into two congregations after a dispute over the location for a new site. Under court arbitration, one congregation was named First Mount Zion and the other retained the name of Mount Zion.
In 1947 First Mount Zion relocated to its present location, in Dumfries, after the War Department incorporated the land (Quantico Marine Corps Base) upon which the Church occupied. Initially, worship services were held only once a month; later, twice a month and in 1965 services were held every Sunday.
In 1962, Rev. Augustus Thomas Gaskins accepted the Church’s call as Pastor and served for 33 years until June 1995. He was elevated to the newly established position of Pastor Emeritus.
In June 1995, the Church called the Rev. Dr. Luke E. Torian as their first full-time pastor. Under Pastor Torian’s leadership, the membership of First Mount Zion Baptist Church grew steadily. Dr. Torian’s service to FMZ has been highlighted by many significant accomplishments. Specifically, he was instrumental in helping the membership embrace God’s vision.
Under his leadership, the church has grown from 650 members to a congregation of over 4,000 members. This growth has led to the development of approximately 70 different ministries that operate in a 108,000 square foot sanctuary and multi-purpose facility. Under Dr. Torian’s leadership, First Mount Zion Baptist Church adopted its mission statement: “To Connect People Who Have a Desire To Become Fully Devoted Followers of Jesus Christ”.