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We celebrate our heritage; we're not bound by it! Sure we've been around for over 140 years but no church, or person for that matter, should feel constrained by the past! We're building on the fact that God is a God of endless possibilities and opportunities.
We are a community of faith striving to know and do God's will.
Celebrative worship complimented with a variety of musical styles, incorporates a relevant message that speaks to contemporary issues. We offer challenging education opportunities to help you grow spiritually. Fun fellowship activities for all ages including exciting children and youth programs. And here you will have a chance to make a difference serving God and neighbor.
Why not join us this Sunday, God has good things in store for us!
Download a copy of our mission statement.
Rev. Malcolm Stranathan - Lead Pastor
Pastor Stranathan was called into the ministry after 15 years of service with the United States Government. Malcolm recalls that “we had just returned from a tour of England, and we had connected with Westminster United Methodist Church and started working with youth. And what I started to find that what I was doing with the youth group started to overshadow what I was doing in my 9 to 5 job. That began a journey to answer the call of God to go into pastoral ministry.”
Malcolm’s transition to the ministry was very challenging. “I started at Wesley Theological Seminary in the fall. I was serving as a student pastor in my first appointment – I spent two days a week doing that. I was in seminary for two and a half days, working for the government one day a week, and serving at the church on Sunday.” This experience led Malcolm to adopt his guiding scripture -Philippians 4.13: "I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me."
After graduating from Wesley Theological Seminary in 1999, Malcolm entered the ministry on a full-time basis. When asked to explain his personal goals as the pastor of Mount Zion, Malcolm uses the analogy of a pebble dropping into a pond; “Jesus arriving into the world is like that pebble. The first ripples are the people who knew him – the disciples, and his friends Mary, Martha, Lazarus. Then wherever he went, there were people who had heard of him and told others – these people are on the next ripple. And we are all - at different times of our faith journey – on any one of these different ripples. Sometimes we are very close to Jesus – we feel that he is right there. Other times in our lives we feel that we are way out there. My goal as a pastor is to always draw us closer to that center. The closer we come to Jesus, the more we are centered on him and the closer we come to each other – that’s what is important.”
Malcolm is married to his Oakland Mills HS sweetheart, Jacki. Jacki serves as the Director of Discipleship at Catonsville UMC, and recently started to work part-time at the Cokesbury Store in Maple lawn/Fulton, MD. Malcolm and Jacki have three children: Brittany, Elisabeth, and Wesley.
Barbara Jacques - Director of Congregational Life
After graduating from American University with a B.S. degree in Nursing, Barb worked in a variety of clinical and community settings where she specialized in the development of health education programs. She loved her work, but felt the need to do something more. Barb remembers that “for years I had worked on a volunteer basis with the high school Sunday school, and confirmation classes at my old church and I really enjoyed it. When I was volunteering I kept saying; I think I am supposed to be working in the church full-time.” After making the decision to work full-time in youth ministry, Barb found an opening at Mount Zion and joined the staff in September of 2002. In 2009, Barb became the Director of Congregational Life.
Jena Meredith - Director of Children's Ministries
Jena has worked for a number of years in the Mt. Zion Weekday Christian Preschool as a teacher and music director. Over the years she has served on many education committees and programs, which gives her an insider's understanding of the children's ministries here at Mt. Zion.
Jena has an early childhood certificate, has worked as a Girl Scout volunteer, and as a parent volunteer in several local schools. Besides serving on the Education Committee, Jena has served with the UM Women, as a Trustee, church council member-at-large, and as a youth counselor. Jena has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, WV.
Jena coordinates and supervises all areas of children's ministries, from infants through 5th grade, overseeing the Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, children's special activities, Children's Church, and Summer Sunday School. Jena also recruits and trains members to assist in these ministries.
Jena and husband Bryan have been members of Mount Zion since 1989. They have two high school daughters, Tara and Ashley, who have been spiritually nurtured here at Mount Zion.
Mark Dubbs, Jr. - Director of Music
Mark joined the Mount Zion staff in March 1999. He studied music at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Mark came to us after having served as director on Vocal Music at Bethany United Methodist Church in Ellicott City, Maryland. During the day, Mark teaches World History, Economics, and Sociology at River Hill High School. He and his wife Lisa have three children, Chelsea, Jordan, and Jason.
Wendy Singer - Contemporary Music and Worship Leader
Wendy joined Mt. Zion in August, 2006. She had been a Worship Leader for several years at Bethany UMC in Ellicott City, where she has also provided vocal support and leadership at Conference worship services and workshops. For years Wendy was the lead vocalist for a dance band called Wind. She has also been a group leader and coordinator for the annual Women of Faith Conference in Washington, DC..
Here at Mt. Zion, Wendy rehearses with the praise band and give musical guidance and leadership to them and to the singing team. She works with the Mt. Zion ministers to help develop the theme and flow of the contemporary worship services. Wendy is married to husband Michael and is the mother of two teenagers, Kyle and Kelsey. She is a board member at Marriotts Ridge HS PTSA, and is also a Disciple 1 graduate.