Rev. Grant Receives Proclamation

Dr. John H. Grant, Pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, and First Lady Belinda K. Grant. Photo: Andre Daugherty, pro16productions.com

Buncombe County and the City of Asheville recognized Rev. Dr. John H. Grant on his 30th Pastoral Anniversary.

WHEREAS, Dr. Grant has served faithfully as a visionary leader of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Asheville, Inc. and the community for 30 years; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Grant’s Vision for the Up-Building and Transformation of the Community has impacted individuals and families throughout the community and in the City of Asheville; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Grant accepted his call from the Almighty God to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ at an early age and was determined “to study to show himself approved” (2 Timothy 2:15), to work diligently and faithfully, and holds degrees from Benedict College (B.A.) in Columbia, SC; Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (Master of Divinity) in Rochester, New York; and the Atlanta Theological Association (Doctor of Ministry) through Erskine Theological Seminary; his Master of Divinity from Colgate Rochester; Degrees pursued and earned to become all that God needed him to be to lead his flock of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Asheville, Inc. under the leadership of Jesus Christ; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Grant lives a true Christian life, consecrated by God and is dedicated to Jesus Christ; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Grant is committed and dedicated as Pastor & Under Shepherd to the flock of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Asheville, Inc. church family; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Grant, without a shadow or doubt, is dedicated to his wife, Belinda, his children, Kontia and John Jr., his grandson, Kobey Josiah, his siblings and his “In-Loves” (as recommended by our mother, Mary Kennedy, so we do not use the term “In-Laws”; therefore, with that being said, his Mother-in-Love refers to him as her “Son-in-Love”); and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Grant is a Dreamer and a Visionary whereby some dreams and visions have materialized, and others are on the path to being materializing; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Grant is a builder. Not only is there a plan to build locally but the Mt. Zion church family built a church in the township of Khayelitsha, CapeTown, South Africa thereby fulfilling The Great Commission, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20), New International Version (NIV). The Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Khayelitsha (named after Mt. Zion, Asheville) was dedicated by Dr. Grant on his birthday, July 7, 2018. A delegation of 19 flew to South Africa for this momentous occasion. Demonstrating his desire to listen to His Savior to go into all the world to preach the gospel; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Grant is an excellent administrator, organizer (has organized and directed several Non-Profits), and businessman. Utilizing his skills to protect his flock and to create programs to benefit the poor, the disadvantaged, the exploited, the oppressed and the downtrodden; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Grant is a distinguished pastor, educator, writer filled with wisdom (beyond his age as a youth). Shouting with the Apostle Paul, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

WHEREAS, The central thrust of Dr. Grant’s vision and ministry is leading the church in preaching, teaching, and witnessing to the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. Understood holistically, this commitment to Christ has been the main motivation for the organization in 1997 of the Mt. Zion Community Development, Inc. (“MZCD”), one of the signature accomplishments of his vision for up-building and transforming our community. MZCD has also raised and invested millions of dollars for its programs and community projects, as well as provided part and full-time jobs with full-time benefits, including medical insurance, retirement, etc. One of MZCD’s programs, Project NAF, has been cited in Asheville as a national model and showcased nationally. Since its inception in 1997, MZCD has operated four acclaimed programs:

Project NAF (Nurturing Asheville and Area Families)—“working to help African American women have healthy babies and reduce the minority infant mortality rate;”

Project EMPOWER (Education Means Power), a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI)—“working to reduce the rate of teen pregnancies:”

The Elizabeth Hill Campus of Learners: Center for Health, Technology, and Entrepreneurship— “working to bridge the digital divide in our communities;” and

Real Estate Development for housing, office, retail—“working to provide economic opportunities and eliminate blight”; and,

WHEREAS, Another signature accomplishment of Dr. Grant’s Christ-centered vision for up-building and transforming our community was the organization of the Eagle-Market Streets Development Corporation, another 501(C) (3) non-profit. He served as the Founding President, Chairman & CEO of the Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation from 1994-1997. Being housed and anchored at the Mt. Zion Church for these years, he led the corporation in: 1) securing its 501 (c) (3) IRS exemption status, 2) securing more than a quarter of a million dollars in grant funds, 3) securing official recognition as a development partner with the City of Asheville, and 4) securing its first full time executive director. This corporation recently completed construction of Eagle Market Place, a $12 million project which provides 62 affordable/workforce apartments; and,

WHEREAS, In addition to MZCD and the Eagle-Market Streets non-profits, he has been involved in organizing and leading 2 other non-profit corporations since coming to Asheville. In 1998, for instance, he led in organizing Community Outreach, Incorporated (a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit) which rescued our next-door neighbor, the YMI Cultural Center (“YMICC”), from foreclosure at a cost of more than $30,000; and,

WHEREAS, He also led in organizing, writing policies and procedures, coordinating and directing the first Community Summer Day Camp sponsored by the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Asheville & Vicinity. Still in operation today under a different name, he served as its founding director in its initial years, and the first camp was held at Mt. Zion and Hopkins Chapel A.M.E.Z. Church; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Grant’s vision has been, is, and will continue to be anchored in the church to address the spiritual, physical, emotional, and financial health of families and communities; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Grant is the recipient of many honors and awards including (1) Buncombe County’s “100 Most Influential People;” (2)“Minority Enterprise Week Minister of the Year;” (3)“Certificates of Special Congressional Recognition” for three years; (4) Martin Luther King, Jr. “Church of the Year” award for “reflecting the spiritual values of Dr. King’s stand for social and economic justice, the empowerment of others, and the sacrifice of time and resources to benefit the impoverished and disenfranchised of our community;” and (5) as well as several proclamations declaring “Dr. John H. Grant Day.” And,

WHEREAS, As members of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Asheville, Inc., we praise and thank God for your leadership to this congregation; and,

WHEREAS, On Behalf of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Asheville, Inc. we salute you and set aside this month as Dr. John H. Grant Month, in recognition of your 30th Anniversary Date as Pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Asheville, Inc.

Mount Zion Community Development, 47 Eagle St., Asheville, NC 28801.
(828) 776-1427, www.mtzionasheville.org

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