Mt. Zion Church

Akers, Missouri
Shannon County

Mount Zion Church was built by individuals from the rural community of Akers in Shannon County on land donated by Jane Summers Purcell and her husband, George. Construction began in 1939 and took until 1948 to complete, as the congregants built the structure as time and resources allowed throughout the depression and World War II. Services and civic events were hosted periodically throughout that time. The cobblestone building was officially dedicated on the 8th of August, 1948 and the church remained an active part of the Akers community well into the 1970s.  Mount Zion Church has been owned by the National Park Service for about fifty years and is one of few church buildings remaining within the Ozark National Scenic Riverways along the Current River. A lack of funds and maintenance has allowed the building to deteriorate. The foundation needs to be assessed and stabilized, the roof repaired, and the walls replastered. Lighting and electrical systems need to be upgraded, including the addition of outside lighting and safety provisions, and the restroom facilities need to be updated. The parking lot and site need to be improved for safety and ADA accessibility. Current estimates for repairs are around $100,000. Friends of Mount Zion, a non-profit organization, spearheads efforts to care for the church. They have worked to raise funds for the building’s restoration, with the assistance of the Ozark Riverways Foundation and Ozark Heritage Project. The remote location of the church has made it difficult to fundraise beyond the region, but as an important symbol of the Ozark Mountains Peoples culture and heritage, it is no less deserving of recognition and a chance at preservation. It is hoped that listing Mt. Zion as a Place in Peril will raise awareness for this unique church and bolster fundraising efforts to preserve this piece of Ozark heritage. More information on making a donation can be found by visiting friendsofmtzion.com

Mt. Zion Church

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