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As a young adult, feeling a call to ministry on his life, 21-year-old Loren Covarrubias began attending Ministers Candidate School at Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit, Michigan under the direction of Patricia Beall Gruits. During this time of preparation, Loren’s mother began a small Bible study in the basement of their home. Upon completion of Ministers Candidate School in 1978, Pastor Loren began shepherding the Bible study group and over a short period of time, Mt. Zion Church was birthed from a handful of people who were dedicated to the vision that the Lord had given Pastor Loren: “I will make you a vessel of new wine and I will give you a people that out of their midst shall flow the wine of the Lord. Multiplication and increase. Multiplication and increase.” It was at this time that the ministry of Mt. Zion began its awesome journey.
In the winter of 1979, Mt. Zion purchased its first property and began holding services immediately. Within 5 years, growth swelled, and Mt. Zion soon became the largest church in the area. Over the next few years, Call from the Mountain Media Ministries (CFM) was established to extend the outreach of our local church (which included radio broadcasting and print publications). By 1985, the church had outgrown its facility and 52 acres of prime property was purchased (immediately off a major interstate) to house the new worship center and offices. Five years later, the steadily growing church moved into a new facility that seated 1,250. Shortly after moving in, an additional morning service was added to accommodate the continual growth.
By 1992, the ministry of Mt. Zion was flourishing. In an effort to expand its outreach even further, the ministry installed state-of-the-art television equipment at the church and began broadcasting services to the surrounding area. During the 1990′s, Mt. Zion purchased and opened several additional sites, including Mt. Zion Christian School, the Waterford Christian Association, and the Clarkston Christian Association (community outreach facilities). The mid-90′s was another period of rapid growth for the church, and as such, another morning service was added to allow for more attendance. It was also during this time that television broadcast expansion increased into larger media markets. In 1997, Mt. Zion started its Hispanic ministry, which now operates a fully serviced Hispanic outreach center during the week (providing legal services, English language classes, low-income family support, and document translation) and hosts Spanish-speaking services on the weekend. Today, Iglesia Monte de Sión is the largest and fastest growing Hispanic congregation in the metro-Detroit area.
Over the next few years, increase was evident in every area of ministry. Mt. Zion launched a new nightclub for young adults and an expanded family recreation program on weekends. New avenues of outreach were implemented to meet every individual–at every age and stage of life.
The year 2003 marked the 25th anniversary of the ministry, and in turn, the church celebrated with a concert production at the Fox Theater in Detroit. Thousands of people attended to celebrate the faithfulness of God over the last quarter century. This grand event certainly set the stage for what was to come in the days ahead.
In 2004, Mt. Zion officially launched its building campaign for the construction of a brand new ministry complex that would be an addition to the current main facility. The facilities expansion is designed to include a 400-seat theater, and a 3,400-seat main auditorium. Additionally, Mt. Zion’s international outreach began as Rick and Rosa Muñoz (former Hispanic Ministry Pastors) were sent as Apostles to Central America. In early 2005, they officially settled in San Salvador, El Salvador with a new Mt. Zion church plant.
On January 28, 2009, we celebrated our first 30 years of ministry with the dedication of The Temple, our 3,400-seat ministry center. We look forward to the next 30 years with much anticipation! This is a transformational time in our ministry–a time when we will begin to see the unfolding of the full purpose and season of Mt. Zion!