Thankfully, the night of the fire, Miss Margaret Dowdy, church historian, had in her home the treasured old communion set and the original church record book from 1829. The record book and other memorabilia are now archived at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. You are invited to view images.
Following the fire, with arrangements made by Bernard Evans, Jr., church members initially met for services in the old Grandy fire station (directly across the highway from the present day LCVFD in Grandy) before branching out to worship with members of Hebron UMC or Sharon UMC. Some of that initial gathered group included the Dowdys, Barcos, Aydletts, Grandys, Evans, Woodhouses, Simpsons, Baums and Poyners. Later, by God's grace and with the help of Duke Endowment , the Ten Dollar Club, community support and fund raisers, members rebuilt Mt. Zion into the modern present day structure which opened her doors with a dedication ceremony in 1978. At this time they also welcomed a new minister, the Rev. Clarence O'Brient and his family.
A wooden cross was crafted from the burnt heart of pine wood from the original church structure. It still graces the narthex table. The IHS inscription is made from salvaged hand-forged nails collected after the fire. Other original nails were made into small remembrance crosses and the old church bell was restored and placed in the open tower to ring on Sunday mornings.
One important lesson learned from the fire was that a church is not just a building, but a group of people who meet to honor and worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Mt. Zion UMC is a place where the Bible is preached and believed. A place where the power of prayer is experienced and the love of God is shared with all.
In the spring of 2004, with the leadership of the Rev. Glenn H. McCranie, our church completed an extensive addition of Sunday School rooms, kitchen, and a fellowship hall. Worship services were held in the fellowship hall while the sanctuary was enlarged and other rooms in front were remodeled. Part of the original kitchen space became the new copier room. Sunday School rooms behind the sanctuary, originally partitioned by folding accordion cloth walls, now contain pews and a sound booth.
With thanks to Duke Endowment, soon Kingdom Kids Learning Center preschool was established and began sharing space in the new addition building areas. Outdoors a daycare playground with equipment, a basketball court and a parking lot were added with access to the roadway west of the church. We entered the age of technology with on site computers, e-mail prayer chains, a website and a presence on Facebook. During this time the old shed was moved and a Prayer Garden was established near two ancient towering trees that survived the church fire of 1976.
In the fall of 2004, once again we could worship in our sanctuary, newly remodeled. In October Mt. Zion held its 232nd Homecoming Celebration followed soon after by Dedication Services for our building projects. At that time our fellowship hall was dedicated as The Rev. Glenn H. McCranie Fellowship Hall in honor of our minister.
On June 11, 2006, Pastor Glenn and Vi McCranie were honored with a Retirement Celebration after nine years of dedicated service in the Currituck Charge. Besides drama and his portrayal of many historical characters, Pastor Glenn is remembered for his vision for Mt. Zion plus his love for God and all of God’s children.