“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100
Robert A. Whitehead Jr. serves as the Church Music Coordinator with responsibilities for coordinating activities among the choirs. He generally fills in during the absences of other Church musicians.
The Mass Choir is composed of members of all New Zion choirs with the exception of the Sunbeams. However, anyone with the desire to worship through song is welcome to participate. The Mass Choir usually serves on 5th Sundays and for special events, such as the Church Anniversary, Homecoming and revivals. Rehearsals are called on an as-needed basis. Maria Norman normally serves as musician for the Mass Choir with Jean Cary directing.
“Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” Psalm 33:2-3
The Ada Imani Harp Ministry at New Zion Baptist Church was founded in 1999 when two lever harps were donated to New Zion by a community benefactor, Angela Marckesano Lynn and her family as a tribute to her late mother, Ada Bettina Garst Marckesano. The original intent of the gift was to provide free harp lessons to youth both in the church and community. The ministry takes it’s name from Ada Marckesano (Ada means “Joy” and the color for joy is yellow) and the Swahili word imani which means “spirit”, hence Ada Imani which denotes “Joyful Spirit”. Over the years, the Ada Imani Harp Ministry has evolved into providing free harp lessons to both youth and adults. and has become an integral part of the worship experience at New Zion.
The Brethren Chorale was initiated from a group of 19 men who came together in 1995 to form a Mens Day chorus under the leadership of the late Willis T. Hayes Jr. The group performed for the first time on March 26, 1995. The spirit, inspiration, and energies that came out of that service inspired and encouraged the men to stay together as a musical group. In May of that year, the church made the decision to include the newly formed group as a regular worship service choir that would serve on 4th Sundays. The group later decided to assume the name ”The Bretheren Chorale“ and performed it’s first service duty on June 25, 1995.
In addition to providing music for morning worship on the assigned Sundays, The Brethren Chorale as a group is involved in numerous community service project. To name a few, they provide food baskets for needy families, visit area nursing homes, sponsor the church’s annual William & Mary Day activities and assist with beautificatiion of the church cemetery.
The Infinite Praise Ministry at New Zion Baptist Church consists of young adults, ages 18-40 years old. The ministry was formed in December 2010. The main focus of the Infinite Praise Ministry is to offer worship and praises to our Lord and Savior through music. The infinite Praise group renders contemporary gospel music prior to the 11:30 Empowerment service on first and Third Sundays. The ministry also engages bible study, planning sessions and fellowship sessions on third and fourth Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. The group frequently engages in social activities as well as missionary and benevolence projects throughout the year. As with other New Zion ministries, membership at New Zion is not a requirement for participation with the Infinite Praise ministry. We welcome all persons in the specified age group that has a desire to share in this spiritual endeavor.
The Joy Ensemble serves every 1st and 5th Sunday for the 8:30 a.m. Empowerment Service. Rehearsals are held on 1st and 5th Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. Our rehearsals are on the 1st and 5th Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. The Joy Ensemble currently has twenty-three active and faithful members. If you love God and love to sing his praises please join us .
In October 1991 the youth of New Zion were asked to participate in a Christmas Pageant under the direction of the late Willis T. Hayes, Jr. with the assistance of Jean Cary. From this event the New Generations and the Sunbeams Choirs were formed and they began to sing every 5th Sunday. The New Generations and Sunbeams now sing on 1st Sundays during the 11:30 a.m. service.
The Sunbeams choir, under the direction of Deborah Dandridge, consists of children ages 6-12. The children are taught a variety of age appropriate hymns and gospel tunes. Several of the children are often called upon to sing solos or play instruments.
The New Generations and Sunbeams participate in local church anniversaries and youth revivals. The Choirs have sponsored car washes, the annual Youth Carnival, and trips.They also donated a pew to the church.The Sunbeams ring the bell each year for the Salvation Army
Robert A. Whitehead Jr. serves as musician for both choirs, accompanying on piano and keyboard. Also serving are Jamiah Freeman and Matthew Whitehead on Drums
The New Generations comprise the older youth age 13 through college. The New Generations are currently under the direction of Regina Ihsane. The New Generations sing traditional and contemporary gospel tunes.
If you are of the appropriate age, we invite you to become a part of the New Generations or The Sunbeams. The two choirs rehearse on 4th Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. for The Sunbeams and 2:00 p.m. for The New Generations. Experience the joys of singing praises to The Lord.
The New Zion Baptist Church Senior Choir was reorganized in 1952 under the pastorate of the late Dr. Junius H. Moody. When the choir was reorganized in 1952, there were 21 members. Over the years, we have been blessed with dedicated and committed musicians. Our current musicians are Deacon James Armstead (Guitar), Sister Helena Jones (floutist), Brother Bobby Whitehead (keyboards), Brother Matthew Whitehead (drums) and Dr. Jocelyn Henry-Whitehead who serves as choir directress, harpist, bassist and pianist.
The Senior Choir has been, and continues to be involved in numerous outreach projects. The choir has ministered in music to convalescent homes and has assisted needy families in our community. Each year for the past nine years, we have donated our anniversary offerings to assist the Salvation Army, to purchase medication for senior citizens, to assist with Alzheimer's research, and contribute clothes and food donations to Rev. Mary Ellis and Operation Hope Ministries. The Senior Choir has collaborated with The College of William & Mary in support of Project Hope; an outreach effort that assists children who are homeless with their needs. As a result, the choir has donated clothes, school supplies such as notebook paper, pencils, folders, and backpacks to several children in the Homeless Education Project. The Senior Choir has also financially supported an outreach project with Missionary Miranda Cole and her work in Haiti, and assisted with food outreach projects coordinated by the Deaconess and Missionary Ministries and FISH. On a yearly basis, the choir continues to explore additional projects for our ministry.