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Greetings, Fellow Members of the Board of Directors!

First and foremost, I am truly blessed to have served my initial term as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Zion Community Enterprise. I am truly pleased to share with you my prayerful vision for the “State of the Organization” going forward into 2024 and beyond. Together, we continued to face several challenges and have had to make several difficult decisions while managing to still persevere. Accordingly, I fervently believe that the role of the Board of Directors is more relevant today than ever, and I truly believe that our collective efforts will be critical in assisting our Pastor, Rev. Dr. Keith W. Byrd, Sr., with moving Zion Baptist Church onward with a particular focus on his current vision of “The New Era: Restoring Our Community” Joel 2:25-27.

I firmly believe that Zion Baptist Church owes a great debt of sincere gratitude to all of the members of the Board of Directors who have given unselfishly of themselves through their time, talent, and treasure to carry out the mission of Zion Community Enterprise as follows: Zion Community Enterprise, Inc. (ZCE) was incorporated as the not-for-profit 501(c)3 community-based development corporate “arm” of Zion Baptist Church with a mandate to allow for the promotion of healthy communities in the Washington Metropolitan Area by providing critical support to families in crisis. Zion Community Enterprise’s motto is “Healthy Families Make Healthy Communities,” and the overarching mission of Zion Community Enterprise is accomplished by encouraging and empowering families through training, advocacy, crisis intervention, temporary housing opportunities, and other community engagement programming.

The mission of Zion Community Enterprise encompasses the following core principles: (a) To provide quality day care for seniors and respite care opportunities for families caring for elderly family members; (b) To promote and provide affordable housing options, including multi-family housing units and temporary housing for families in transition; (c) To advocate and promote programs and create environments that are conducive to healthy families; and (d) To provide quality training and educational resources such as parenting skills, computer literacy and financial literacy, job readiness training, employment and entrepreneurial development.

Other Members of the Board of Directors consist of Trustee James E. Brown (Vice Chair), Brother Horace Jeffery Abney (Board Treasurer), Sister Maureen A. Barnes (Board Secretary), and Rev. Dr. Ella V. Redfield (Board Chaplain). They have willingly accepted their responsibility to do so with the sacred purpose of doing Christ’s holy will for Zion Baptist Church. This year, Zion Community Enterprise celebrated its eighth year of existence and has continued to act as the Church’s “corporate arm” agent in the pursuit of an affordable senior housing development project to repurpose the existing Family Life Center into the “Genevieve N. Johnson Senior Residences.”

More recently, over the past two years, several significant accomplishments, including but not limited to (a) participation in a Faith-Based Development Initiative (FBDI) sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners that consisted of the successful completion of a twelve-week cohort program focusing on an affordable senior housing development project; (b) obtaining pre-development funding for a market feasibility analysis and design concept of the project, (c) conducting an orientation meeting with the congregation on the potential acquisition of a property adjacent to the Family Life Center, (d) writing a business plan for the Genevieve N. Johnson Senior Residences development project, (e) convening several meetings with the D.C. Department on Aging and Community Living, DC Housing Authority and D.C. Zoning Commission, (e) transitioning of the Genevieve N. Johnson Senior Day Care Center from the Zion Baptist Church Trustee Ministry to Zion Community Enterprise, (f) Meeting with At-Large DC Council member Anita Bonds, who was the Chair of the Housing Committee, (g) coordination of an annual Genevieve N. Johnson Day at Zion Baptist Church during which several proclamations attesting to her contribution to the quality of life for seniors as well as the promotion of affordable housing initiatives for seniors in the District of Columbia is shared, (h) the signing of an Owner’s Representation Agreement between Zion Community Enterprise and ThinkBox Group; and (i) Genevieve N. Johnson Senior Center being awarded a grant to become the Lead Agency for Ward Four by the D.C. Department of Aging and Community Living (DACL).

As members of the Board of Directors of Zion Community Enterprise, Zion Baptist Church’s congregation has entrusted us with a service-oriented role of management and administrative services with the following core Christian attributes: (a) love of the Church, (b) spiritual sensitivity, (c) humility, (d) sincerity, (e) transparency, (f) leadership, (g) teamwork, and (h) technical skills. Without a doubt, Zion will definitely benefit from a cadre of insightful and highly committed members on the Board of Directors who continue to exhibit a proven dedication to their fiduciary responsibilities. However, we must also be willing to recognize that the Board of Directors today is not the same as it was in previous times during the life of Zion Baptist Church. New challenges have arisen, new social implications exist, and new methods for resolution are necessary in order for us to lay the foundation for those who will eventually come after our tenure as directors has come to a close. Over the next few years under my leadership, it is hoped that by working collaboratively with the Pastor, Ministerial Staff, Deacons, Trustees, Ministry Leaders, and members of the congregation, as well as members of Zion Community Enterprise, we anticipate making a great difference in several key areas as follows:

■ Continue Expansion and Sustainability of both the Scope and Impact of Programs and Services at the Genevieve N. Johnson Senior Center for both church members and the community at large.

■ Expand the visibility and impact of the Genevieve N. Johnson Senior Center, including seeking additional funding through grants and sponsorship.

■ Move forward with renovation, services, and repairs to the Family Life Center.

■ Implement a Capital Improvement Campaign that will enable us to realistically prioritize and ensure funding for both short-term and long-term projects.

■ Establish a Planned Giving Campaign for financial endowment growth of the Church’s resources.

■ Actively seek to significantly improve the professional capacity and resources of Zion Community Enterprise.

■ Continue to explore alternative revenue opportunities for Zion Baptist Church.

In closing, on behalf of Zion Community Enterprise, I wish to express my utmost appreciation for all that you do, both individually and collectively, as a member of the Board of Directors, and I eagerly look forward to “doing more on behalf of Zion and its people” with your help in 2024 and beyond!


David J. Saunders

Chairman, Board of Directors

Zion Community Enterprise


Currently, Zion Community Enterprise is a cohort participant in the Enterprise Community Partners’ Faith-Based Development Initiative (FBDI) which was specifically designed to provide comprehensive training and technical and financial assistance to faith-based institutions in order to design affordable quality senior housing opportunities, so people can live in decent housing with dignity.

As a background, Enterprise Community Partners provides grants to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) in order to enhance their capacity and ability to carry out affordable quality housing and community development activities that benefit low and moderate-income families and individuals.

The three members from the Zion Community Enterprise cohort development team participating in the Enterprise Community Partners’ Faith-Based Development Initiative are: Rev. Dr. Keith W. Byrd, Sr. (Pastor of Zion Baptist Church), Trustee James E. Brown (Member of Zion Baptist Church’s Trustee Ministry) and Brother David J. Saunders (Chairman, Zion Community Enterprise). It should be noted that Zion Community Enterprise was specifically established as a 501(c)3 in order to be the community development corporation (CDC) partner of Zion Baptist Church.

Zion Community Enterprise intends to be a self-administered and self-managed community-based development corporation (CDC) that will focus on the development of affordable quality senior housing opportunities in and around the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Specifically, Zion Community Enterprise will seek to engage in the development of appealing designs of affordable, quality senior housing that will meet the needs of many of our seniors living in the Washington Metropolitan Area. We will also strive towards becoming an advocate for affordable senior housing development opportunities in the Washington Metropolitan Area, with an active presence in all eight wards of Washington, D.C.

Accordingly, Zion Community Enterprise’s vision is to “repurpose” the existing Family Life Center property located at 4817 Blagden Avenue, N.W. into affordable, safe, and quality housing for seniors located in Ward Four while expanding the Genevieve N. Johnson Senior Day Care Center. Rev. Dr. Keith W. Byrd, Sr., the Pastor of Zion Baptist Church, firmly believes that in the Nation’s Capital, affordable quality housing for our seniors should be located in those communities that they have lived in and contributed to over their many years of life.

By working with our strategic partners at Enterprise Community Partners, the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA), Department on Aging and Community Living (DACL), ThinkBox Group, DC Green Bank, and Industrial Bank, as well as with the affirmation of the Zion Baptist Church membership, Zion Community Enterprise can take action to realize the full promise of providing our seniors with a variety of affordable quality housing options in Washington, D.C.

As part of Zion Community Enterprise’s strategic plan to become a key advocate for affordable quality senior housing community-based development opportunities in the Washington Metropolitan Area, we will adopt best practices and lessons learned in the affordable senior housing industry. Zion Community Enterprise will over time also perfect strategies that will help us to become an affordable, quality senior housing development advocacy specialist.

Lastly, Zion Community Enterprise will at all times demonstrate its commitment to affordable quality senior housing development initiatives, both individually and collectively with partnering stakeholders, by actively advocating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible. Zion Community Enterprise will intentionally strive to ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.

Further details regarding Zion Community Enterprise’s efforts through the Faith-Based Development Initiative for the design, construction, and completion of the Genevieve N. Johnson Senior Residences will be provided from time to time.

Church Merger Project

From April 2018 to October 2019, Board Members Rev. Dr. Ella V, Redfield, Trustee James E. Brown and Brother David J. Saunders actively participated in the Church Merger Project that facilitated the transformation of Zion Baptist Church into a new organization which includes the integration of Zion Baptist Church and the former New Creation Church into one body known as Zion Baptist Church with a Washington, D.C. “Main Campus” and a Wheaton, Maryland “North Campus”.

Both Rev. Dr. Redfield (as the Pastor of New Creation Church) and Brother Saunders (as the Chair of the Trustee Ministry of Zion Baptist Church) served as members of the Special Church Merger Task Force Committee while Trustee Brown served in an advisory role. Empowered by the love of Christ, the Church Merger Task Force Committee was given the responsibility of: (1) assuming the ministry and property of New Creation Church located in Silver Spring, Maryland, (2) assimilating members of New Creation Church into the ministry of Zion Baptist Church, and (3) developing the current New Creation Church site into a multi-use facility for worship, community events, and commercial enterprises. Zion Baptist Church, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Keith W. Byrd, Sr. as the Pastor of Zion Baptist Church, charged the Church Merger Task Force Committee with the express purpose of (1) maintaining and promoting a vibrant Christion witness in the Silver Spring community, and (2) expanding the outreach and impact of Zion Baptist Church’s ministry endeavors.

To accomplish this merger between Zion Baptist Church and New Creation Church the Church Merger Task Force Committee developed a Transformation Plan in order to:

  1. Develop a church merger transition plan that aligned the ministry work of both locations;
  2. Assess and make recommendations on how the newly organized church as a result of the merger can deliver the Word of God to a 21st Century community;
  3. Assess and make recommendations on how to ensure that the official documents of Zion Baptist Church, including the Constitution and By-Laws, addresses the roles, responsibilities and operations of the new organization; and,
  4. Ensure that all legal and financial issues related to the integration of Zion Baptist Church and the former New Creation Church are executed in accordance with standard practices in the church merger from two entities into one organization.

Accordingly, the Church Merger Task Force Committee undertook the following action plan:

Exploration, Research and Analysis Phase

  • Prepared a briefing book the Church Merger Task Force Committee and reviewed all relevant materials developed by the Committee in preparation for the merger;
  • Visit other churches (of a similar congregational size) that have more than one site to ascertain lessons learned and best practices;
  • Compiled and reviewed an inventory of existing ministries from both locations to determine areas of similar ministries, different ministries and ministry gaps;
  • Worked with the Pastor and Deacon’s Ministry in order to finalize worship service times and format so that ministries will know what they will be responsible for covering; and
  • Worked to transform worship services and ministry at both locations to be the most powerful and spirit filled experience that speaks to multiple generations.

Ministry Retreat

  • Continued to work on change management strategies, role and responsibilities of clarifications and clarity of vision;
  • Presented information from the exploration, research and analysis phase;
  • Had ministry leaders begin to make recommendations on which ministries should remain in their existing form, which ones may be dissolved, and, whether new ministries are required;
  • Made recommendations on how ministries will integrate members from both locations including the worship ministries (i.e. – how will the Deacon’s Ministry serve in both locations, how will the Music Ministry cover both locations, etcetera); and
  • Developed work plans and timelines for transformation.

Congregational Engagement

  • Shared the ministry plans with the Board of Church Administration (BCA), Trustee Ministry and Congregation in order to receive their feedback;
  • Recruited congregational members to work in ministries;
  • Worked with the Deacon’s Ministry and others to reclaim members that may have separated from Zion Baptist Church during the various phases of transition; and
  • Provided tools for all members of the congregation to feel comfortable to invite others to visit Zion Baptist Church with the potential to join.

On October 20, 2019 Zion Baptist Church and New Creation Church congregations agreed to merge churches and become one church with two campuses known as Zion Baptist Church-Main Campus located at 4850 Blagden Avenue NW, Washington, DC and Zion North (formerly New Creation Church) located at 11005 Dayton Street, Wheaton, Maryland.

Currently, plans are now underway with conducting research on how to repurpose the Zion North Campus into a multi-purpose facility. Zion Community Enterprise will take on this responsibility as a part of its Community Enterprise Partners initiatives.