Mt. Zion congregation surprises pastor and family with car parade

VERONA, Wis. — Members of the Mt Zion Baptist Church surprised their pastor and his family with a car parade full of decorative signs and balloons Sunday afternoon.

Mt Zion Deacon Gloria Ladson-Billings came up with the idea to surprise Pastor Dr. Marcus Allen after he shared how much he missed his congregation which isn’t able to meet in person due to COVID-19 via the church’s virtual meetings.

“I was so touched by how passionate he was,” she said. “I think he’s just such a special person. He has a heart for the people.”

Ladson-Billings began organizing the car parade with the congregation who she said were very eager to help. She also enlisted the help of Allen’s oldest daughter who was responsible for making sure Allen and the rest of the family were in the right place at the right time.

Allen who thought his wife and kids were merely getting together for a family meeting–thanks to his daughter’s white lie–said he had no idea what his congregation had planned.

“It really touched my heart big time,” he said. “For them to show up like that especially during this time where we can’t come together and social distancing is in place it makes me feel very special.”

Allen also said this isn’t the first time his congregation has shown him love. When his mom was diagnosed with COVID-19 they made sure to let him know how much they cared by sending cards, texts, emails, and prayers.

“I love them so much they’re the best church in the world,” Allen said. “This alone has been so motivating and inspiring to me to keep on going and keep on doing what I’m doing in the community as well as in church.”