Zion Church continues to be a “seeker sensitive” church where anyone would feel comfortable. It is the mission of Zion Church to help people EXPERIENCE God, ENGAGE in community, be EQUIPPED for ministry, and EMPOWERED to serve across various locations and technologies.


Keith Battle Senior Pastor

When Keith Battle first began preaching in the late 1980s, those who knew him would often hear him say he would never want to be a Pastor. What an awesome responsibility! This mindset came from a combination of him loving what he did as an Itinerant Preacher and from the difficulty that many Pastors seemed to go through and experience in starting and maintaining a church. Yet, apparently the saying is true, “never say never”.

In the late 1990s, Keith was greatly motivated and influenced by a couple of books that he read that were written by successful church planters — Rediscovering Church by Bill and Lynne Hybels, and The Purpose-Driven Church by Rick Warren. This is when the first seed for the "sensitive-seeker" model of doing church was planted. With the blessing of both his wife and his former Pastor, Reverend Jonathan Weaver (Greater Mt. Nebo AME Church) this is where the call to plant Zion Church became clear to Keith. As he spent days and days in prayer searching his heart, he knew that in his heart was one true passion and that was to start a new and different kind of church – not “church as usual”.


In October 1999, the first meeting regarding this dream was held over a spaghetti dinner. After many meetings and months of preparation, thought and guidance from God, the first public Bible Study was held for Zion Church on Thursday, February 17, 2000. About 25 people attended this gathering at 9301 Peppercorn Place, Largo, MD at the Socrates Technology Center’s Exhibit Hall. Under Pastor Battle’s leadership, Zion Church has grown to over 5,000 regular attendees. 

Keith is married to his best friend, Vicki, and they have three children - Asha, Asa, and Kendall.


Pastor Elwood Matthews, Campus Pastor

Pastor Elwood Matthews

Elwood Matthews, was born and raise in Montgomery County Maryland. Married his childhood sweetheart and has two great daughters.

Elwood wants to live in a world where people ride their bikes to work, great ideas become reality, healthy eating is the norm, more people are committing to Christ’s mission than are being born, and the church is the hope of the world.

Elwood has been an entrepreneur since age 19 and has had the privilege of being a spiritual entrepreneur at Zion since 2002. He seeks new and innovative ways to expand the reach and mission of Christ through Zion Church, including being a catalyst for Zion becoming a multi-site church, a simple church and a church online.

When he is not fully engaged in ministry, you will find him spending time with his loving, compassionate, and humorous wife and daughters or swimming and training for a bike race. Due to his entrepreneurial spirit, you may also find him in hot pursuit of a new idea or business concept.

His Strength-Finder Results: Significance, Futuristic, Learner, Ideation, Relator  

A Deeper Look at Zion

Whether you're interested in membership or just want to learn more in-depth information about Zion Church, please consider attending the class entitled Under the Hood. To inquire about class dates and locations, please contact us at zion@zionchurchonline.com. If you have specific questions please visit our FAQ page. 

Statement of Faith

We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that in its original form is without error. We believe that the Bible is the final and sole authority for all Christian life and practice.
Personhood of God
We believe in the eternal existence and Personhood of God. We believe that God is One in essence, but has revealed Himself in three distinct personalities – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.


God the Son
We believe that Jesus Christ is God the Son. We believe in His preexistence, His incarnation, His virgin birth, His physical death, His bodily resurrection from the grave, His ascension into heaven, and His eminent return to receive His church and to one day rule on earth for 1,000 years.
We Are Born Sinners
We believe that all people are born sinners and are therefore separated from God and His holiness.


You Cannot Save Yourself
We believe that people cannot save themselves and make right their relationship with God through good deeds.
Faith in Jesus Christ
We believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way by which people can be saved.


Resurrection of the Human Body
We believe in the resurrection of the human body, the eternal existence of all people either in heaven or hell, and in divine judgment and rewards.
Ministry of the Holy Spirit
We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit who convicts, regenerates, baptizes, indwells, fills, enlightens, seals, and empowers believers for godly living.


We Are the Body
We believe that the church is the spiritual body of which Christ is the Head.
One Body, Many Members
We believe that there is one church and one body of Christ made up of many different people, denominations, cultures, worship and ministry styles. Therefore, we seek unity within the body of Christ on essential doctrinal positions, and liberty on non-essentials.