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“What Are You Going to Do for the Master Today?”

L. Claudia Allen, she was a great leader in our church. We also sponsor a program which is called L. Claudia Allen Day and that’s a fundraiser for scholarships and then we present scholarships in her honor. Yes, I remember her. I knew her very well because she was big on Girl Scouts and I was a Girl Scout and a Brownie leader. So she would always find you and ask you, ‘What are you going to do for the Master today?’

Adelma Wallace remembers growing up in Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church under outstanding leaders such as, L. Claudia Allen, who started Orlando’s first Boy Scout troop and Girl Scout troop for black children. She describes L. Claudia Allen as very gentle and always willing to help others.

There is a photo of L. Claudia Allen in the church sanctuary with one of her favorite sayings, “If I can help somebody.”   

As Mrs. Wallace shares in this interview, her daughter was one of the first recipients of the L. Claudia Allen Scholarship. She received the scholarship in 1981 and earned her degree from Florida A & M University.

In 2012 Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church awarded two $1,000.00 scholarships each to church members for college tuition. Adelma Wallace, who worked as an educator for 43 years, says, “You always look forward to children going off to school and trying to better their education. So it is always an inspiration to see them actually want to go  further.”

Mrs. Wallace’s first teaching position was at Eccleston Elementary in 1959.  Then she was transferred to Lakemont Elementary School in Winter Park where she worked for 23 years. She continued as an educator working with adults at Orlando Tech in the Literacy Program, helping military recruits at the Naval Training Center, and eventually retired from  Mid Florida Tech.

In this church oral history interview on Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church, Adelma Wallace details the church leaders, church services, Sunday School, Baptist Training Union, Bible School and other Mt. Zion educational programs which taught her the Bible and trained her in spiritual concepts.

She can remember when Mt. Zion was a “typical old fashioned church” located on the east corner of Chatham and Washington Street in downtown Orlando. They would walk to church from the south side of town and everyone in her house attended Mt. Zion. Her mother, Ernestine Dallas, served as church organist and church pianist for over 40 years.

Deacon John Demps was a church leader she recalls fondly as “a very humble black person”. She would later teach his children at Eccleston Elementary. She names the ministers who inspired her as she was growing up and says as a little girl, “I liked the sermon.”

One of her favorite memories is the Bible school event Mt. Zion shared with Mt. Olive Methodist Church when they would close the street downtown and have group activities for the children.

Mrs. Wallace is still an active member of Mt. Zion, she sings in the choir, worked on the Women in White by Candlelight event, and  recently served on the church anniversary committee. Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church was founded in 1880 and is the oldest African American church of continuous community worship in Central Florida.


Adelma Wallace is a lifetime member of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church and states, “It helped me to grow spiritually as an adult.”

We invite you to listen to the legacy of church in community life in this oral history interview with Mrs. Adelma Wallace, November 5, 2012.

LISTEN  Part I   (14:56)  Church Education, Church Programs, Women of the Church, L. Claudia Allen, Girl Scouts

 

LISTEN  Part II   (9:48)   Public School Educator, Church Leaders, Church Choir, L. Claudia Allen Scholarship Fund

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Lillian Lancaster, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church
Deaconess Lillian Lancaster beholds a photo of L. Claudia Allen in the sanctuary of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church in downtown...
L. Claudia Allen
Biographical highlights of the contributions of pioneering educator and community leader L. Claudia Allen from the  Orlando Sentinel, May 21, 199...
L. Claudia Allen Day
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Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church
Cover photo of the One Hundred and One Years, "A Journey With Jesus Christ - Step By Step Through Faith and Prayer"...
Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church
Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church founded on April 1, 1880 is the oldest African American Baptist church with continuous service of...
L. Claudia Allen
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Miss Adelma Wallace
Miss Adelma Wallace of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church in downtown Orlando is pictured in her Easter best for Sunday service.  
Adema Wallace of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church
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Adema Wallace of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church
Adelma Wallace, Orange County educator and lifetime member of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church in downtown Orlando. We invite you to...
Ernestine Dallas of Mt. Zion Missionary Institutional Baptist Church
Photo of Ernestine Dallas who served as church organist and pianist for Mount Zion MIssionary Baptist Institutional Church in downtown Orlando for...
Mrs. Adelma Wallace of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church
Adelma Wallace, Orange County educator and lifetime member of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Institutional Church in downtown Orlando. We invite you to...
A Visit to Mrs. Wallace's Garden
The beauty of a garden in Florida is a year around joy as seen in these photos of Mrs. Wallace's garden, November...
A Visit to Mrs. Wallace's Garden
The beauty of a garden in Florida is a year around joy as seen in these photos of Mrs. Wallace's garden, November...
A Visit to Mrs. Wallace's Garden
The beauty of a garden in Florida is a year around joy as seen in these photos of Mrs. Wallace's garden, November...
A Visit to Mrs. Wallace's Garden
The beauty of a garden in Florida is a year around joy as seen in these photos of Mrs. Wallace's garden, November...
A Visit to Mrs. Wallace's Garden
The beauty of a garden in Florida is a year around joy as seen in these photos of Mrs. Wallace's garden, November...
A Visit to Mrs. Wallace's Garden
The beauty of a garden in Florida is a year around joy as seen in these photos of Mrs. Wallace's garden, November...
A Visit to Mrs. Wallace's Garden
The beauty of a garden in Florida is a year around joy as seen in these photos of Mrs. Wallace's garden, November...
A Visit to Mrs. Wallace's Garden
The beauty of a garden in Florida is a year around joy as seen in these photos of Mrs. Wallace's garden, November...
A Visit to Mrs. Wallace's Garden
The beauty of a garden in Florida is a year around joy as seen in these photos of Mrs. Wallace's garden, November...
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L. Claudia Allen: Biographical Sketch
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