On September 6, 1981, Bishop Clinton R. Coleman, the new Bishop of the 5th Episcopal District, agreed to the separation of the membership of Oak Street AME Zion Church. Six acres of land had been purchased under the Pastorate of Rev. E.H. Whitley for the purpose of building a new church. Some members wanted to precede with the building of the new church, while others wanted to renovate Oak Street AME Zion church. Eventually, a Special Interest Group of 96 members was formed composed of the separated members.

At the 115th Annual Conference, October 1981, Bishop Coleman appointed Rev. Kenneth W. Arrington, Sr. to lead the 96 members of the new church. The church was named Greater Faith AME Zion Church by Mrs. Stella Johnson.

On October 26, 1981, the group of members known as the "Special Interest Group", began to worship at Tucker’s Funeral Home, Halifax Street, Petersburg, VA. The members had identified as their goal, the building of a new church. With Rev. Arrington at the helm of our ship, and the dedicated service of those leaders who had diligently taken on the responsibility of carrying out our goals, many mountains were moved. The Lord truly blessed our church family. We are forever thankful to him for His divine guidance in our undertaking.

Rev. Arrington organized the new church and the church began to take its place in the community as a soul-winning, believing and receiving witness for our Lord and Saviour. The theme of the new church was "For we walk by faith, not by sight", 2 Corinthians 5:7.

Later, the Trustee Board secured the Shiloh Seventh Day Adventist Church on Washington Street, Petersburg, for our place of worship on Sundays. The Blandford Chapel on E. Wythe St., Petersburg, and Dinwiddie Institute, Dinwiddie, VA served as temporary sites for additional programs and activities. While at Shiloh, the church membership grew and continued to grow each year.

In September 1982, Bishop Coleman officially granted the members permission to establish a new AME Zion Church in Petersburg, VA. The ground-breaking service took place on March 20, 1983 on the Youngs Road property. Shortly thereafter, the building of the approved structure began.

The first worship service in our new church was held on Sunday, Christmas morning, December 25, 1983. On the birthday of Christ Jesus, this was evidence of His goodness to a people in pursuit of a new home. The Dedication Day of Greater Faith AME Zion Church was on February 5, 1984, a truly "Great Day in Zion".

Then, as well as now, the church has prospered by the generosity and goodness of its many members and friends. Our new church didn’t take long to become a warm and welcome change in a city that for years had been the home of only one AME Zion congregation.

The young church soon became a leader in the Petersburg District and Virginia Annual Conference. Rev. Arrington possessed a kind and humble spirit and a dynamic ability to direct the administration of this congregation. Rev. Arrington was our spirited leader from 1981 until July 18, 1993. Under his 12 years of leadership, each department and out-reach ministries of the church were established. Greater Faith took its place in the community as a soul-winning, spirit-filled, loving church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Rev. M. Luther Hill became the second pastor of Greater Faith AME Zion Church August of 1993. Rev. Hill enhanced our sick and shut in ministry. Rev. Hill, a man of God, a wonderful messenger, and singer for the Lord, was filled with the Holy Ghost and love for his fellow man. Our theme was "We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us". Rev. Hill’s tenure ended in 1996.

Rev. A. A. Parsons was appointed as our minister in 1996. Rev. Parsons emphasized "unity" among the congregation. The theme under his tenure was "Lifting Up the Standards for the People". Rev. Parsons tenure ended June 1999.

Rev. Thomas E. Tucker, Jr. was appointed our pastor June 27, 1999. He chose as his motto for the church "For We Walk by Faith, Not by Sight", 2 Corinthians 5:7. He is a compassionate, caring individual. He emphasizes that we are a Bible believing, Bible preaching church. His tenue ended June 2007 (??).

Rev. John D. Conwell, Jr., was appointed in 2007 (??). His motto was "Equipping The Saints for Ministrry", Ephesians 4:11-12 (NAS). His tenure ended September 2011.

Thursday, September 20, 2011, Bishop Warren M. Brown changed the course of history when he appointed the Rev. Dr. Audrey Jones as the first female to pastor Greater Faith A.M.E. Zion Church.  Rev. Jones is the former pastor of the Mt. Zion A.M.E. Zion Church, Dundas, VA where she served for four (4) years.  The Greater Faith family has lovingly received her.  Rev. Jones is the third pastor with the motto, “For We Walk by Faith, Not by Sight.”

Through the years Greater Faith has had to weather many storms. We’ve lost some who started out with us, however, in God’s infinite wisdom we have overcome victoriously. The journey undertaken has been a steady climb to the top. The past years have shown us that great things can be accomplished with faith and dedicated service.

We have been blessed with pastors who have unselfishly given of themselves to see that we are a spirit-filled church. We continue to look to the future with the hope and great faith that the Lord has yet many doors for us to open. We accept the challenge graciously and without intrepidation.
In obedience to the Great Commission, members will reach out to the unchurched and dechurched encouraging them to become churched or rechurched.

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.  And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”~Matthew 28:19-20~

On August 2, 1984, at the 42nd General Conference held in St. Louis, Missouri, the A.M.E. Zion Church adopted an official denominational logo.  The Rev. Dr. Percy Smith, Jr., a Zion minister, created the logo's design and interpretation. 

The Triangle:  Representing the Godhead in this equilateral triangle is the Holy Trinity - the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. 

The Ecclesiastical Color:  The colors of the logo suggest the mood of a church festival.  Within recent years, the interpretation of black has changed to encompass a texture of the whole life.  All colors blending and melting together signify joy, sadness, struggle, faith, hope and finally, eternal life. 

V:  The widely used symbol for victory represents a church born victoriously under the leadership of James Varick, our first Bishop.  V also represents Varick. 

Latin Cross:  One of the most accepted symbols of Christianity, this plain and empty cross alerts the world to the reality that "He is not here, He is risen victoriously." 

Red Cross:  It symbolizes power, love, glory and honor and is associated with our Lord's passion and suffering and the Christian's zeal. 

A-African:  This refers to our African background.  It is in black and suggests that Africa is the cradle of civilization from whence came all races and colors. 

M-Methodist:  This refers to the doctrine about God and Christ to which we adhere.  It is in green, the universal color of growth, progress and hope. 

E-Episcopal:  This means that we are a church overseen by Bishops.  Purple, so often worn by our Episcopate, denotes kingly authority in Godly judgment. 

Z-Zion:  God's Holy Hill stands for our branch of Methodism, which is a separate entity from the A.M.E., C.M.E., and M.E. Churches.  The color blue is symbolic of heaven and sincerity. 

Source:  The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church:  A Bicentennial Commemorative History, by Bishop James Clinton Hoggard.
The Official A.M.E. Zion Church Website (http://www.amez.org/news/index.php)
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church History (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Methodist_Episcopal_Zion_Church)
The Christian Education Department of the A.M.E. Zion Church (http://www.cedamezion.org/)
Women's Home and Overseas Missionary Society of the A.M.E. Zion Church (http://www.whoms.org/)
Connectional Lay Council of the A.M.E. Zion Church (http://www.clcamezion.org/)
Livingstone College (http://www.livingstone.edu/)
Hood Theological Seminary (http://www.hoodseminary.edu/)
Clinton Junior College (http://www.clintonjuniorcollege.edu/)
A.M.E. Zion Publishing House (http://www.amezpublishinghouse.com/)
Otis T. McMillan Evangelistic Ministries (http://www.otismcmillan.org/) 
Andrew Wommack Ministries  (http://www.awmi.net/devotion/jesus/sep)- Daily Devotionals
Andrew Wommack Ministries (http://www.awmi.net/bible) - Bible Commentary
Caretakers Mnistry
Curriculum Development Ministry
English as a Second Language (ESL) Mnistry
Evangelism Ministry
Family & Friends Ministry
Greeters Ministry
Health & Wellness Ministry
Hope Ministry
Marriage Enrichment Ministry
Men's Ministry
Prison Ministry
School Assistance Program Ministry
Singles Ministry
Technology Ministry
Ushers Ministry
Women's Ministry
Youth/Children's Ministry