In August 1976, while a member of the Zeta Sigma chapter in Baltimore, Bro. Clifton Felton approached Bro. Vernon Greene about the idea of establishing a new chapter in Columbia. Cliff then called Bro. Gerald Smith, then Eastern Regional Secretary, to identify names of other Sigma men in the Columbia area. Bro. Smith gave Cliff the name of Bro. Kenneth Smith, who Cliff knew from their days as members of the Alpha Sigma Chapter in Washington, DC. Cliff also invited a fellow church member, Bro. Jasper Clay, to join in the effort. Bro. Clay in turn invited his neighbor, Bro. John Bland, to be the fifth charter member. This group - Clifton Felton, Vernon Green, Kenneth Smith, Jasper Clay, and John Bland – became the charter members of the Zeta Alpha Sigma Chapter. After Bro. Felton performed the chartering ceremony on September 27th, 1976, in the recreation room of his Columbia, MD home; the Zeta Alpha Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was born.
The Chapter grew by leaps and bounds as other brothers in the area quickly joined the charter members. This period of explosive growth and community activism culminated in 1984 with the Eastern Regional Conference being held in Columbia, MD. At that moment, Zeta Alpha Sigma was not only the largest chapter in the region, but within the entire fraternity with a membership of over 100 Sigma Men.
Over the years, the chapter matured in the sometimes-fierce winds of adversity; it continued to hold on tightly to the principles upon which it was founded. As the new millennium approached, it looked forward to hosting the Eastern Regional Conference. Today, it continues its rich history of community service and adherence to the guiding principles of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.