Brief History of Union Baptist church
The Church was founded in 1883 by the late Rev. J. H. Hall, Deacons Johnson, Tyler Walker and Bob smith. The first structure was located in Dillard's Alley and was completed February 16, 1893. This was not a suitable location and the church moved to Seventh Street, better known as YAMACRAW. After relocating to YAMACRAW, in the same year 1893, Rev. J. H. Hall saw fit to organize Sunday School Classes. After three years the membership became unsettling and they wanted a better place. They moved from Seventh Street to Fourth Street, then to Fifth Street, and back to Seventh Street from whence they came. Once again they moved, and this time to the corner of Polar and Fifth Street on the side of the Terminal Station. After searching for a more suitable location the church moved to the rear of Elliott Street and held a baptismal in a corn field a short distance from the church. The water for the baptism came from a clear spring across Ash Street. Later, Ash Street became Edison Street. The officers and members decided that this was not convenient for funerals and under the leadership of the late Rev. J. S. Wooden they sought another site. They were able to purchase a lot on the corner of East Second and Elliott Street for the sum of $250.00 and the building was erected for the sum of $1945.20. Baptismal was held in the Ocmulgee River near the Spring Street Bridge. The church remained at this site until 1963. Many achievements were made at this site and many ministers shared in this success.
The church received communications from the Commissioner of Roads and Highways in 1962, stating that we would need to seek a new location since a bridge was to be built and a new road constructed. This upset the minister and congregation but after reading Romans 8:28, we realized that all things work together for the good of them that love God.
Under the Leadership of the Rev. Hosea R. Rancifer, the officers and pastor began looking for a new church site and found the present site, 990 Taylor Street, corner of Taylor and Kitchen Road. Ground-breaking ceremonies were held January 5, 1963 with the Rev. A. J. Shaw serving as guest minister. On January 25, 1963, the contractor, Mr. William Flanders, started the church edifice and it was completed and ready to move in on May 12, 1963. This was a glorious day for Union Baptist and the friends of the church shared in the occasion. Mrs. Lillian Jackson donated the refrigerator for the kitchen. The Cornerstone was laid on October 13, 1963.
We have been blessed for the mortgage was paid off in nine years with the mortgage burning ceremony being held the second Sunday in March, 1973. During these 95 years, the church membership boasts of having had some spiritual leaders, and the membership has continued to increase.
On January 25, 1954 God sent to Union Baptist, one of his best, the Rev. Hosea r. Rancifer who came on board with the mind of Joshua, for he led Union Baptist until December 1986 when he was retired by the church as pastor emeritus. Under his administration beginning at the old site, he brick veneered the church, the inside was painted, double doors were erected at the front entrance, the P.A. system was installed, the choir stand was added, the pulpit was carpeted, the first men and women's day programs were initiated, deacons were ordained, seven ministers were licensed and ordained, Rev. Rancifer served well.
The new addition to the church was dedicated to God on May 14, 1978. The mortgage on the new addition to the church was paid off in four and a half years, and the mortgage burning ceremony was held December, 1982.
In January 1987, the Rev. David L. Stanley, our present pastor, began his services as interim pastor. The fourth Sunday in June, 1987, he began his duties as full-time pastor of Union Baptist Church. He is a young man with a vision an under his leadership the church has initiated many new programs for Senior Citizens, Youth, the community and membership. He is like Moses, and with God's blessings we will continue to move forward.