Union Baptist Church to celebrate 175th anniversary

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2017

Union Baptist Church has served the community since 1842 and this Sunday marks a major milestone for the church, its 175th anniversary.
The church began in a small log house as the Union Methodist Church located just north of the church’s current location, church member Georgia McCormick said.
In a matter of several years, the church became the Union Baptist Church, where monthly services were held from 1842 to 1926 for a congregation of less than 200.
At about 1890, the church created the motto it still uses to this day, serving as a religious sanctuary with “a vision for the future.”
Late in the 19th century, the church’s community began to rapidly increase. So in June of 1890, the religious leaders of Union Baptist Church bought the 40 acres of land from the state the current church occupies in Caesar, McCormick said.
“We’ve always had a vision for the future at the church,” McCormick said, who’s spent all of her 70 years attending Union Baptist Church. “It’s a place that is continually growing.”
McCormick said the church has remained community-centered, serving and spreading the word of the Lord to those in the area. Now, the church has expanded its horizons.
“When I was a teenager, people didn’t leave the church to go on missions, but now we go everywhere to spread the word of Christ, from the Philippines to many other places over seas. It’s great to see all the youth wanting to get involved and stretch a helping hand as far as they possibly can,” she said.
McCormick said she remembers how offerings were hard to come by during her childhood, and the women of the church would have to sell eggs to keep the church’s doors open. With the number of members expanding to more than 1,200, she said the Lord has blessed them with a loving congregation and dedicated pastors over the years to help the church expand.
McCormick said the biggest changes since its relcoation involve the rapid expansion of the church’s attendance.
Over the years, the first Sunday School, nursery and other educational facilities were erected on the 40-acre property under the spiritual leadership of Bro. Powell in the 1900s.
In March of 1982, the recreational space was constructed, which is the current gymnasium. Later, in 1995, an academy was established for grades 1-6.
Another major change McCormick said she witnessed is the use of technology to make each service more memorable.
“We now have a large screen where we can watch videos of the children going on mission trips and see what they did and how much fun they had overseas. That same screen is used to display the lyrics of all the hymns we sing during service,” she said.
Other major changes at the church include a more organized youth program, expansion of the academy and construction of multiple facilities to accommodate the growing number of members.
To celebrate the anniversary, McCormick said the church is opening its doors Saturday and Sunday to anyone who wishes to join. The celebration is themed after Psalms 100:5.
Dinner will be served at the church from 4-6 p.m. Saturday and service will be from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday. For more information on the celebration, call Union Baptist Church at 601-798-6470.

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