In the year of our Lord, 1920, a few faithful followers of Christ banded themselves together in prayer meetings weekly from house to house, to carry on their religious activities, praying, and serving the Lord as their hearts desired. They started with about nine (9) members:
Z.B. Logan Alberta Coleman
Ruth Logan Irene Williams
Robert Sims Fannie Lou Farris
Alberta Sims Isabel O’Neil
They grew strong in their faith and added more members to their prayer band. They would call Rev. S. P. Phillips from time to time to administer unto them. Finally, in the Fall of the year 1920, they had grown so strong in members, Rev. Phillips advised them to organize a Church and he would take them in charge and organize them. When they were ready to organize, Rev. Phillips was busy. They invited Rev. Carter and Rev. Hunt as organizers, and on the fifth Sunday in October, 1920, they organized a church, with Zack Logan, Chairman; Elijah Williams, Secretary; and Robert Sims, Treasurer.
The Church was organized in the residence of Mr. William Lewis, 411 Manning Avenue, and they carried on services as a Church in Sis. Alberta Sims’ bedroom, under different ministries until they decided to call a permanent pastor. They called Rev. R.C. Crouch, from Moultrie, Georgia. He accepted the call. They acquired the use of the Christ Mission Settlement, and on the fourth Sunday in January 1921, Rev. Crouch began pastorate of the Church with twenty-five members.
Rev. Crouch organized the Missionary Circle with Mrs. Lula Logan, President; Mrs. Maude Field, Secretary; and Mrs. Albert Sims, Treasurer. Rev. Crouch remained here as pastor until March 3, 1921. Rev. E. Hunt was left in charge of the Church and served until the Fall of 1921. After Rev. Hunt resigned, the Church ceased for the duration of the winter.
In the Spring of 1922, the Church called Rev. W. Rice and began to hold services in the home of Z. R. Logan, 1240 Central Avenue. Rev. Rice organized a Sunday School with only a few members in attendance. Z.R. Logan was the first Superintendent, Bro. R.V. Knight was installed as Secretary of the Church. They later moved to a little Church on Manning Avenue, and in May of 1922, Rev. J.D. Jones was called and accepted the call with a membership of forty-five. When he took over the Church, it had an indebtedness of $85.00, and under his guidance this debt was liquidated.
The Church continued to grow and they moved to a building on St. Clair Street, where services were held for two and one-half years. In May, 1925, the former Morning Star Baptist Church at 544 Lincoln Avenue was purchased from Rev. J.E. Perry for the sum of $8,000.00. This debt was liquidated, and in April, the sum of $746.00 was raised for the final payment and the burning of the mortgage. Rev. C.R. Boyd, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, Warren, Ohio, preached the Mortgage Burning Sermon.
In 1945, Rev. J.D. Jones led the Church to build a new and larger edifice for worship. In 1948, the new building at 528 Lincoln Avenue was declared mortgage free. Rev. J.D. Jones served as Pastor until his death on January 29, 1966. Rev. A.B. Jones was appointed as supply pastor from March 1966 until October 21, 1966. Rev. R.A. Randolph served as supply pastor from October 28, 1966 until December 4, 1966, when Rev. John J. Maiden took over as pastor. Property on Arlington Street was purchased in July, 1974, and property on Lincoln Avenue was purchased in 1975. Both of these purchases were made debt free. On Saturday, May 22, 1976, Ground Breaking Services were held for expansion of the Church and addition of an Educational Wing and Fellowship Hall. On Saturday, February 26, 1977, Open House was held for the new addition to the Church, and during the week of February 28 to March 6, 1977, services were held nightly to dedicate the new addition to the Church, the Educational Wing, and the Fellowship Hall. Rev. William Nixon preached the Dedicatory Sermon.
In December of 1985, the mortgage in the sum of $201,800.00 was paid in full. On the 4th Sunday in February, 1986, the Mortgage Burning Ceremony was held. Dr. Edgar Fisher, Pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church, preached the Mortgage Burning Sermon. On June 20, 1986, the property at 534 Lincoln Avenue was purchased debt free.
On December 30, 1992, property at 534½ Lincoln Avenue was purchased for the sum of $6,500.00. This purchase was made debt free. One of our members, Sister Alberta Jones, donated property on Foster Street to the Church.
Union Baptist Church owns all of the property on Lincoln Avenue from the Church to Foster Street except one small lot and the house on the corner of Lincoln and Foster.
On December 19, 1993, Pastor John H. Maiden retired. The Church continued with the help of God, under the leadership of the Official Board. It was during this time, structural damage was discovered in our sanctuary. The Church continued to hold services in the Fellowship Hall in the basement of the Church.
Pastor Michael H. Harrison, Sr. accepted Pastorship of Union Baptist Church on April 29, 1995.
On May 7, 1995, Pastor Harrison preached his first sermon as the Pastor-elect of Union Baptist Church. On Sunday, May 28, 1995, an Installation Service was held for Pastor Harrison at the Tabernacle Baptist Church. Pastor Kenneth Paramore of United Baptist Church, Akron, Ohio gave the message for this service.
In August of 1996, under the leadership of Pastor Michael H. Harrison, Sr.; the church was led to build a new and even larger edifice for worship and a $60,000.00 loan for a balcony in the sanctuary was paid off. The congregation grew from 125 to 700 in four years under Pastor Harrison’s leadership. Thirty-two ministries were instituted to carry out the work of the Lord. In 2000, Union Baptist dedicated the newly refurbished J.D. Jones Family Life Center and the John H. Maiden Fellowship Hall. Property was purchased from Tartan Textiles (formally the Penn Ohio Towel Supply) to increase the size of the parking lot and this also added a garage to house the church van, supplies and additional cars, if needed. This area has been secured with fencing. Many other properties have been purchased on Foster, Arlington, Burnett, Rayen, North and Belmont Streets. The church now owns 4 acres of property. On May 21, 2005, the church celebrated the burning of the mortgage, which was paid off in 8 years.
Union Baptist Church continues to grow. We pray that the Lord will continue to bless us as we continue to work to do His will. “Blessed are all that put their trust in Him.” Psalm 2:12