Union Missionary Baptist Church has a community history

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

For the Tribune

Union Missionary Baptist Church was officially formed on Feb. 18, 1843, as a mission extension of its mother church, Symmes Creek Baptist Church.

The hard working and resourceful founders of the assembly erected the first church building on top of Bradrick Hill on State Route 243 West with gifts of hewn timbers, stones and a few $25 donations.

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After a century of dedicated service to God, the old building was replaced with a brick building, which had a sanctuary and a basement. The first service was held Sept. 12, 1948.

On Feb. 13, 1972, 41 acres, located 1/2 a mile further out State Route 243, was purchased from Mildred Riley. This property became the sight of another building project.

The dedicated and skilled people of Union sacrificially donated their time, talents and financial resources in the construction of another church building on that site.

In July 1984, Union Missionary Church opened the doors to all who would join the church family in worship, Bible study and good, old-fashioned, fellowship.

Family spirit and love for one another continued to attract people from the surrounding neighborhoods, Huntington, W.Va., and as far away as St. Albans, W.Va.

Once again, Union became filled to capacity and the need for another building became apparent to all. God enabled the wonderful people of Union to build the present facility, which has become a bee-hive of activity.

A church with a desire

to reach out to people

The Union Missionary Baptist Church family is constantly seeking opportunities to reach out. Union Missionary Baptist Church is a free grace church that reaches out into the surrounding neighborhoods by offering exciting and active Christian education ministries. Our AWANA program, the children’s Sunday school and junior church are all designed to appeal to children, and those who attend these programs find them quite fun and educational.

Many local children are invited to attend summer vacation bible schools and basketball camps. Each fall, a free health screening, and winter coat give-away are held for any who wish to attend. Of course, the key focal point is to spread the good news and the free gift of salvation given to all who will believe on God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

A church that equips people

Under the very capable and faithful leadership of Pastor Bob Barbour, the UMBC church family and visitors receive excellent expository preaching and teaching which are intended to equip people for Christian growth and Christ-honoring living.

Discipleship courses such as living in the family of grace, Bible study methods, principles of Bible interpretation and book discussion groups are offered throughout the year.

Plans are currently under way to offer two 12-week sessions of Church history and basic theology this fall and winter respectively.

Union Missionary Baptist Church has been greatly blessed by the various music ministries. Its choir, praise and worship groups, orchestra and musicians provide the church family with beautiful, worshipful music.

Sunday School Classes are offered to young married couples, adults and senior citizens. An adult missions and outreach class spearheads our involvement with foreign, national and local missionaries.

Also, plans are under way for the formation of a singles’ class and a college campus outreach class.

Small group bible studies are held in various church family homes. These groups are designed to encourage the development of friendships, to provide a more causual setting for Bible study, and to offer support for group members who are facing difficult times.

Both morning and evening ladies’ Bible study groups meet at Union throughout the fall, winter, and spring. A men’s retreat is held each fall and the Tuesday evening men’s Bible study is an outgrowth of the men’s ministry at UMBC.

The UG (Underground) is a contemporary and Christ-centered gathering of teens who come from all around the Tri-State area.

A youth complex, located in the newly built church basement, has been set aside for preteens through varsity high school.

They gather there weekly with their friends and enjoy snacks, cookouts, praise and worship, and are taught how the Bible provides the answers they need to deal with many of the issues they face in life.

Jack R. Finch is a member of Union Missionary Baptist Church.