The History of Union Baptist Temple

Church History

Union Baptist Temple was organized under the leadership of Rev. Carney, in a home on Mt. Vernon Street, in the spring of 1920. The Founding Charter members were Sis. Jessie Kinsey, Sis. Mary Battle, Sis. Trudie Manor and Bro. C.W. Parks.

Union Baptist Temple was originally known as the Friendship Baptist Mission. Due to growth, the church moved from Mt. Vernon Street to Pearl Street. Under the leadership of Rev. Felton, the church moved to Warren Street when a vacant building became available. In the fall of 1922, after building the church on the corner of South Pine and Willow Street, the Rev. L.A. Freeman was called as a full-time pastor. Under his leadership, the church was fully organized.

Professor H. Bantam, Union's first musician, organized the Senior and Youth Choirs. Under Pastor Freeman's leadership, many youth ministries were established. In the late 1920s, the church served the community as a "Soup Kitchen" during the "national depression." Due to declining health, Pastor Freeman retired from the pastorate in 1933.

Rev. Donaldson served as Union's interim pastor for one year before the Rev. J.W. Dean was called in 1934, serving until 1943. Rev. William Thomas Snead was called to the pastorate in 1943 and served for seven years. Union's youth ministries flourished under his motivational leadership. Professor J. Pitts and Sis. Ennis were church musicians under Pastor Snead.

In the fall of 1952, Rev. Robert W. Davis was called to pastor. Under his leadership, many new ministries were added. When the membership continued to grow, Pastor Davis encouraged the congregation to work toward the goal of expanding. A new edifice was built during Pastor Davis's tenure (the Willow Street section, now called the Chapel). The former parsonage was acquired (423 South East Avenue), and several adjacent properties were purchased for parking. Pastor Davis served until his death in September 1976.

Rev. James Goolsby served as interim pastor until Pastor M. Marquette Peace Jr. was called in 1977. Many new educational and evangelistic ministries were instituted, and the congregation began saving to build another new edifice. Before Pastor Peace resigned in 1985, many new evangelistic ministries and fellowships were added, including: "The Awakening Hour Radio Broadcast" and the memorable annual "Youth Campaign For Christ."

After serving as interim pastor for a short time, Minister Albert Morgan was called as Pastor in 1986. Under the leadership of Pastor Morgan, the church added a new sanctuary and dining facility, kitchen, classrooms, and computerized offices to the existing structure. Additionally, the church obtained several properties and purchased vans and buses for transportation. In October 1995, during the 75th Church Anniversary, the mortgage from the new addition was burned. In October 2003, the church began groundbreaking for the Educational/Recreational Center.

In 1991, Union's Mass Choir, under the direction of Minister of Music Lester Taylor, recorded their first album "Calvary." The choirs' second album, "A Sacrifice of Praise," was released in May 1996, and the third album, "Only You," was released in February 2002. These two albums were recorded under the direction of Minister of Music William Smith.

Following the leading of the Lord, Pastor Morgan added many educational classes along with the "Koinonia Bible Institute" and an Adult Computer Education Ministry with a twenty-machine computer lab. The grand opening of the ALMS Center became a reality in November 2007. This 34,000 square foot multi-purpose center holds a gymnasium/banquet hall, kitchen facility, conference room, classrooms, offices, and an indoor exercise track.
In 2009, the name of Willow Street was changed to Martin Luther King Jr. Way. During the church's 90th Anniversary celebration, the sanctuary, fellowship hall, and Chapel were renovated. A renovation dedication service took place in April 2010.

In 2021, the name of South Pine Street was changed to Rev. Dr. Albert L. Morgan Place during the celebration of his 35th Pastoral Anniversary.

Sons of Union Baptist Temple who served/serve as pastors in other churches:
  • Pastor Stitt Williams
  • Pastor Zion Byrd
  • Pastor Richard Buckmon
  • Pastor Willie Hargrove
  • Pastor James Goolsby
  • Pastor Sport Palmer
  • Pastor Herbert Wright
  • Pastor Carl Seabrook, Jr.
  • Pastor William Johnson
  • Pastor Walter Jones
  • Pastor John Fordham
  • Pastor Daniel Williams
  • Pastor Lester Taylor
  • Pastor David Nelson
  • Pastor Awood Jones
  • Pastor Steve Lomax

"To God be the Glory for one hundred and one bountiful years of Kingdom building."

Past  Pastors

    Rev. L.A. Freeman 


  Rev. Robert W. Davis


Rev. M. Marquette Peace

                                                                                         (Not Pictured)
  • Rev. Carney was asked to lead the group known as the Friendship Baptist Mission in the spring of 1920. 
  • Rev. Felton led the group in 1921. 
  • Rev. J.W. Dean pastored from 1934-1941
  • Rev. William Thomas Sneed pastored from 1941 – 1950

Want to learn more?

We'd love to hear from you. Fill out the form below to get started.