Union City Baptist Church Celebrating 198 Years

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Union City Baptist Church Celebrating 198 Years


I saw in the Richmond Register the other day that Union City Baptist Church would soon celebrate its 198th anniversary. The following information comes from “Conkwright’s History of Boones Creek Baptist as Given in ‘How Firm a Foundation, a History of the Tates Creek Association of Baptists,’” written by Dr. Dennis L. Brewer, Harry Johnson, and Glen Roberts.

The Union City Baptist Church was constituted on April 30, 1812, with 18 members. War with Great Britain was declared on July 18 of that year. One of the interesting parts of this church’s history was the split in 1829-1830 over Alexander Campbell and his doctrine on baptismal regeneration: that not only faith but also baptism is necessary for salvation.

In June 1829, Union City Church voted against the new doctrine and in favor of its original Baptist beliefs. However, in October 1830, the majority of members voted to go with Campbell’s group, now known as the Reformers. This left only 15 members in the original faith. Even so, in December 1830, 16 new members were received into the Baptist church, and Elder Thomas Ballou was chosen as pastor.

By 1834, the passions that divided them had subsided enough for the Baptists and the Reformers to agree to jointly build a new church. It took 14 years, but in 1848, the old log church was replaced with a new brick one. The two congregations alternated the use of the building for Sunday services until November, 1893, when the Baptists purchased the interest of the Reformers.

Over the years, the church has belonged to three associations: Boones Creek, South Fork and Tates Creek. Through it all, Union City Baptist has stood true to Christianity and the Baptist faith for 198 years.

And after nearly two centuries of give and take, the Union City Baptist and Union City Christian (Reformers) exist in peace near each other, each in its own building.


Robert Grise and I began writing this column in April 1969. So we recently celebrated our 41st birthday ... maybe a record. The idea was Bob’s; the title came from me. Over the years, three books (collections of the columns) were published. They are out of print, but I recently saw that five were available online at Abebooks.com — one of them in Great Britain!


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “Union City Baptist Church Celebrating 198 Years,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed May 29, 2023, https://madisonsheritage.eku.edu/items/show/1827.