On August 20, 1887, Mr. Howard M. Pool donated an acre of land to Union Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. There are no records or personal accounts to identify who the pastor or other officers of the church were at that time. It is assumed that an original church structure was built on the acre of donated land, which was approximately 100 yards from the present site towards Louisiana Highway 432. At some point a new structure was built on the present location. However, it is not known why or when the church was moved from the original site that was donated by Mr. Pool.
In 1964 the church building was consumed by fire. At that time records indicate that there were approximately 175 active members and the pastor was Reverend J. R. Lewis, a resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Shortly after the burning of the church building, Reverend Lewis and approximately two-thirds of the members elected to relocate to a new location on Highway 67. They later named their church on this location Union Baptist Church.
After the division of the flock, approximately fifty-nine members were left, at Union Chapel Baptist Church. Under the leadership of a newly elected pastor, Reverend Ora Marshall, religious services continued to be held on the Union Chapel Church grounds. In 1965 a new sanctuary was erected.
In 1983, during discussions of renovating the current sanctuary, it was again presented that the original sanctuary that was consumed by fire in 1964 was not on the originally deeded property. This was legally corrected by an agreement with James (Jack) and Donald Phares (heirs of Mr. Howard Pool, the original donor of the property) who agreed to transfer and deed the present one-acre location to the church in exchange for the originally deeded property. That legal transaction was completed on January 31, 1984. Immediately following the exchange between the church and the Phrases’, the church was renovated and enlarged to its present size. At that time the pastor of the church was Reverend A.C. Croson. Brother Frank Shropshire and Brother Richard Shropshire were deacons and Sister Sarah Wilkerson was the church secretary.
We have made numerous improvements to the church building since 1964. Some of which includes central heating and air, remodeling of the pulpit and choir stand, and installation of new pews and lightening. We have also gained many members and have had a number of our brothers and sisters go home to be with the Lord. The original members of the reorganized church since 1964 are too numerous to list on the program. However, a list of these members can be found on the bulletin board in the fellowship area of the church.
Since the beginning of the Union Chapel Baptist Church’s journey in 1878, we have had several pastoral leaders. Due to the lack of complete historical information we are unable to list all of our former pastoral leaders. We do, however, have a partial record. The list below begins back as far as we can obtain information to the present. They are:
We feel blessed by God who has provided us with a leader who seeks the heart of God so faithfully. We pray to hold to the principles of faith and that God will provide us with the resources we need. Our membership numbers continue to grow and if you need the Lord and His presence, love, joy, peace, comfort, wisdom, inspiration, strength, forgiveness, confidence and compassion, it is “A Trip Worth Taking”.