History of United Baptist Church
On June 12, 1966, a band of believers in Christ, organized by Rev. Clarence Jones, came together for a common cause. With no permanent home of worship, the group of approximately seventy members shared worship services at Galatians M. B. Church, 4205 W. Harrison, Chicago, Illinois, where Rev. John Mosley was the pastor. Services were held at Galatians throughout the month of June.
By the first Sunday in July of 1966, the members had secured a permanent place of worship, 4218-20 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago, Illinois. A child, James Lewis (son of Mrs. Alma Carter) planted the name “United” in the mind of Rev. Jones. Rev. Jones and the membership thought this an appropriate name; thus voting unanimously to accept it. The church home was officially named United Baptist Church on July 24, 1966.
United’s first officers were: Maridy Johnson, Arthur Murray and Robert Smith all on the Trustee Board; Albert Moore, Chairman of the Deacon Board; Louis Wilson, Co-Chairman; George White, Treasurer; and Louise McCondichie, Clerk.
The following auxiliaries were active during this time: Trustee Board, Deacon Board, Mothers’ Board, Usher Board, Gospel Choir, Mission Choir, Junior Choir, Young Adult Choir.
Within the next three months the membership learned that the building was for sale. We knew this was a blessing, but our financial status was not good. God blessed United with Deacon George and Mrs. Mary White, members of United, who gave the membership an interest-free loan of $5,000. Shortly after making the down payment, remodeling began. By the end of 1966 the membership had grown to 150 active members. Membership increased continuously and by the beginning of 1974 it had grown to approximately 250 members.
Rev. Jones remained United’s leader until March 31, 1974. On April 28, 1974, Rev. Wilson Daniels became the pastor of United. Under his leadership God has continued to bless United not only with consistent growth in the membership but spiritually and financially.
On the 12th day of December 1976, United Baptist Church burned the mortgage. United Baptist Church went under reconstruction again. An educational wing was added that consisted of four classrooms, two offices, a library, women’s washroom and lounge and men’s washroom. This addition also included a dining/fellowship hall with a full kitchen and serving area. The old edifice was also enlarged creating a much larger choir loft, pulpit and instrument/directing area. In addition, a security system was installed. In 1992, United burned another mortgage for the above stated reconstruction. Since the mortgage burning in 1976, the church as acquired additional lots, paved and fenced in. Additional surrounding lots are in the process of being purchased.
United planned to build a new edifice and extend herself even more. United Baptist Church is supported by its members and friends. Volunteers manage most of the committees and Departments. The membership strongly supports the programs and activities of the seniors and the youth. A nursery is set up for Sundays only. Bible class and Sunday School for the youth are two of the key ministries for the youth. The youth also have a sports department. The community and the members support also depend on the existence of United Baptist Church.
In 1988, Rev. Wilson Daniels had the vision to build a new edifice. The Nehemiah Jesus Plan was established. Rev. Daniels’ vision and the Nehemiah Jesus Plan were based upon Nehemiah’s 52- day project in which he rebuilt the walls around the city of Jerusalem. The Jesus portion of the project is the 3-1/2 years (42 months) that covers the public ministry of Christ until the time He uttered, It is Finished, John 19:30.
Rev. Daniels’ vision allowed for the participation of the entire membership of United Baptist Church. Team Leaders were assigned to work with at least 10 members each to receive donations. Each member of United was asked to pledge $7.50 per week or $30.00 per month for 42 months, for a total of $1,260 toward building the new edifice. In 1993, the ground breaking for our new edifice took place.
June 8, 1996 marked another great achievement. Roosevelt Road was renamed, “United Baptist Church Road” beginning at Karlov (on the east) to Cicero Avenue (on the west). At a formal ceremony, Michael Chandler, Alderman of the 24 ward, read and presented a signed resolution of the name change to Pastor Daniels. Sargent Cheriff Morgan of Neighborhood Relations from the 11th District Police Station attended this ceremony as well. Both Alderman Chandler and Sargent Morgan encouraged United Baptist Church’s membership to continue their efforts in the community and expressed their support of United and its efforts to meet the needs of its membership and community.
Of course, no history would be complete without recognition of our pioneers. Our pioneers are the foundation of our history. Their courage, persistence and determination provide the foundation for United Baptist Church’s existence today.
Growth within United Baptist Church:
The Food Pantry
The Food Pantry gives approximately 100-150 food baskets (groceries) every Wednesday morning from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This program started in 1980 when a food chain donated the overstocked bread and can goods to United. Due to complications, these donations were halted. The need for food was increasing. In 1985, United systematically began ordering, purchasing and distributing food weekly.
During the 1980’s, an annual clothing drive was established. New and used clothes are collected and distributed at the church. Coats are purchased each year during the winter for children who need a winter coat. Normally about 200-225 children receive new winter coats. Throughout the year, clothes are collected and distributed periodically.
Every Monday night from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., rehabilitated substance abuse users convene in the fellowship hall. Directors and counselors are available 24 hours a day for anyone wanting rehabilitation help. This program started in 1991.
Christian Education Department
The Christian Education Department began in October 2, 1984 by Rev. Wilson Daniels. This department started with a class for teachers of United. The class was primarily attended by Sunday School teachers. The need for more instructors for all ages continues to grow. The Christian Education Department has extended itself into the community.
School of Christian Growth
Bible classes are held each Tuesday night for the GPC’s, (God’s Precious Children), the Y.O.U. (Youth of United) and adults from 7:00 p.m to 8:30 p.m. There are 8 classes for the children, youth and young adults and approximately 9 classes held for adults in 13-week intervals. United issues Certificates of Attendance after each session for those who attend 10 consecutive class sessions or more. The School of Christian Growth is designed for persons of all ages to learn God’s Word. Studying and applying God’s Word is the primary objective. Every phase of life is or will be addressed in the School of Christian Growth. Support groups have formed as a result of some of these classes. Materials and additional literature are carefully selected to use with the Bible and lesson plans are prepared for each class. The School of Christian Growth is an extension of the Christian Education Department. This ministry started in September of 1989.
Outreach (Prison and Convalescent Home)
Many people released from prison or who are currently on a work release program have no family assistance or contact. United provides services to these individuals. As a result of this outreach program, individuals who had no future are now responsible, productive citizens, citizens helping to positively develop the lives of those less fortunate or who may have similar problems.
The Scholarship Committee helps members of United pursuing an education. Books are purchased, transportation funds are provided, and partial payment of tuition is given. Tutoring is available upon request. The Scholarship Department was established in June of 1985. One every second Sunday, special funds are set aside for scholarships.
Other ministries providing essential support to United and the community include:
- Women’s Ministry
- Single’s Ministry
Women who are in a work release program may be a single parent or a drug abuser. United provides the opportunity for this individual to join the Women’s Ministry or the Singles Ministry or both for additional support. United provides assistance to fire and flood victims, people who may be unemployed, support for the sick and families who may have experienced a recent death in the family. There are other support activities