Their decision to form the Union Baptist Church Mission grew out of a prayer meeting held by our original first families. Brother Robert Doswell was the first Deacon of the Union Baptist Church Mission. These humble Christians were steadfast in their determination to serve and worship God free of segregation and oppression.
Under the leadership of Reverend Moses J. Haskins, who was originally from Virginia, worship services were held at Weed’s Hall, an old rented dance hall located at Atlantic and Canal Streets near Main Street in Stamford. After the dances concluded at Weed’s Hall on Saturday evenings, church members would scrub the floor, clean and rearrange furniture and transform the untidy dance hall into an edifice of worship.
Reverend Moses J. Haskins served the Union Baptist Church Mission for three years and was succeeded by the Reverend J. O. Cornish of Concord, New Hampshire. During Reverend Cornish’s pastorate, a lot on the corner of Adams Avenue and Beech Street, now Vista Street, was purchased from St. John’s Society, which is now St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Reverend Cornish was succeeded by Mr. William O. Harris. Mr. Harris was, at that time, a student at Boydton Institute in Boydton, Virginia. While he was a student, he served the Union Baptist Church congregation during the summers as a part time minister. During his absence, the pulpit was filled by the Reverend James Bowman of New Haven, Connecticut. Following his graduation from the Seminary, Reverend Harris returned to the Union Baptist Church Mission for full time service.
Under the leadership of Reverend Harris, the Mission was officially named the Union Baptist Church. A new church was built on the corner of Adams Avenue and Vista Street. It was a white painted wooden frame structure built in a New England colonial style motif. The new church included a belfry tower and consisted of three floors: a basement, main level and loft.
After a successful pastorate of twenty-five years, Reverend Harris resigned to accept a pastorate at the Morning Star Baptist Church in Albany, New York.
The Reverend William Lee Baxter came to Union Baptist Church in 1941 from St. Augustine, Florida under the recommendation of Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. The first female trustee, Mrs. Daisy Perlman, was installed during his administration. A tremendous financial gain was experienced during his pastorate and new auxiliaries were formed. The Stamford Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (the N.A.A.C.P.) was also initiated in 1942 at Union Baptist Church. Mr. Edward Jones, the church clerk, served as its first president.
After seven successful years as the Pastor of Union Baptist Church, Reverend Kearse accepted the call to be the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland.
In September of 1954, the Reverend T. Ewell Hopkins came to us from the First Baptist Church of Washington, D.C. During his four year tenure, the mortgage on the Adams Avenue church was burned during the Sixty-Ninth Anniversary of Union Baptist Church. Central Air Conditioning was also installed within the sanctuary. Following the departure of Reverend Hopkins, Reverend Edward H. Coleman served as Interim Minister.
The Reverend Charles M. Franklin, Pastor of the Beulah Baptist Church of Spotsylvania, Virginia assumed the pastorate of the Union Baptist Church in May of 1969. Under the leadership of Reverend Franklin, the Lay Ministers’ Program was established and the church became involved in various community organizations inclusive of the Stamford Day Nursery, the Stamford Hospital, the Rehabilitation Center and the West Main Community Center which is now the Yerwood Center.
Reverend Perry brought with him an anointed calling, wealth of experience, an abundance of energy, innovative wisdom and knowledge and the ability to share God’s Word in a most creative and effective manner.
The church purchased a new parsonage at 42 Cooper’s Pond Road. With the development of a rapidly growing congregation, there were overflowing crowds at Sunday worship services and Church School sessions. Soon the Union Baptist Church outgrew its facility at 28 Adams Avenue. The church membership met as a body in 1977 and voted to purchase a 3.5 acre property located at 805 Newfield Avenue. The property, consisting of a church edifice and parsonage, was previously owned by the Bethany Assembly of God.
The structure is more than brick, mortar, stone and wood. Symbolism is interwoven throughout the construction. The church is built on 12 foundations. A 12 sided structure taken from Ephesians 2:20 and the hope of the New Jerusalem as found in Revelation 21:14-16.
Under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Perry, who is known for his prophetic preaching, prolific discipleship and progressive ministry, the Union Baptist Church has become a viable Christian enterprise which operates to serve others on a twenty-four hour basis. During the 1990’s the Union Baptist Church in Whitlesea, South Africa was completed with our financial support.
Our church members are fulfilling the spiritual mission which God has ordained and mandated. With His blessing they have assumed community leadership responsibilities in education, medicine, politics, and government on the local and state level.
The Union Baptist Church continues to engage in innovative ventures which seek to expand and enrich the earthly kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Its emissaries are currently developing a prospectus entitled: “Open Our Eyes; Order Our Steps, The Union Baptist Church Strategic Plan: 2020 and Beyond”. The mission is to develop a 3-5 year strategic plan to support UBC’S vision to become a relevant biblical community developing dynamic disciples for the Kingdom of God in Lower Fairfield County and the world through reverent worship, relevant ministry, realistic evangelism, revolutionary discipleship and real fellowship. Based upon Ephesians 1:18 and Psalm 119:133 the scope of the plan includes Christian Education and programming, facilities and infrastructure, and marketing and communications.
From our obscure beginnings at Weed’s Hall, God has transitioned the Union Baptist Church Family into the twenty-first century and provided for us a kingdom building purpose and agenda through which we may continue to serve Him and serve humanity within our local and regional communities and the world.