Union Baptist church was founded in 1880. The first members of the church held services under a bush arbor, with Rev. Hunter serving as the first pastor. The conception of these services began with Janie Boykin (great-grandmother of Daisy Boykin). The land on which these services were held was owned by Jimmy DuPree. After observing the group holding its worship services, Mr. DuPree deeded an acre of land to Sandy Holiday, Sr. (grandfather of Nancy Bennett). A church building was erected on the site and the name Union Baptist Church was suggested by Millie Boykin (wife of Henry Boykin) and agreed to by the congregation. Rev. Hunter continued to serve as pastor after the building was completed. The Rev. Simon Taylor served as the second pastor, followed by Reverends Friday Kershaw, and Isaac Taylor. Under Rev. Taylor’s pastorate, the first church building was torn down and a new one erected.
Rev. Taylor was succeeded by Rev. Lewis W. Cuttino who served for 18 years, until his death. The size of the congregation increased significantly under his leadership.
Upon the death of Rev. Cuttino, Rev. Henry W. White became pastor and served for 11 years.
Rev. J. C. McGill succeeded Rev. White and served for 3 years.
Rev. Hasco A. Alexander served as pastor for 28 years, until his death in March, 1974. During his leadership the church building was remodeled, a Sunday school building was built and the church continued to progress and grow in membership.
In August 1974, Rev. Willie Dennis began serving as pastor of Union Baptist Church. The church building was completely remodeled to increase the size of the sanctuary, add a dining room, fellowship hall and classrooms for our Sunday school. The membership steadily increased during Rev. Dennis’ leadership.
Under Pastor Dennis’ leadership, the church made many improvements. The largest improvement was the addition of the Union Baptist Church’s Family Life Center (FLC). The center was erected to provide a place for the congregation and community to meet and fellowship. In addition to a fellowship hall, the FLC has a regulation size gym and the outside is equipped with a regulation size baseball/softball diamond.
Rev. Dennis officially retired from being the Under-Shepherd of Union Baptist Church on the 1st Sunday in September, 2014
Our Church building was completely destroyed by fire on April 18, 1987. On Easter Sunday, April 19, 1987, we held church services and partook of Holy Communion under tents on the site where our Church once stood. The church building was destroyed; but, not Union Baptist Church. “The people are the church” and we have been working hard to rebuild our Church home. During the time we were without a physical building, special services were held at our neighboring churches: Pine Grove AME church, Mt. Pisgah, and Mt. Bethel Baptist Churches. We held our regular Sunday services at Rafting Creek Elementary School.
The Lord continued to bless us and we celebrated “Homecoming” on the first Sunday in July because we officially marched into our new church building on July 3, 1988.
The church was erected on property donated by Mr. Jimmy Dupree. As years passed, Mr. Patrick Dennis and his family sold land to the church below market value, donated property, and cleared trees from the property free of charge.
In May 2015, we completed renovations that included the addition of restrooms and a wheelchair ramp located in the front of the church.
Rev. Dennis officially retired from being the Under-Shepherd of Union Baptist Church on the 1st Sunday in September, 2014 and the church elected Rev. Walter Robertson III as its 10th pastor in July 2015. In just a few short months the spiritual and physical growth of the church became evident under Pastor Robertson’s leadership.
On Saturday, June 4, 2016 the church building was completely destroyed by fire for the second time in less than 30 years; but, in the midst of the storm we still rejoice. After many tears and continued praises to God for His continued mercies, and while the first responders were still fighting the blaze, members of the congregation worked together to prepare the Family Life Center for Sunday morning services.
It’s been a little over a year since the fire and on Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 3:00 in the afternoon under the leadership of Pastor Walter Robertson, III, the groundbreaking ceremony for the new sanctuary of the Union Baptist Church of Rembert SC Inc. was held.