Stripped of their language and their religion, separated from relatives, friends and customs, a small group of trusted slaves conceived and organized the Missionary Union Baptist Church in 1833, in Columbus, MS, because they hoped for freedom, citizenship, justice and full equality of opportunity.
The Missionary Union Baptist Church is among the pioneer churches of Mississippi. It is the oldest Black Baptist Church in Northeast Mississippi. This church was organized during the days of slavery and Negroes held their religious services in the afternoons; Sundays and Wednesdays in the basement of the White Baptist church. These slaves were unlike the other slaves who had written consent from their masters to attend such meetings because the patrols would be on duty all night to see that no Negroes walked or assembled themselves together without permission from their owners.
On Sunday mornings the restricted slaves would gather at the church and other places of worship and have these early prayer meetings in their own way while their mistresses, masters, and the dreaded patrols were asleep. Those prayer meetings are very prevalent today without knowledge of their origin or meaning.
Some of the first deacons and pastors of this church after it was organized and before it was charted were: Brothers Caesar Barry and Peter Evans, deacons; and Reverends Jack Hinton, George Powell, and P. Eckford, pastors.
After emancipation and during the Reconstruction Period, the Missionary Union Baptist Church was charted in 1867 during the pastorate of Rev. Jesse F. Boulden, but continued to hold their meetings in the basement of the White Baptist Church. The charter officers were: Brother R. Gregory, R. Baker, Digg Bluett, Simon Mitchell, Sr., Auston Jones, Wiley Johnson, deacons, Brothers S. F. Evans, H. Baker, and Benjamin Farnandis, trustees.
In 1871, the church purchased and moved to its present site where a small building stood to which they added and set it apart as a house of worship.
When Rev. T. L. Jordan who was corresponding secretary for the Mt. Olive Association, was called to pastor Missionary Union Baptist Church, he erected its first sanctuary. This was a spacious and magnificent edifice.
Since 1867 this church has had many qualified and brilliant leaders who were both preachers and pastors, builders of membership, stately churches and organizers of Christian organizations, ministers like T. L. Jordan, who served as moderator and secretary of the General Missionary Baptist Association of Mississippi, moderator and corresponding secretary of United Baptist Convention of the State and organized the first Sunday School Convention of the state and was its president for ten years. Rev. J. F. Boulden organized the Mount Olivet Association in 1869 and later the General Baptist Association of Mississippi, served as a representative in the Lower House of Representative in the state of Mississippi, founded the Republication Party in Northeast Mississippi, and spear-headed the effort to make Hiram Reveals the first black elected to the Senate.
From 1833 through 2019, the pulpit of our church has been filled respectively by the following ministers, other than those already mentioned: Reverends M. Rice, H.W. Bownes, A. C. Skinner, Boyd, S. M. Dukes, C. T. Stamps, A. Bell, James Mitchell, E. J. Echols, Tutt, Goss, G. H. Cliffin, Howard, W. H. Davidson, R. D. Holloway, S. T. Cunningham, G. W. Reese, S. A. Henderson, Marcell Kellar, Truitt Evans, Creed Buck, W. J. Wyne, Jr., Robert Cain, Sr., Tony A. Montgomery, Sr and Antoine T. Colvin. Currently, interim pastor Reverend Dennis Hannah provides leadership and teaching to our members.
As we move forward in the Third Millennium, guided by God’s vision to Manifest God’s power by meeting the spiritual and physical needs of God’s people through preaching, teaching, witnessing, and serving, we do so with a great sense of purpose and the hope of pleasing and glorifying God in all that we do. History is not enough for Missionary Union, we seek to continue the legacy of generations gone on before us and to leave a legacy for future generations.