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History of the
 "Union Baptist Church"

  Our Original Church 

Since 1892, as the first Baptist Church in Fort Wayne, IN, organized by African-Americans, the congregation of Union Baptist Church has been at the forefront of all of the social and spiritual movements in the past century.

Some historical facts about Mount Olive Church which is now the Union Baptist Church, 421 East Brackenridge Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Prior to 1905, a group of individuals of the Baptist Faith met for worship purposes in various homes in the city, under the leadership of Rev. Howard and Rev. Toomey

In 1905, Rev. John Green organized the group and started the first Negro Baptist Church in Fort Wayne , in a building on Calhoun Street . Rev. J. Burney was called as pastor and served the newly founded church for one year. He was succeeded by the Rev. S. C. Peters, who moved the church from the Calhoun Street building to a one story dwelling at 421 E. Brackenridge Street . After serving five years in this fiend, Rev. Peters was called to another parish.

The church was without a Pastor for six months. During this interim a young minister, Rev. O. W. McCall from Indianapolis, Indiana served until Rev. Graham Jordan was called in May 1915. Rev. Jordan accepted the call with approximately seventy-five (75) members and broke ground for the building of the church on East Brackenridge Street in September of the same year. The foundation of the church was completed by voluntary labor. The Mount Olive Baptist Church was dedicated in December 1916 with a remaining debt of three thousand ($3,000) dollars. The reduction of the total debt of twenty-seven thousand ($27,000) dollars was made possible by large contributions by such men as Messrs. F. F. Bowser, L. J. Hartzell and others.

At completion of the church in 1916, there were approximately 1800 Negroes in Fort Wayne. By 1924 the Negro population had increased, due to the influx of Negroes from the South, consequently the membership of the church increased in population. It was during this period that the church split and a second Negro Baptist church started which was called the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church. Rev. Graham Jordan was called as pastor of this faction and started a building on the corner of Douglas and Clay Streets.

In 1925, Mount Olive Baptist Church called Rev. C. A. Pugh of Deland, Florida as Pastor who served seven years until 1931. During these years he instituted the five o'clock (A.M.) Christmas services and paid off the indebtedness of the church.

Other Ministers serving the Church were: Rev. J. Pius Barbour, 1931 - 1933. Rev. O. C. Maxwell, Jr.1933 - 1935. and Rev. R. H. Dixon, Sr. 1935 - 1938.  During the pastorate of Rev. Dixon, the church purchased and paid for a new Hammond organ.

Rev. Dixon having resigned, Rev. George W. Lucas of Mississippi was called in 1938. Rev. Lucas served several years. Under the administration of Rev. Lucas, the church purchased two dwelling units at 832-828 Eliza Street . The dwelling at 832 Eliza Street is now being used as the church parsonage. He paved the way for the following administrations by putting the Church on a business and financial basis. Rev. Lucas resigned in late 1945 to take a larger field of labor in Dayton, Ohio. 

In March 1946, the Rev. Phale D. Hale of LaGrange, Georgia was called as Pastor. Rev. Hale and Rev. Graham Jordan effected a union of the Mt. Olive Baptist and the Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Churches to be known as the "UNION BAPTIST CHURCH".  Rev. P. D. Hale, as pastor and Rev. G. Jordan as Pastor Emeritus.

During the pastorate of Rev. Hale, the church was renovated after it suffered a tremendous loss resulting from a fire. The church also purchased lots on Jefferson and Francis Street at a cost of $9,000.00. He also purchased a moving picture projector and some office equipment and set up a part time office.

In 1950, Rev. Hale was called to a larger field of service in Columbus, Ohio and resigned to take up work in his new field.

In July 1950. Rev. Clyde Adams of Toledo, Ohio was called as Pastor.  Rev. Clyde Adams, who was pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church , Toledo , Ohio , before he was called to the pastorate of Union Baptist Church . When Rev. Adams accepted the pastorate of our church, our records revealed that the church was worth one thousand one hundred dollars in cash and fifty-three thousand dollars in furnishings and real estate. Today, after a little more than eight years of laboring, under the leadership of Rev. Adams our church is worth forty-two thousand dollars in cash and one hundred and thirty-two thousand five hundred dollars in furnishing and real estate. The above stated figures show the remarkable progress made during the pastorate of our Pastor Emeritus, Rev. Adams, which also points up the fact that Union Baptist Church has made greater strides under the pastorate of Rev. Adams than under any of the previous ministers.

He remained the pastor of Union Baptist Church for 48years.  

Rev. Sylvester Hunter served as Pastor after Rev Adams until May 2012.  Rev. Adams continues to serve as Pastor Emeritus.

~Our Past Pastors~



This Information provided by Amelia Culpher