Doors to the Past

Union Baptist Church

Union Baptist Church

( 1295 James River Turnpike Milton, WV )

Pastor -- Charles R. Watson "Rick"

Sunday School  -  9:45am
Morning Worship  -  11:00am
Evening Service  -  7:00pm
Wednesday Service  -  7:00pm
Awana  -  6:45pm
Teens  -  7:00pm

          Union Baptist Church was established in 1810 and completed in1849.   It was occupied during the War Between the States by a Federal garrison to protect the one-lane covered bridge, which was a vital link in the James River and Kanawha Turnpike.  The soldiers left the Church in shambles.  It has been restored but bayonet marks, bullet pock-marks, gallery for slaves can still be seen.   Nearby the earthworks are visible.


In 1788 a 22 x 32 log structure with slave gallery was erected in what is now the old Union Cemetery.  The name “Union” was probably given to the old log church because different groups with possibly diverse beliefs from the surrounding community were in attendance until 1810 when the Union Missionary Baptist Church was formed.

      In 1847 Reverend John Calvin Rece began the drive for a new structure for the church. The ground where the new church stands was purchased for $20.00 from Thomas A Kilgore. In 1849 the building was completed. About 1856 the slave gallery and stairs were erected.

      Union troops occupied the building as a garrison during the civil war. Bullet imprints can still be seen in the structure’s bricks. The soldiers left the building with the floors, seats, gallery, doors, and windows all torn out and burned! In 1875 the church was repaired and the gallery rebuilt.

      Thomas Harmon preached occasional sermons at the house of John C. Rece until the church was reorganized in 1867. It is the second oldest church in the Guyandotte Association.

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