Our founding fathers began their search for the truth and eternal salvation, during the time of their human bondage, by worshipping Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in the gallery of Union Baptist Church (Achilles).

Three years after the Civil War, on Saturday, July 11, 1868, Union Baptist Church, presented to their approximately 200 African-American members, a “letter of dismissal” and authorized them to organize a church of their own. The church was named “Morning Star Colored Baptist Church” and a former sawmill was the first worship structure.

In 1904, the church family built their first permanent sanctuary and it was located a quarter of a mile down the road from Union, the “mother church”. Our early church motto was “Let us continue in the faith; God has been good to us and brought us out of the dark days of slavery and made us free men.”

Over the years, the church “founding fathers” names that were passed down are listed as following: Peter Cooper and Billy Dixon, belonging to Shelly Page Randolph Carter, belonging to Mr. I. Thurston’s Estate Ned Jackson, belonging to Mr. John Tabb Sam Spriggs, belonging to Mr. Robert Cooke, Jr., Bell Farm Billy Selden and Coleman Barnwell, belonging to Captain Robins Martin Cooper and Harry Hudgins, belonging to Mr. Colin Clark Taylor, belonging to Brother Dobson’s Estate Thompson, belonging to Major W. R. Perrin Lendon, belonging to W. M. Vaughan John Cook, belonging to Mr. Smith’s Estate James, belonging to Mr. Liewellyn John Harrison, belonging to Robert Cooke, Jr., Abingdon Farm Davy Wyatt, belonging to Mrs. Shepherd, Severn Hall.

Over 100 years later, we still worship in that first permanent building. But, many changes have taken place. The original building was modernized; and enlarged externally and internally several times.

Milestones over the years, include the following: June 1974, stained glass windows installed; August 25, 1987, church cemetery dedicated (gift of adjoining land from the late Sister Velma B. Cooke); July 6, 1992, church annex dedicated; December 17, 1993, a $500.00 church scholarship for high school graduates was established by descendants, of James Tonkins, Jr. (1851-1899), coordinated by the late Sister Vashti T. Willis.

“We Serve by Faith in Our Savior, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow and Forever”. 

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Gloucester Union Relief of Missionary Baptists

We are affiliated with the Gloucester Union Relief of Missionary Baptists. Click here to learn more.

The Woodville Rosenwald School Foundation

To learn more about the Woodville Rosenwald School Foundation, which was created to preserve the education al history of Gloucester's African American community, click here