Union Baptist Church rebuilding
The Marshall Democrat-News
February 21, 2006
MARSHALL – It’s been over a year now since the historic building that housed Union Baptist Church burned to the ground. According to Bob Stewart, pastor of the church in north-central Saline County, the loss didn’t seem dampen the spirits of the congregation.
“The church burned on Dec. 22, 2004, and our congregation has been meeting in a temporary facility since then,” Stewart said. “We’ve been blessed in that the members of the church realized from the beginning that a church isn’t just a building. A church is made up of the people who come together for a common purpose, no matter where they may meet. There is not much ‘quit’ in this group. We have continued to meet on a regular basis, and I don’t see that changing anytime in the near future.”
The original structure was built during the Civil War and stood at its location on County Road 425, about one mile north of Highway 65, until the day it was consumed by fire. The building, which had undergone several updates, held a lot of memories for members of the congregation, many of whom were born and raised in the area and have attended the church all of their lives.
“Many of the folks said they would definitely miss the old building and that it did indeed hold many fond memories. They truly felt the fire was a tragedy.” Stewart said. “On the other hand, I think many of the people found in this tragedy an opportunity to rethink their commitment to moving forward and to grab hold of the vision for a new Union Baptist Church. I think there is a real feeling that God is moving here and that we will indeed see flames of revival rise out of the embers of the old building.”
In October, the church began constructing a new worship facility on the site of the old church building. Stewart said the message of hope presented through the Bible will continue to be the main theme of services held at Union Baptist.
“We are expecting to be in our new worship center sometime in the late winter or early spring,” he said. “We’d like to invite those who do not have a church home to come and visit. We’re here to present a message of hope and love for everyone – to say to everyone, ‘Hey, you can rise above whatever it may be that’s holding you back or keeping you down.’ That’s the promise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”