of Our Church

Humble Beginnings

UNION BAPTIST CHURCH stands today as an example of just how good God is and how a people, endowed with solid faith in God and His Word cannot only survive; but grow to be one of this city's, state's and nation's leading congregations in spreading the Gospel and in Mission Outreach.  During her pilgrimage through these years, Union has been a pioneer and leader in many areas of ministry.  Union has been a passageway for many Aftican-Americans who migrated from the south to New York City.  From the early 1900s through the 1950s a majority of these persons passed through Union Baptist Church.

UNION BAPTIST CHURCH was organized by a great leader and visionary, Dr. George H. Sims, Senior.  As a young man of 27, George Henry Sims had a dream in which God gave him the key to a church and directed him to unlock the door.  When he awoke, he decied to act on that vision.  He packed up his bags in Nyack, NY and moved back to New York City, where he had received his first religious training.  It was here that re resolved to reorganize and begin the new UNION BAPTIST CHURCH, which he did, with only nine members and a few dollars.  The old Union Baptist Church had dissolved.  The new Union, located on 63rd Street, was born November 6, 1898.

Rev. Sims was criticized by many for organizing and locating the church in what was considered the most wicked section of New York City - "Hell's Kitchen."  Rev. Dr. G. H. Sims erected two church buildings before moving to 145th Street in Harlem.

 Growing Through Change

In 1926, the UNION BAPTIST CHURCH moved to 240-52 West 145th Street, our present location.  Due to population shifts, Harlem had become the central residential area for Blacks migrating from other districts, various states and other countries. Following several other renovations throughout the years, our last Building Renovation Project began in August 1988 and was completed in April 1990.

In 1955, at the age of 84 years, "Doc Sims" was called from labor to reward.  The Christian Community lost a courageous, creative, compassionate and charismatic champion.  Union's rich past has been due to her being blessed with great pastoral leadership, starting with our organizer, Dr. George H. Sims, Sr., and continuing with his successors.  His successors are as follows:  Rev. George Sims, Jr., who served as Co-pastor with his father and became the pastor after his father's death; he only served as pastor until 1956, Rev. Alfred Isaac (1957 - 1958), Rev. Dr. Carl B. Taylor (1959 - 1962), Rev. Dr. Leonard E. Terrell (1963 - 1973), Rev. Dr. Ollie B. Wells, Sr. (1975-2004) and Rev. Antonio Darnell Anderson (2007 - 2012).

Looking to the Future

At the present time, we do not have a Pastor, but as was the case when we were without a pastor following the death of Rev. Wells, Deacon Charles Cook, Chairman of the Deacons' Ministry, is ably assisted by our Associate Ministers and all of the Officers and Members of Union Baptist Church.  Rev. Claretha P. Moore currently serves as our Executive Minister and our Associate Ministers are Rev. Dr. Betty A. Spencer, Minister Wanda U. Herndon and Minister Keynon Jackson.

UNION BAPTIST CHURCH has always enjoyed a wonderful fellowship with our sister churches in the community and all over the state of New York.  Our church has always been blessed with outstanding leadership since its organization 115 years ago and we are certain that God in His infinite wisdom has guided and will continue to guide our leaders' footsteps.




To Know Christ

And Make

Him Known