Missionary Union Baptist Church (c. 1833)
The Missionary Union Baptist Church, organized in 1833, is the oldest African-American church in Northeast Mississippi. Organized during the days of slavery, services were held in the afternoons on Sundays and Wednesdays in the basement of the First Baptist Church.
Some of the first deacons and pastors of this church after it was organized and before it was charted were: Brothers Caesar Barry and Peter Evans, deacons; and Reverends Jack Hinton, George Powell, and P. Eckford, pastors.
After emancipation and during the Reconstruction Period, the Missionary Union Baptist Church was charted in 1867 during the pastorate of Rev. Jesse F. Boulden, but continued to hold meetings in the basement of the White Baptist Church. The charter officers were: Brother R. Gregory, R. Baker, Digg Bluett, Simon Mitchell, Sr., Auston Jones, Wiley Johnson, deacons, Brothers S. F. Evans, H. Baker, and Benjamin Farnandis, trustees.
In 1871, the church purchased and moved to its present site where a small building stood to which they added and set it apart as a house of worship.
Since 1867 this church has had many qualified and brilliant leaders who were both preachers and pastors, builders of membership, stately churches and organizers of Christian organizations, ministers like T. L. Jordan, who served as moderator and secretary of the General Missionary Baptist Association of Mississippi, moderator and corresponding secretary of United Baptist Convention of the State and organized the first Sunday School Convention of the state and was its president for ten years. Rev. J. F. Boulden organized the Mount Olivet Association in 1869 and later the General Baptist Association of Mississippi, served as a representative in the Lower House of Representative in the state of Mississippi, founded the Republication Party in Northeast Mississippi, and spear-headed the effort to make Hiram Reveals the first black elected to the Senate.
From 1833 through 1995, the pulpit of the church has been filled respectively by the following ministers, other than those already mentioned: Reverends M. Rice, H.W. Bownes, A. C. Skinner, Boyd, S. M. Dukes, C. T. Stamps, A. Bell, James Mitchell, E. J. Echols, Tutt, Goss, G. H. Cliffin, Howard, W. H. Davidson, R. D. Holloway, S. T. Cunningham, G. W. Reese, S. A. Henderson, Marcell Kellar, Truitt Evans, Creed Buck, W. J. Wyne, Jr., and Robert Cain, Sr.
The present pastor, Rev. Tony A. Montgomery, Sr., accepted the call to Missionary Union on November 10, 1996, and was installed on March 9, 1997. Under Rev. Montgomery’s leadership, the Lord has continued to add to the membership, several in-reach and outreach ministries have been developed, such as Sons of Issachar (Rites of Passage Ministry for boys), Girls Growing Through God’s Grace (Rites of Passage for girls), Greeter’s Ministry, Health Ministry, Hospitality Ministry, New Horizon’s Young Adult Ministry, Planning and Development Ministry, Public Relations Ministry, Sisterhood Ministry, Seasoned Saints Ministry, Silent Expression Mime Ministry, and an Audio/Video Ministry. In 1997, two additional properties were purchased for future expansion of the church campus. Interior additions include an audio visual room and a historic restoration to the Sanctuary.