Union Baptist Church recognized by TBC for 150 years of ministry
Published 4:10 pm Thursday, November 4, 2021
Union Baptist Church, Hampton, has been recognized by the Tennessee Baptist Convention for its 150 years of ministry as a Tennessee Baptist Church. A plaque was presented to the church by the Historical Committee of the TBC denoting the milestone.
According to church records Union Baptist Church was admitted to the Watauga Baptist Association of Baptists Sept. 8, 1871 during the third annual associational meeting at Taylorsville, Tn. (now known as Mountain City). Jonathan Hampton Hyder was moderator.
At the time Union Baptist had 31 members and the pastor was A.J.F. Hyde.
It is believed that the church was organized in the mid-1800s and was started in a school building at Carden’s Bluff. The congregation worshiped in that building until 1896 when it was destroyed by fire. Due to the fire and the early 1900 floods, church records were destroyed.
The church worshiped in another building at Carden’s Bluff until 1906, when that building was also destroyed by fire.
Early pastors at the church included Rev. Sam Deloach (1896-1909); Joe Potter (1909-11); and Rev. Ed Hazelwood (1911-1938). Under the ministry of Rev. Hazelwood, the Union Baptist congregation built a new house of worship according to records from Jan. 12, 1918. The church prospered greatly under Rev. Hazelwood’s ministry.
The congregation continued to worship in the building at Carden’s Bluff until 1942, when due to the building of Watauga Dam, the church was moved to Divided Ridge, where it is now located. The Rev. Joe Potter became the pastor at the new location. He was followed by the Rev. W.W. Ward, who served until 1948. The Rev. Charles Nelson served as pastor from 1948-50, and was followed by the Rev. Charles Campbell.
The church prospered greatly under the ministry of Rev. Campbell. The building was enlarged, remodeled and bricked, which cost about $70,000.
Rev. Campbell died in 1960, and in his memory the congregation installed a church sign in his memory.
In the spring of 1965, the congregation built a new parsonage, and in 1975 constructed the Homer Goodwin Fellowship Hall. In 1979 the church added the children’s building atop the fellowship hall.
Other notable accomplishments include the purchase of a new church bus in 1986, the construction of a new parsonage behind the fellowship hall and the purchase of another bus.
In 2012 the church built the Smith Center Fellowship Hall, and a new sign was added in the spring of 2018. The latest construction was a new front to the church in the spring of 2019.
A member of the congregation noted that the Lord continues to bless the church today just as he had since 1800.