Union Baptist Church was founded in February of 1960 by the late Reverend James Marshall Mallette and a group of dedicated and faithful Christians. When Rev. Mallette first started out, he held weekly meetings in his home. As attendance increased the need for a much larger place was needed and the recreation center at Taylor Homes Housing Project was secured for Sunday services. This continued for approximately four months.
God blessed Union and others joined the flock. Through great wisdom and foresight, Rev. J. M. Mallette saw the need for a yet larger place. He rented the old Calvary Baptist Church’s sanctuary at 4th and Brunswick Street for services to be held in. During their stay at this location, Mother Julia Printz suggested the name ‘Union Missionary Baptist Church’ at a church meeting, and it was at this time the name was formally adopted.
The following auxiliaries were founded: the Deacon Board with Deacon Lee Artis Brown as chairperson and the Trustee Board with Brother Roderick Thomas as chairperson. The members of the Trustee Board were Brother Wylie Fowler, rother John Rutland, Brother Paul Nelson, and Brother Adam Gamble. Sister Blanche Robbins was the first Church Clerk. The Senior and Gospel Choir was founded and the Mother’s Board with Mother Julia Printz and Mother Idella Holden. The Usher Board and Pastor’s Aid were also founded.
Initially, the membership had hoped to buy the sanctuary and remodel it; however, this proved to be a horrendous undertaking, so this idea was abandoned. It was at during this time of transition that the Chairman of the Board, Brother Roderick Thomas, noticed a “FOR SALE” sign on the grounds of the old Tabernacle Baptist Church at the corner of 6th and Ann Street. Pastor Mallette was informed of this opportunity and presented it to his Church Family for consideration. It was a unanimous decision from the congregation for Rev. Mallette and his staff to meet with Rev. Elmer Pointer and his officers to negotiate the purchase of the building. With God still in charge, the building at 6th and Ann Streets became known as
UNION MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH.
At that time, UMBC members were permitted to occupy the facilities while negotiations regarding the Church’s contents continued. A major fund-raiser ensued, and enough money was raised for a down payment on the property. On Sunday, September 9, 1962, Union Missionary Baptist Church held their first formal church services in their new home. It consisted of a reception following the morning services and afternoon service with family and friends of Union.
Rev. James Marshall Mallette, a native of Sumpter, South Carolina, continued to be the pastor until his death in the year of 1964.
Through the years, God blessed Union with the following pastors: 1964, Rev. A. B. Sutton, and 1975, Rev. Bruce Edwards who left Union in 1977 to continue his ministry in another area of the United States.
Being without a pastor for a year, God sent to us, our fourth pastor in the year of 1977, Rev. James H. Nixon, a native of Hampstead, NC.
Under his leadership, Pastor Nixon organized many ministries, purchased vans, completely remodeled our 515 Ann Street edifice, added staff and much more to cover the duties and needs of Union.
God has anointed Pastor Nixon with the gift of leadership and the presence of the Holy Spirit has drawn many souls to Christ. God gave him a vision for a much-needed larger facility. To fulfill that vision, a Building Planning Committee was organized and in 1993 approximately eight acres of land was available for purchase to build a 999-seat sanctuary with full operating facilities at 2711 Princess Place Drive. The planning and development of our new facility continued, and a Ground Breaking Ceremony was held in 1996 with the construction phase occurring from 1997-1998.
On Sunday, March 28, 1999, the doors of Union Missionary Baptist Church at 2711 Princess Place Drive were opened with a dedication service theme of “Giving back to God what He had given to us”. This “From Glory to Glory!” Service included many pastors and dignitaries from the Wilmington and surrounding communities.On Sunday, January 2, 2000, a Cornerstone Dedication Service was held in reverence of the foundation as a House of Prayer and Praise to God Almighty.
In the Spring of 2001, Union joined the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International with a commitment to help “Change A Generation” under the leadership of Presiding Prelate, Bishop Paul S. Morton. With a spirit of devotion and determination, Pastor Nixon accepted the opportunity to work within the Fellowship and on October 3, 2004, he was appointed as the 1st Assistant to the Bishop of Recruitment, Bishop M.C. Akins on the International level. He has also held the following positions: North Carolina State Director of Recruitment and Southeast District Director of Fellowship Relations.
Under the leadership of Pastor James H. Nixon, Union has been able to purchase a 55 passenger bus, (recently sold to purchase a newer 25 passenger bus) and 4 vans including one which is handicap accessible. With well over 40 ministries, Union Missionary Baptist Church offers both the young and old an opportunity to actively pursue their spiritual gifts. Union made a difference in the community with the opening of Union’s Mission House, which was an emergency shelter for women who were victims of domestic violence, drugs, alcohol, and even prison. Although the Mission House is now closed, we were able to serve over 400 women within the community offering them access to various resources which allowed them a greater opportunity to find their way into new productive lives.
Pastor Nixon’s vision for Union of “Reaching out to the Community” continued to unfold with the 2014 opening of the Abundant Giving Food Ministry which serves to distribute food to those families in need. Future plans for Union are to build a 24-hour Daycare/Nightcare Center for both children and adults, and an educational facility which will include preschool through 8th grade. Many other projects are in the works as we diligently strive to uplift and buildup the Kingdom of God.
With the prayers, faith, talents, and tithes of the members and congregation and the blessings of the Lord, Union continues to be a thriving ministry within our community.