'"A Church being conformed into the image of the Christ, seeking to prove what is acceptable to the Lord."-Romans 8:29; Ephesians 5:10
In the year 1877, a band of Christians assembled somewhere in this city to form a church. A house was acquired on the corner of Twenty-fifth and Long streets that was used as the meetinghouse. Sometime later the church out grew its limited quarters and they launched a building program. After many years of struggle, and hard work, the basement of the church was finished. In 1910, a frame structure was erected and completed. Some years later, under Rev. O.C. Davis (1937-1951), the church became very active in the Pilgrim Joy District, Chattanooga District Association, the South Chattanooga Union of Churches and the Tennessee State and National Conventions. Other pastors who served in the formative years include: Rev. A. J. Rucker, Rev. Ferrell, Rev. J. H. Matson, Rev. J. C. Smiley, Rev. R. L. Womack, Rev. L. J. Wilder, Rev. P. B. Black, Rev. C. C. Fuller, Rev. R. L. Fuller, Rev. Noble, Rev. Fritz, Rev. A. F. Carmichael, Rev. Henry Sledge, Rev. A. L. Jarrett, and Rev. William A. Banks. There have also been several churches which sprang out of Union Hill, including: Progressive Carter Street Baptist Church, now known as First Baptist of Avondale, Greater Tabernacle Baptist, and New Emanuel Baptist Church, as well as St. John’s Baptist Church.
As the Church moved on, from 1965-1969 Rev. Alfred E. Pierre served as pastor of the church. Under his leadership, the many organizations were established such as a Baptist Training Union and Deaconess Board. In July 1967, the church membership was officially notified by the Tennessee Department of Highways Bureau of Right-of-Ways that a portion of the tract of land on which the church stood would be needed to improve the approach lanes to the freeway. On or bout January 30, 1968, the property of the Olive Street Baptist Church, 1800 North Chamberlain Avenue, Chattanooga, Tennessee was acquired. Union Hill worshipped at Howard School Auditorium for a brief time during this period. On September 1, 1968 the membership motored to the site of the newly acquired facility and marched in
In February 1970, the church extended the call to Rev. William Henry Ryan, Jr. under whose leadership several positive things occurred, including: Remodeling and expanding the Sanctuary to the Fellowship Hall, purchasing two new buses, establishing several active choirs and recording two albums, establishing several other ministries including Boy and Girl Scouts, and basketball teams, Singles, Nursing Home, Someone-To-Care, Finance and Budget, etc…. An Early Morning Service was also added and the church was incorporated with a Board of Directors formed with the pastor as President of the Corporation. The church purchased additional property for parking. Pastor Ryan served until December 2002.
From July 2003 to June 2005, Rev. Jimmy Ingram served the church on an interim basis. Pastor Jackson accepted the call in June 2005 and officially took the helm the first Sunday in July of that year. Since Pastor Jackson has come to Union Hill, he has shared his vision with the church and has placed an emphasis on setting goals, including: increasing personal commitment to the Lord, increasing ministry participation, Bible Study and Sunday School attendance, focusing on evangelical domestic and foreign missions, developing a culture of transparency, creating an atmosphere of worship, becoming good stewards, including increasing tithes and offerings. The Church, under Pastor Jackson’s guidance these last nearly seven years, has added new ministries, which include a separate Children’s Church (ages 4-12) and Teen Church (ages 13-18) where they have their own worship service as well as Biblical training at their level, a Praise team, Fellowship Ministry, and a Hospitality Ministry, to name a few. Additionally several ministries have been revamped.
Pastor Jackson has placed a great emphasis on teaching. He has also added Leadership and Teacher Training to better equip those who are serving. Moreover, the church has added computers, audio/visual enhancements, as we move forward to bring the church totally into the 21st century and enhance our ministries, Bible Studies, and Worship Services, utilizing a variety of technology that has added to the ability to carry out the ministerial functions of the church.
The church has also purchased a new van to assist in transporting members, put on a new roof over both the Fellowship Hall and Classrooms in 2010, as well as a new roof recently (2011) over the entire Sanctuary, enhanced our security system, and we have remodeled our Fellowship Hall and interior hallways. Pastor Jackson has provided opportunities for Church-Wide fellowships with the aim to promote unity and harmony among the membership. In addition we have added new Deacons, new Trustees and additional ministers have been licensed and/or ordained. Also, several new members have come on board and have made their presence fel