Greater Union Baptist Church
525 Gray Road
Perry, GA 31069
The History Of Greater Union Missionary Baptist
“All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come thither they return again.” ~Ecclesiastes 1:7 A river starts as a tiny trickle on a slope. Rainfall, snowfall, a spring or the melting of a glacier may be its source. As it flows downhill, it is joined by other trickles to make a brook. Other brooks add their waters to form a stream which broadens into a creek. As the waters continue its downward journey, it gains in volume and becomes a river. The Greater Union Baptist Church began as a small trickle in 1905 when a small group of Christian believers got together and organized the Union Baptist Church. As our forefathers would put it, God has brought this church from a “mighty long way.” Among those present were the following pioneers: Phil Brown, Jack Woods, John Smith, Toby Fann, Charlie Whitehurst, Bessie Nelson, Minnie Allen, Stella Cooper, Minerva Miller, Ford Williams Bertha Carter, Virginia Arnold, Ellen Brown, Charlotte Dennard and their pastor, Rev. R. N. Howard. Prayers began to be said and regular prayer meetings were started. Out of the fellowship, seeds of faith sprouted, initiating the organization of a church and “Union Baptist Church” became a brook. Rev. Howard carried the pulpit as the first pastor of the church for about four(4) years. Rev. S.P. Miller, hailing from Vienna, Georgia became the torch bearer to serve as pastor. He would serve as pastor for two (2) years. It was noted in the history record that he was a very good speaker. For the next six (6) years, Rev. T. H., Rev. T. H. Henderson from Americus, Georgia accepted the call to serve as pastor. The history also reflects that Rev. Henderson was a very dynamic speaker. Hailing from Macon, Georgia was Rev. B. R. Davis whom the church saw fit to call. Rev. Davis remained as the pastor for about three (3) years. He was forced to leave because of poor health. Because of Rev. Davis health, the church had to make another choice. Rev. W. J. Reynolds accepted the pastoral position at Union Baptist Church. He was from Macon, Georgia and served for four (4) years. 2 Union Baptist Church body then extended a call to Rev. A. H. Daniels. He was forced to resign because of too many churches on the same Sunday. Rev. F. B. Burney of Albany, Georgia was the next choice to serve as pastor. Pastor Burney served for four (4) years. Rev. E. L. Dozier was selected to lead the congregation. Rev. Dozier served for four (4) years. He resigned in order to take on greater works which was to pastor one of Florida’s greatest churches. Rev. G. T. Terry accepted the call to serve as Union Baptist’s next pastor. Pastor Terry was from Macon, Georgia. He was a dynamic and highly respected clergyman who served for thirty-two (32) years. Pastor Terry passed on to get his Eternal Reward. He was instrumental in making great strides to making Greater Union what it is today. The original church which was wooden was built by Jim Dennard and financed by Powell Cooper, was destroyed by fire. Another building was constructed at the same location; it too was financed by Powell Cooper. The contractor was Steven Roberts. During the construction period, services were held at the Perry Chapel A.M.E. Church. The new church building remained the same until October 1949, when it was wired with electricity, repaired and bricked. Under the leadership of Rev. Terry, additions such as new deacons were added, organized a junior church and auxiliaries, and began construction of the education unit (named in honor of Rev. Terry as the G. T. Terry Educational Building). This facility includes three (3) bathrooms, the pastor’s office, eight (8) classrooms, church finance office, dining area and kitchen. (Rev. Terry did not live to see the completion of the building). We thank God for Rev. Terry and his 32 years of leadership as an humble and beloved pastor. After the death of Rev. Terry, the church had to make another selection for a pastor. On April 5, 1971, the church called Rev. Walter Lewis Glover, Jr. to serve as their spiritual visionary leader. The members became acquainted with Rev. Glover through his excellent leadership capabilities that he rendered during the illness of Rev. Terry. Under his dynamic leadership, the church experienced unprecedented growth. Improvements were made to the church; namely, holding worship services every Sunday and the word “GREATER” was annexed to the church’s name. Within the first year of his pastorate, Rev. Glover initiated numerous new ministries, which promoted spirituality and fellowship. Rev. Glover served for five (5) years. He resigned on the first Sunday in September 1976 to pastor Unionville Baptist Church in his hometown of Macon, Georgia. 3 Once again, it was pastor seeking time. This time the church made the choice of Rev. Donald Snead of Fort Valley, Georgia. Rev. Snead was an excellent leader. After four (4) years of service as pastor, he resigned in order to further his studies at the University of Kentucky. In February 1981, the church made the choice of Rev. James Frank Sherman from Wayside, Georgia as their next leader. Under the leadership of Rev. Sherman, many structural improvements were made to the church edifice. These included: remodeled the church (widening the pulpit and choir stand, adding a baptistery, a lounge, the vestibule with two (2) bathrooms, paneling the church sanctuary and a handicap ramp). On November 7, 1982, the Greater Union Baptist Church Family held a dedication and consecration service. The fourth Sunday, February 26, 1984, Rev. Algen Hicks carried out services due to the fact that on Tuesday, February 28, 1984, Pastor Sherman was scheduled to undergo surgery. In his absence, the first and third Sunday services were carried out by Elder Joe Ridley of Wayside, Georgia and Rev. Willie King conducted services on the second and fourth Sundays. The church was very grateful to Rev. Hicks, Rev. King and Elder Ridley for the services they rendered. After Rev. Sherman’s recovery, he returned and commenced working toward the upbuilding of God’s program. Greater Union was now flowing as a stream. The parking lot was resurfaced, institutional equipment (steam table) was added in the kitchen, chandeliers purchased, organ note paid off, baby grand piano purchased, a new 15 passenger van was also purchased. In addition, the pews were cushioned, formed the Spirit of Love Gospel Choir and purchased robes for the youth choir. One of the greatest highlights was the burning of the mortgage for the educational building. In 1987, four (4) deacons were ordained. They were Bernard Dixon, Walter Lewis, Bobby Glover, Jr., and Reginald Lewis. Rev. Elvoid Haywood was ordained in 1988 as the Associate Pastor. A wind of misunderstanding began to blow and as a result, six (6) out of the nine (9) deacons and a group of members left the church. On the third Sunday, May 19, 1991, we were forced to conduct worship services on the outside. By God’s divine providence, we had an anointing, spiritual and uplifting service that day. On the fourth Sunday, May 26, 1991, the Lord made it possible for His doors to be re-opened. Pastor Sherman served Greater Union for sixteen (16) years until God saw fit to send him to another part of the vineyard in Dublin, Georgia. 4 On the first Sunday of June 1995, Rev. Elvoid B. Haywood of warner Robins, Georgia became the Interim Pastor. On July 30, 1995, he was installed as pastor. Under Pastor Haywood’s leadership, a Scholarship Committee was formed, and a tutorial program was organized. In October 1996, Pastor Haywood was asked to resign his duties as pastor for the betterment of the church and her members. On January 29, 1997, Rev. Keith Anderson was chosen as pastor of Greater Union Baptist Church. He preached his first sermon as pastor on February 2, 1997. Rev. Anderson served ten (10) years as pastor of Greater Union. Many accomplishments were made during his tenure; namely, purchased a new computer and printer, forming an outreach ministry, Media Ministry established, purchased a new church van, development of a Church Constitution, formed a Radio Ministry, purchased a new church sign, created spiritual conferences and purchased new media equipment. Rev. Anderson submitted his resignation on Sunday, December 9, 2007 as pastor of Greater Union. From December 16, 2007 through September 12, 2008, Greater Union Baptist was without a shepherd. Different ministers came and delivered powerful, soul-stirring messages from on High. God has shown us favor by sending us a dynamic and anointed leader to take us further in the Name of Jesus. On September 13, 2008, the church family selected Rev. Otha L. Everett as the next visionary of Greater Union Missionary Baptist Church. He preached his inaugural sermon as pastor on Sunday, September 28, 2008. Pastor Everett was officially installed as Undershepherd on November 16, 2008. In a short time with Pastor Everett at the helm, many lives have been saved and transformed through his preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The membership and spiritual development has increased at Greater Union. Among Pastor Everett’s accomplishments since becoming pastor are: s Renovation of kitchen s Refacing of sanctuary and educational unit on the outside. s Upgrading the media area s Rebuilding ministries s Instituting Noon Day Bible Study on Wednesdays s Adding an Educational Resource Room s Establishing a Young Adult Choir 5 s Revamping pulpit and choir stand s Revising Bible Study to Praise and Word Night On December 16, 2008, three brethren were ordained as deacons. They were: Daniel Roberts, Winfred Rouse and Quincy Williams. We look back on our journey, ever thankful for God’s grace in bringing us to this station.
As we approach other milestones along our path God blessed the Greater Union Baptist church with a new church. In 2019, the Greater Union Baptist church relocated to 525 Gray Road in Perry, GA. As we continue to transition from 1006 Marion Street to 525 Gray Road, we look forward by faith, knowing that the promise of I Corinthians 2:9 is ours: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.” The Greater Union Missionary Baptist Church Family is proud of our Historical Record for which we give God all the Glory. Through His Divine Guidance, we will take “bigger” steps in the Name of Christ Jesus. Thanks to our forerunners who laid the foundation through their struggle, tears and prayers. We commend them for their dedication and sacrifices.