By Faye Gaston
The Historical Preservation report was on the agenda of the Union Springs City Council meeting on November 2, 2020. Faye Gaston gave the following report.
The pastor of First Baptist Church of Union Springs, Dr. Bill Cannon, wrote this in the September 2020 church newsletter: "Life goes on even during a pandemic. Our church anniversary is no exception. This year we celebrate 171 years of the message of Jesus going forth from First Baptist Church of Union Springs.
Many persons became disciples of Jesus, were taught the Bible, and were baptized through the witness and work of First Baptist members. We have been granted stewardship of a wonderful heritage in membership and building. Sadly, we will not celebrate as usual with a great meal this year."
During this COVID-19 pandemic, we have focused on church buildings since many were closed.
The church newsletter published photos of the First Baptist church building with captions through its 171 years.
September 8, 1849, Providence Baptist Church was constituted with nine charter members. That was the first name of the church.
The church building photo from 1859 to 1902 had a caption that read: In 1859, the church contracted with Mr. F.R. Bell to build a new building for the total cost of $3,000.00.
The church building photo from 1903 to 1948 had a caption that read: In 1903, the vestibule with its stained glass window and the twin towers with enclosed stairs were added. The old steeple was removed, the building was brick veneered, and stained glass windows and a pipe organ were installed.
The photo of the church building in 1949 had a caption that read: The 100th anniversary! The Education Building was built to meet the need for more space for Sunday School classes and a Nursery.
The church's photo made about 2015 had a caption that read: In 1985, Providence Hall was added and named for the original name of the church acknowledging God's Providence and His hand guiding our steps as we follow Him.
In 2020 the ministry of First Baptist Church has continued for 171 years and even in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.