Local Church Celebrates 200 Years in Community | WIBQ The Talk Station

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WAWV/WTWO) – A local church celebrated two centuries in the Wabash Valley.

Union Baptist Church was started in 1822 by a local family and was the first church in Pierson Township and the second in Vigo County. Four generations and six buildings later, the church still stands on East Harlen Drive.

The community gathered for a dignitary breakfast to celebrate the anniversary on Saturday.

State, city and county officials joined the Union Baptist Church community in recognizing a long history of outreach and fellowship.

Many certificates of appreciation were presented to the church at their celebratory breakfast.

Mayor Duke Bennett said it was heartening to see the church celebrate this milestone.

“Churches are such an important backbone in our community and to be around for so long and have served so many families,” Bennett said. “It’s really heartwarming to see.”

Even with such a long history behind the congregation, Pastor Rod Maris was the first to serve in this full-time role.

Maris also received a certificate.

“To be here and serve the people here in this church and serve this area, it’s just an honor,” Maris said.

After breakfast, the community had the opportunity to see the history of the church. Timelines and member recognitions were among the many displays in the lobby.

Church Historian BJ Campbell said many generations of members are still here in the community.

“We have three families who still have four generations here in the church,” Campbell said.

Richard Cooper has been with the church for 22 years and said it was amazing to see how the congregation has grown.

“20% of offerings go to mission evangelism which is phenomenal and the church is debt free which is phenomenal,” Cooper said. “It is a sign to me from the Lord that we are doing the right thing.”

Cooper said the church plans to bury a time capsule with the history of the past two hundred years next month.

“Two hundred years from now, if the lord doesn’t come back, people are going to dig him up and they’ll say that’s what happened 200 years ago,” Cooper said.

The church invites the public to continue the Celebration on Sunday, July 17 at 9:30 a.m. for coffee and donuts, as well as worship at 10:30 a.m.

Jerry B. Hatch