The humble though historic beginning of Union Missionary Baptist Church at Bradrick, Ohio (now known as Chesapeake, OH) was evident in the first meeting of a mere handful of dedicated men on a Saturday in February 1843. The church was born of its mother church, Symmes Creek, and can trace its lineage back through time to a succession of parenting churches including Ohio Baptist, as well as Mud River Baptist and Old Greenbrier Baptist in Virginia.
Since its founding in 1843, Union Missionary Baptist Church’s meeting place has changed dramatically. It has evolved from its humble beginnings with just a handful of people meeting together with no permanent meeting house to the present facility with a sanctuary able to accommodate almost eight hundred people.
The changes have come gradually over the one hundred seventy years of Union’s history. The church has had two locations for its meeting houses. The original location at the top of Bradrick Hill, once called Low Gap, was the site of Union’s first two church buildings. The first, a wooden structure built in 1854, stood for ninety-four years until it was replaced with a brick structure in 1948. Both of these buildings could accommodate only one hundred people in their sanctuaries.
But as Union began a period of unparalleled growth in the latter part of the twentieth century, the church realized that a new location was needed for the site of a building that could house its increasing numbers. That location would also be home to two church buildings. The first, built in 1984, more than doubled the seating capacity of the previous building. In 1999 a new building was built and joined the first building on that site making the entire church complex over 43,000 square feet.
This spacious facility
will be able to meet the needs of Union Missionary Baptist Church for
years to come and facilitate its mission of, “Reaching the lost,
teaching the saved, caring for one another.”
A complete history of Union Missionary Baptist Church was published in 2010 entitled, "The Meeting House at Low Gap: A History of Union Missionary Baptist Church".