OUR HISTORY 2011 - 2019
The establishment of United Missionary Baptist Church, Middletown, Ohio is a unique slice of African-American history. The church was conceived at an organizational meeting on February 24, 1963. The participating architects were the late Rev. James Holloman, the late Rev. Frank Rawls, the late Deacon Percy L. Jefferson, and the late Deacon Coleman Roberts. For the sake of unity and spiritual enrichment, it was proposed that what were then two separate churches, Friendship Baptist and Union Baptist, be merged into a single, cohesive congregation. A short time later, the wisdom and spirit of this endeavor touched New Hope Baptist Church, then under the leadership of the late Rev. B. D. Lambert. The late Deacon Coleman Roberts was commissioned to draft a comprehensive merger procedure. The North Carolina A&T graduate submitted a twelve-point plan which was unanimously accepted by the consolidated congregations on August 9, 1963. The United Missionary Baptist Church was born.
With the consummation of the merger, the late Rev. James Holloman, the former director of Christian Education at Mt. Enon Baptist Church in Dayton, OH, was extended and accepted the call to serve as pastor of this newly formed church. Other officers who were instrumental in the merger were the late Deacons William Gregory, Gary Williams, Dallas Jackson, William Graves, Mack Langster, Charlie Cunningham, David Green, John Dickerson, John Peebles, James Simpson, Rev. Henry Teasley, and Rev. B. D. Lambert.
Under the inspired leadership of the late Rev. Holloman, the congregation soon outgrew the edifice, which had been the Union Baptist Church. Edison School was rented for Sunday Worship Services, and construction began on a new church building on the corner of Eighteenth Avenue and Minnesota Street, the site of the former New Hope Baptist Church. On September 5, 1965, the congregation occupied its new spiritual home.
During the ensuing years, a number of dreams were realized. A parsonage was purchased, an air-conditioning system was installed in the church, and the multi-million dollar United Housing Development was born. Better known as People’s Place, the United Housing Development, with its 119 apartment units, struck a major blow for open housing in Middletown.
An ardent apostle for social change, the late Rev. Holloman was a harbinger of hope for the disadvantaged of our city. He fostered educational and occupational equality for African-Americans in Middletown. Simultaneously, the late Rev. Holloman ministered to the United Family and furthered his education at Wilberforce University and Payne Theological Seminary. On January 21, 1975, he stepped beyond Eternity’s vale.
The late Rev. Henry Teasley, one of Middletown’s earliest Civil Rights activists, served as interim pastor and continued to instill the spirit of unity, until May 1976, when the late Rev. Leonard Charles Bennett was called to the pastorate of United. Accomplishments during the tenure of Rev. Bennett included the institution of the James Holloman Memorial Scholarship Fund, revitalization of the Christian Education Department, and burning of the church mortgage. In the spring of 1982, the late now Dr. L. C. Bennett was called to pastor the Gethsemane Baptist Church, Washington, D.C. This dynamic minister passed away on April 1, 2008. Rev. Henry Teasley departed his earthly life on January 8, 2010.
The late Rev. Alvin L. Richardson stepped in to serve as interim pastor while the church sought another spiritual leader. In the fall of 1982, Rev. Donald Owen Clay, Jr. was called and accepted the duties as pastor of our congregation. This outstanding gospel preacher filled the pews of United and began an Outreach Television Ministry. In June of 1985, Rev. Clay was called to pastor Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Our Senior Outreach Minister, Rev. Alvin Richardson, again served as interim pastor. The now Bishop Donald Owen Clay, Jr. pastors Petra Ministries in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Rev. Derrick Span came to United in December 1985. Rev. Span was a very articulate speaker, molded in the concepts and philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a social activist and initiated many projects directed toward the betterment of our church and our community. Rev. Span’s first son in the ministry was our Youth and Evangelism Minister, Rev. Elmon Prier. Rev. Prier directed a program that offered help for those seeking release from the entrapment of drug and alcohol dependence. Meetings for
this community-wide program were held at United. Rev. Span resigned in February 1989. Rev. Prier was called to pastor the Greater Faith Baptist Church and served as co-pastor with the church’s founder, Rev. Walter Piper, Jr. He later brought his outstanding ministry back to United. He now serves as an Associate Minister, responsible for the Bible Study Ministry. Rev. Span currently resides in Florence, AZ where he is the founder of Pangaea – a diversity and leadership development consulting firm. His unique and distinct
training style and intellect have afforded him a national reputation of being one of America’s greatest
trainers and social analysts.
The late Rev. Alvin Richardson was once again called upon to fill the role of interim pastor. The work of this great servant of God never went unnoticed. Rev. Richardson ministered to the sick and shut-in and preached an uncompromising gospel. When health concerns limited his ministerial services, he continued to serve by example and remained a loyal and faithful servant until our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ called him home on February 21, 2013. We truly loved and appreciated Rev. Richardson.
In February 1990, Rev. Shy-Quon Ely was installed as our pastor. Rev. Ely brought with him a dynamic and spirit-filled ministry. His stay was not long, but his contributions to the United family will long be remembered. In January 1991, Rev. Derrick Wakefield was called to pastor United. Rev. Wakefield was not installed; however, this outstanding minister had the potential to become one of our finest pastors. He currently spreads God’s Gospel as the Senior Pastor of Freedom Fellowship Christian Church in
In March 1993, God once again moved in a favorable way for the United Missionary Baptist Church when He sent us our current Pastor, Rev. Gregory Tyus. This powerful church and community leader was formerly the pastor of St. Mary Baptist Church, Cincinnati, Ohio. Under his leadership, United has continued to be a church “on the move”, inspiring members to realize that God is the way to eternal life. Pastor Tyus also initiated an ambitious building and renovation program. An addition to Holloman Hall
and a new Administration Wing was dedicated in October 2001.
Our Pastor has served UMBC for 26 of its 56 years. Accomplishments under his leadership include; an annual Back-to-School Splash—a community outreach where school supplies were distributed to parents and children; Sunday Night Live (SNL) – a monthly youth worship service with young people sharing their gifts; partnership with Rosa Parks Elementary School to provide volunteers and school supplies(members of our church, Sis. Wilhelmina Prier and Sis. Phoebe Jackson, spearheaded efforts in naming the new elementary school); Hallelujah Night, a safe and family-oriented fun fest on October 31st. Due to the overwhelming participation, Pastor Tyus has reached out to our sister churches and community business to coordinate a Fall Harvest Festival to be held at the Robert ‘Sonny’ Hill Community Center. Other projects include ‘Saluting our Senior Saints’ —an annual celebration established in 1999 to honor members 70 years of age and older for their faithfulness. In 2017, the inaugural Erma Lee Holloman Legacy Luncheon was held. It holds a two-fold purpose: One, to honor the silent hero Erma Holloman, who stood alongside her husband, the late Rev. James Holloman in the successful birth of the church; secondly, to honor many others, 80 years and older, for their silent leadership in our community. Both events are now held biennial (every two years). A major focus is studying God’s Word: Wednesday Night Bible Study, Sunday School, Saturday Morning Men’s and Women’s Fellowship.
In following the footsteps of our awesome beginning, United’s leadership continues to proudly serve the community. Associate Minister and life long member of United, Rev. Kendall C. Wright proudly oversees our Christian Education ministry. He is also president and founder of Entelechy Training and Development, Inc. – an international, full-service professional and personal development firm. For over 25 years he has instructed, enlightened and empowered thousands of managers, employees, and leaders around the world. A gifted communicator, and award-winning presenter, “The Actualizer” has received many awards and honors, including having served as President of The National Speakers Association – OH. And currently serving as Board Vice-Chair, on the Board of Trustees of the Greater Miami Valley YMCA.
Pastor Tyus was a co-founder of Middletown Adolescent Leaders Achieve (MALACHI)—a faith-based organization that oversaw alternative educational programs for local youth. He is a past member of the Middletown City Council and past president of the African-American Ministerial Alliance. In January 2008, he was appointed to fill an unexpired term on the Middletown School Board. Upon his return, he was elected and served as its President. In 2011 he was appointed to represent the Middletown City Schools on the Butler Tech School Board (Ohio’s largest career-technical school). On March 19, 2012, United’s illustrious leader was presented the United Way of Greater Cincinnati-Middletown Area Volunteer of the Year award. And in 2013, in addition to Rev. Tyus’ full-time pastoral duties, he was elected to serve as President of the Butler Tech School Board and Vice-President of the Middletown City School Board. He resigned from the Middletown School Board during the 2015-2016 school year but continues to proudly represent Middletown City Schools on the Butler Tech School Board. His senior pastor duties are greatly enhanced by his ministerial staff: Rev. Elmon W. Prier, Bible Study Ministry; Rev. Kendall C. Wright, Christian Education Ministry; Minister Madolyn Shanea Bennett, Youth Ministry; and Brother Archie Byers, Minister of Music. Rev. John W. McGraw, an outstanding member of the ministerial staff passed away on July 17, 1999. Rev. Alvin Lee Richardson, a good and faithful servant, passed away on February 21, 2013. Rev. Angela L. Frazier left United on July 24, 2016, to fulfill her military duties as Captain in the US Air Force. In September 2019, she was elevated to the rank of Major; and serves as the Sr. Executive Officer for the 633rd Air Base Wing Commander at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA.
For 2019, we embarked on a mission of ‘Building Blocks for a Healthy Body in Christ’. With God’s direction we are striving to strengthen our spiritual foundation by; holding on to God’s unchanging hand; PUSH (Praying until Something Happens); be more loving; be more caring; building a stronger community; building a culture of generosity – all to be more like CHRIST.