Little Union Baptist Church celebrates 141 years
Danny Granstaff, WKN Editor
Bandana - This past Sunday brought with it celebration and praise as the members of Little Union Missionary Baptist Church in Bandana celebrated its 141st Anniversary. They were joined in their worship and praise by members of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Paducah along with their pastor, Rev. Edward Ballard.
Little Union Baptist Church has stood in the same place in Bandana since 1872. It is a landmark for those in Ballard County as everyone who enters Bandana passes by the building, which is prominently located on the first curve in the road leading into town. What most people may not know is some of the history of one of the oldest churches in the County.
The first building of Little Union was built of logs. A passage from the history of the Church read, “There wasn’t much fashion but much faith, not much light but the Bible gave light, which led the way.” Later, the present building was built.
Little Union points to a number of great leaders and followers who have been an inspiration to the church. Some of the ministers were: Rev. Willis; Rev. Long; Rev. T.T. Hughes (A Ballard County native, who was pastor from 1932 until 1946; Rev. Bostic; Rev. S.M. Bradley (who passed away in 1969), and Rev. L.D. Brown, who spiritually and faithfully led the congregation until 1981.
Rev. W.M. Jones pastored a few months, and Rev. James Claybrooks came to the church as an interim pastor from July 1983 until May 1984. Rev. John. E. Ross came to Little Union in 1984. Under his leadership, the bathrooms and windows were installed. In 1997, Rev. Jonathan McReynolds came to Little Union as pastor and stayed until 1999. The church considers him to have been a great inspiration to the church and to the entire community.
Re. Franklin Collins then pastored from September 2002 until March 2004. Following him, the church then had different ministers come to preach. In the fall of 2004, Rev. James H. Vinson, Associate Minister of Harrison Street Baptist Church in Paducah came to preach at Little Union. “I was basically in retirement, and they were in need of a pastor,” said Vinson. “I went to help out since they didn’t have a pastor. I’ve been helping out for 8 years,” he jokingly added.
In February 2006, the church instituted a fund raiser (stock purchase plan) to aid in the dream of adding to the facilities; the church also received a new roof that year. The dream of adding facilities culminated in the dedication of a new fellowship hall in Feb. 2012 with the help of donations from the community and Tot Waldon.
Throughout the years, Little Union has seen several deacons and deaconesses ordained. Two of the most recently ordained (2006) were the late Floyd Hollowell and the late Willie Mae Hollowell. Floyd Hollowell had been presented with the Keys to the new fellowship hall during the dedication service in 2012. Urias Yates was ordained as a deacon on October 19, 2009.
Those who attended the 141st Anniversary celebration were introduced to Rev. Edward Ballard, Pastor Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Paducah. Ballard’s message had Matthew 16:18, “Building on the Rock,” as its focus. Ballard spoke of the definition of the word “church,” and said Little Union has been ministering to God’s people for 141 years because of Matt. 16:18. He said, “Jesus is the author of the Church. He is the founder of the Church. He is the facilitator of the Church.”
In talking about the 141 years in which Little Union Baptist Church has been a church, Ballard said, “Thank you [Lord] for watching over this Little Union for 141 years. The Church is not the building; it is the believer.”