Church History

History of

The Union Baptist Church, Inc.


Rev. Dr. Horace A. Melton, Founder and Pastor


Rev. Benjamin T. Hailey Sr., Pastor


Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and by permission of the Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention, Rev. Melton came to Allentown for the express purpose of organizing the church.  He solicited non-church members by going door-to-door.  In 1946 the Church began with eight committed members.

1946-1947 - While waiting for possession of a building located at 377 Union Street, we held services once a week, for several weeks at David Tea Room located at 372 Union Street.  Eventually, the first floor of 377 Union Street was made ready for occupancy in which we began worshipping with unbroken regularity.  Prayer meetings were held on Wednesday evenings and Church School and Worship Service on Sunday.

As we worshipped, God blessed our labors in that children came to Church School and families and individuals united with the church.  The charter members of the church were the late Deacons William Tallafario, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Brantley Sr., Mrs. Annie Jackson, Miss Ruth Jackson, Mrs. Mary Johnson and Miss Linda Tutt, who moved to Detroit, Michigan.  With the above mentioned persons the church was officially organized.  We owe them a debt of gratitude for their constant faith and abiding love for the Church of God.

The remainder of the history of this historic first Black Baptist Church established in Allentown, Pennsylvania is in chronological order as we have records, either written or from memory to substantiate the events:

1947 – The first revival was held and as a result, thirteen persons were received as candidates for baptism and were baptized in the Jordan River at Jordan ParkNorth 7th Street, Allentown, PA

1960 – The congregation purchased an edifice at

621 Linden Street, where the congregation worshipped until  August 1979.

1973 – The Mortgage Burning Ceremony for the Linden Street Church was held April 8th.

1979 – The first Baptist Church at 6th and Chew Streets was purchased by Dr. Melton and congregation.

1980 – The Hospitality Committee was organized.  The church purchased a parking lot on Sixth Street near the church and new carpet was installed in the sanctuary.

1984 – Central air conditioning was installed in the church.

1992 – The mortgage burning ceremony was held for the 6th and Chew Streets church on June 21st.

1993-1997 – During these years the pew seats were covered, we purchased a van to transport those members who didn’t have transportation.

1996 – Golden Anniversary of church and Pastor Dr. H.A. Melton.

1998 – Rev. Earl A. Cary was ordained to the Gospel Ministry.

1999 – Sister Shirl Comick was the first woman to preach her trial sermon at Union Baptist Church.  Brothers Michael Comick and Dudley Samuda also answered the call to preach the gospel and were given the opportunity to preach.  A male usher board was organized.  Brother Donnie Robison was appointed president of the board.

2000 – Seven seasoned saints were set aside as Mothers of the church.  They were: Deacons Mariah Hicks, Mable Grantham, Mattie Bosket, Lucille Alexander, Beatrice Cole, Ethel Patterson, and Ella Green.  The service was held on Sunday, February 27th.

2001 – We celebrated Dr. Melton, “The Man and His Vision” on the 55th Anniversary of pastor and church at the Allentown Hilton Hotel.  With his health failing, he appointed Rev. Nathaniel Jenkins as Acting Administrator of the church in December.

2002 – Our Spiritual Leader for fifty-six years passed away February 4th and his eulogistic service was celebrated on February 8th.  It was his request that we not look for a pastor before six months after his death.  His widow, Flora Melton would chair the committee with her.  More persons were selected by the congregation to make up the Pastoral Select Committee July 28th.

  • The Pastor’s Aid presented a plaque in memory of Dr. Melton inscribed with the dates of the years he had been pastor of the Union Baptist Church and his faithful service to us and the community.  The presentation was made on their annual day, April 28th.
  • The kitchen was remodeled.
  • Rev. Nathaniel Jenkins, Acting Administrator decided at this time to ordain Rev. Dudley Samuda, Reverend Mike and Shirl Comick on August 18th.

2003 – In July, by God’s guidance and revelation, the congregation elected to call Pastor Benjamin T. Hailey Sr., formerly of Friendship Baptist Church in York, PA.  In September he humbly accepted and was installed on November9th.  He is the second Pastor of Union Baptist Church in 57 years.

2004-2005 –

  • Cleaned and painted outside of church
  • September 25th, 2004 the first Leadership Weekend Retreat was held at the Radisson in Valley Forge
  • November 7th, 2004, the fellowship hall was officially named the Horace A. Melton Memorial Fellowship Hall, the first anniversary of Pastor Hailey’s tenure.
  • January 2, 2005, the morning worship service was changed from 9:30 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. and Sunday School now known as the Fulfillment Hour began at 9:45A.M.
  • February 6th, 2005, Rev. Nathaniel Jenkins was appointed Executive Pastor
  • The 4 existing Deacon Boards were unified to the Deacon Family Ministry
  • The Usher Boards were combined into one ministry.
  • May 2005, two worship services began
  • Two ministers were licensed: Our first lady, Yuvette Hailey and Deborah Humphrey.
  • The circle room was converted into six offices and a library, meeting space and a Media Room.  It was called, “The Upper Room”
  • The church was wired for closed circuit TV and we have two over flow rooms.
  • A second Leadership Training Retreat was held at the Hilton Garden Hotel, King of Prussia, PA.

2006 –

  • An awning was installed over the front entrance in honor of our founder, Dr. H.A. Melton.
  • One minister was licensed, Ossie Burton and four deacons ordained: Charles Payne, Donnie Robison, Clifton Humphrey and Gregson Haynes.

2007 -

  • Our founder’s widow, Flora Melton retired and a full-time Administrative assistant, Mrs. Melissa Mason takes the position.
  • Two deaconesses ordained: Martha Payne and Stacy Haynes
  • K.I.N.G.D.O.M. Ministry headed by Sister Silvia Curtis-Henry.

2008 -

  • The "Sixth Street Vision" is birthed.  Our Pastor presents the vison to expand our territory by purchasing property,and building a new worship facility, and family life center to better serve our community and church family.