A Brief History Of Central Union Missionary Baptist Church

During the year 1878, a small band of baptized believers in Christ desiring a place of worship, assembled under a bush harbor and organized what is now know as the Central Union Missionary Baptist Church. The record shows that the following persons made up the band of founders: Reverends Henry Felder, and George Jackson, Deacons Wilson Wood, Bob Robinson, and Major Felder. Immediately after organizing plans were made to build and consecrate a place of divine worship. They built a three room wooden edifice on the northern end of Pine Street not far from the railroad tracks. The structure housed the sanctuary, pastor’s study, and a small multi-purpose room. Central Union has been an integral part of the Fort Valley community for over 140 years.

There have been a total of thirteen pastors in the history of the church. The first pastor was Reverend Ben Benjamin. In July 1948 Reverend A.J. Shaw, our longest tenured pastor, was called. He was a man of vision, a gospel preacher, one with strong determination and a willingness to serve the people. Under his leadership the new (current) sanctuary was built. It was dedicated on March 27, 1960. Reverend Shaw served for 31 years.

The most recent pastors are: Dr. Jimmy L. Williams was called as pastor in 1983. Many new programs were started under his administration. A church parsonage was purchased and on August 15, 1987, a ground breaking ceremony for a spacious fellowship hall was held and soon after excavation began for additional Sunday School Classrooms, bathrooms, and a larger kitchen. Dr. Williams resigned on Sunday, June 25, 1995.

The Reverend William J. Perkins was installed as our 12th pastor on September 15, 1996. During Pastor Perkins administration the church continued to grow. Improvements to the physical property continued with the paving of the church’s parking lot and a new marquee was erected. The first newsletter, The CU Connector, was published in 1999/

The Reverend Dr. K. Daniel Dawsey was called in April 2001 as the 13th pastor of Central Union and was installed on September 22, 2001. Under his administration God has taken a 138 year old very traditional church and transformed her into a vibrant growing church with the ability to meet the needs of this present age without compromising the rich and effective history she has built in the community and throughout the state. Under Pastor Dawsey’s leadership the church continues to progress spiritually and physically. The sanctuary and kitchen were renovated and seventy-two (72) acres of land was purchased for future development. Our first television ministry was initiated in July 2004 and the first web page followed in 2005.

During Pastor Dawsey’s tenure several hundred members have been added and the annual giving has increased significantly.

Note: Down through the years many faithful men and women of God have been instrumental in the successful ministries of Central Union. They have served as Deacons, Deaconesses, Ministers, Choir Members, Ushers, Sunday School Teachers, and in so many other capacities. For a full history of the church please contact the church office.