Contributed by Collins Academy
The Union Missionary Baptist Church in Jefferson, one of the oldest churches in Texas, is featured in “Lone Star Steeples, Historic Places of Worship in Texas” a recently released book illustrated by Carl J. Christensen Jr. and written by Pixie Christensen is published by the Texas A&M University Press.
The book is separated by regions of the state. Thirteen of the 65 churches selected for inclusion are located in East Texas including Cumberland Presbyterian Church, also located in Jefferson.
UMBC Was built in 1842, and was the first church where slaves and freedmen could worship. It is on a Preservation Texas listing as being one of the most endangered historical structures in the state. “We hope to save this structure” said Gary Endsley, Executive Director of Collins Academy in Jefferson. Were it not for the dedication of Richard H. Collins, founder of the Today Foundation and Collins Academy, the church would have already collapsed. We hope with the inclusion of the church in this wonderful book, more people will become aware of the plight of this, and other churches in Texas and help save them. Leta Kay with Collins Academy said “Lone Star Steeples” is a beautifully produced book featuring some of the most unique churches in our state along with their history. She said Carl Christensen used a masterful hand in his pen, ink and water color illustrations contained in the book. A copy of the book and an illustration of the church was presented to Gary Endsley for Richard Collins.
The book is available from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or by contacting the Christensen’s at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations to the preservation of Union Missionary Baptist Church, should be sent to Collins Academy, 500 E. Broadway, Jefferson, Texas 75657. Donations are tax deductible. For additional information, visit www.collinsacademy.com.