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Union Hall Baptist Church gets a facelift

A local church’s original sanctuary has recently gotten a major facelift.

Nick Hodges has been the pastor at Union Hall Baptist Church for four years and has worked in the ministry for 23 years.

The church’s original sanctuary has a long history, and Hodges prides himself on his knowledge of that history.

According to church archives, Union Hall was founded in 1852. The property sits on 16th section land and the original congregation met in what was known as the Union Hall Schoolhouse. Services were held there for seven years before building a church.

Somewhere between 1883 and 1891 the building became dilapidated, so the congregation built another building. This building is where Union Hall’s current congregation meets today.

The building hadn’t suffered any damage since 1891, but it needed work. Renovations were last done in the 1960s.

“With the uniqueness of our church’s age and of the age of the building, we wanted to keep that same character and charm,” Hodges said. “I think we’ve done that.”

The church replaced the flooring and ceiling, painted everything and replaced the roof. The stage area was expanded as well. The pews and pulpit furniture were also deep cleaned.

The renovation process started about a year ago when the church began setting money aside for the project.

“It’s not cheap, but we’ve blessed through members giving through their regular tithes and offerings,” Hodges said.

Much of the original look was preserved through the renovation process, but it also gained a modern feel.

“It goes back to keeping up the character and the dignity of the building, but to show that we care about our building,” Hodges said. “We know when people come into a church, they’ve already made up their mind up about a church before they’ve heard a sermon or even met anyone.”

Even though a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover, Hodges knows that appearances matter.

“We care about our facility, and we want to show that if we care about it it’ll show we care about them as well,” Hodges said.

Hodges hopes his congregation gets a sense of pride from the renovation.

“Not only are we proud of our church, but we want to invite people to come and hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to remove any hindrance from that,” Hodges said.

 

Story by Gracie Byrne