The Little Union Baptist Church was a church for Blacks that was organized after April 1870, when land was bought by its trustees. The church was located at the end of 5th Street in Calhoun. Looking through local newspapers gives us just a bit of information about the church.
The play, “Manless Wedding,” was given at the Glenville School the evening of April 19, 1934, by the Little Union Baptist Church.
The first funeral found in an Owensboro newspaper, for a congregant of Little Union, was in 1936 for Henry Goodwin, “a respected citizen,” with services at the church, and burial in Calhoun Cemetery. Mary Wright passed away Feb. 9, 1941 in Calhoun; her obituary stated that she was 110 years of age, “the oldest person in McLean County and the last surviving slave in the county.” Her funeral services were also conducted at Little Union, with burial in Calhoun Cemetery.
A quartet from Little Union sang at Island Baptist Church during the Women’s Missionary Society’s Week of Prayer in March 1941. The Little Union Church hosted the Calhoun Negro School Commencement on May 18, 1952. Songs in the program included “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “The Night Was Made for Love.”
One November 1960 obituary noted that there were less than a dozen members at Little Union; but the congregation kept going. The Traveling Notes Gospel Chorus of Owensboro gave a gospel singing program in June of 1961, and annual homecomings, which had been happening for years were still held—along with basket dinners (now more commonly called potlucks). The last noted Annual Homecoming and basket dinner was Oct. 6, 1963, and had this write-up in the McLean County News, “The homecoming at the Little Union Baptist Church was attended by 200 or more people from Louisville, Owensboro, Hopkinsville, Central City, Sacramento and Rumsey. The specials by the choir from Hopkinsville, the solos by different ones and the sermon by the Rev. Mr. Green of Hopkinsville, were very enjoyable. The nice offering was very much appreciated.”
Little Union closed about 1973, when the last few remaining members went elsewhere to attend services. In 1975 Pentecostal services started at Little Union, with various ministers preaching, and singing groups coming in from time to time. The church was now open to everyone. Bro. Chester and Sister Dorothy Todd became pastors of Little Union in Nov. 1975, changing the name to Whosoever Will Mission in 1977. Three years later, on Jan. 27, 1980, the Whosoever Will Mission had completed construction, and moved into their new building on Hwy. 81. Sadly, the Little Union Baptist Church, at the end of 5th Street, remains abandoned.
The Museum has information on the Johnson and Murphy families, who were members of the Little Union Church congregation. If anyone has more information on Little Union or the families that attended services there, please contact us so that we can add your information to what we currently have. We also have information on all other McLean County churches.
Please save the date for the Grand Opening/Open House on Sat., August 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We hope you’ll be able to join us!
Both the Museum and the Treasure House are open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Treasure House hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Museum hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please provide your own mask to enter both the Treasure House and the Museum. There is additional parking in the rear, which you can get to by driving through, between the Museum and the Treasure House.
You can reach us at the Museum by emailing email@example.com, or by calling 270-499-5033. If we are not in, please leave a voicemail message, and we will get back with you as soon as we can. Wishing everyone a safe week, and hope to see you soon!