Friday, February 22, 2019

Technology Request Form

Technology Request Form

UBC Information Technology Department receives and processes work requests daily.  Our overall goals are to schedule and complete theses services in a timely manner.  In order to do this, a request form must be completed and forwarded to both Malcom Allen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Trustee Reid (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).  Each form with be reviewed and prioritized.  Please understand that there are other requests that may be in the que before yours.  Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Click here to download the request form. Fill out the form and email it to Minister Wright AND Trustee Reid.

Ticket Purchase Message

Thank you for purchasing your ticket for Pastor Hammond's Retirement Celebration Banquet. Please note that a separate purchase is required for each ticket you purchase. This is a security measure for your protection. You may complete each form using your name OR that names of each of the individuals accompanying you to the event.

Also note that once you complete the form, you will be directed to a PayPal checkout page that will give you TWO options: to log into your PayPal account or to create one. If you already have a PayPal account and wish you pay for your purchase with it, you may log in and do so. If you do not have one, and don't wish to create one, click on "Create an Account" anyway. That will direct you to a page where you may create a PayPal account OR simply pay with your credit card.

Once your payment is complete, you will only need to show your identification at the Sheraton the day of the event and you along with your party will be seated.

Again, thank you for celebrating our Pastor with us and we look forward to seeing you at the Sheraton Imperial on August 26th at 4pm.

Global Scholars Academy - GSA

A founding principle of our country contends that talent, not circumstance, should determine destiny. However, for many children who live in challenging urban environments the struggles begin early, the obstacles are significant and, over time, the gaps in academic performance widen dramatically.

Global Scholars Academy, formally Union Independent School, strives to create greater developmental equity for Durham youth who represent the greatest risks of academic failure due to significant social, economic, and educational challenges – individually and in their family, neighborhood, and community environments. Our intervention model is an extended day and extended school year interdisciplinary curriculum designed to develop “hard” and “soft” skills required to thrive and prosper in the highly volatile global economy of the 21st century, a staff of National Board Certified Teachers and other highly qualified support staff, technological innovations in learning that accelerate remediation and academic advancement, and sustained parent/caregiver involvement in the education process. The idea for Global Scholars Academy began with Union Baptist Church Pastor, Dr.  Kenneth Hammond as part of a larger church effort to revitalize the 172-block area known as “Northeast-Central Durham.”

Global Scholars Academy is a K-8 public school, currently serving students in grades K-4 offering:

  • Free tuition and open to all North Carolina students
  • New fully equipped building as of August 2009
Above you will find our event calendar displaying the events currently booked in our building. These events will be those associated with the school itself and events booked by those renting our building and facilities. We are located directly across the street from Union Baptist Church at 311 Dowd St., Durham, NC 27701.
If you would like more information about Global Scholars Academy or any of the dates displayed in our event calendar, please visit the school's website at: or you may call the school at: 919-682-5903.


UBC Strategic Plan


What will our church be like in 2021? For over 118 years, Union Baptist Church has stood as a beacon of hope empowering its disciples to offer their unique gifts in service to humankind while providing inspirational (worship), educational (teaching), evangelistic (outreach) and fellowship (in-reach) opportunities.  While we have a glorious history, our continued efforts to achieve “excellence without exception and quality without question” require that we strategically examine our ministry operations to ensure maximum impact as we continue to minister in the twenty-first century.  In this regard, the church approved the creation of a Strategic Planning Committee which was charged with bringing forth a plan to guide our operations over the next five years.  The Committee engaged its work with the understanding that this strategic plan is not the final answer.  Rather, it is a living document that can be used and shaped by the church’s leadership in response to the changing environmental factors which may arise and impact the achievement of our vision and goals.  It, therefore, should be reviewed annually and modified as necessary in light of changing circumstances.


Simply put, strategic planning determines where an organization or entity is going over a fixed period of time, how it’s going to get there and how it will know if it got there.  This plan seeks to chart a realistic path for Union Baptist Church over the next five years.  It is the belief of the Strategic Planning Committee that the successful accomplishment of this plan will position our church to continue on the growth trajectory that it has experienced over the last twenty years.  While the plan is concerned with the growth of the church, it also is focused toward ensuring excellence in all that we do.

Perhaps there are those who would suggest that Union Baptist Church has operated just fine over its history without having a strategic plan.  One cannot deny the marvelous achievements in ministry our church has accomplished in the past.  However, successful organization constantly evaluates its operation with an aim toward greater effectiveness and efficiency.  Strategic planning offers a number of benefits to our congregation including to:

  1. Clearly define the purpose of the church and to establish realistic goals and objectives consistent with the church’s mission;
  2. Communicate those goals and objectives to the church’s constituents;
  3. Develop a sense of ownership of the church’s mission and ministry;
  4. Ensure the most effective use of the church’s resources in alignment with the church’s priorities;
  5. Provide a base from which the church’s progress can be measured; and
  6. Provide a clearer focus for the church thereby producing more efficiency and effectiveness



Strategic planning is an important part of the creation, development and growth of any organization.  Ministries that are interested in church growth are not exempt from planning.  Churches can experience a level of success without a plan, but those who invest the time and resources into developing a specific strategy and plan tend to achieve success at a much quicker pace. 

The strategic planning process used in the development of this plan has four major components.  First, the Committee created a vision, mission and values statement.  The Committee’s belief that it is difficult to know where to focus efforts and resources without being able to articulate what it is we are trying to do.   Arguably, the most important step in that process is to create a church vision, mission and values statement.  This allowed us to clarify why the church exists (mission) and what the church is trying to do (vision).  The mission and vision give clarity and direction to the development of operational strategies as well as the allocation of church resources.

Secondly, the Committee undertook a SWOT Analysis.  A SWOT Analysis is an attempt to identify the strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O) and threats (T) of our congregation and faced by our congregation.  Our strengths are those characteristics of the church that may give us an advantage over other congregations.  Conversely, our weaknesses are those characteristics of our church that may be a disadvantage as related to other congregations.  Our opportunities are those conditions outside of our church that could potentially increase the effectiveness of our ministries.  Our threats are those conditions outside of our church that could create problems for our church.

The third step in the process was to perform a gap analysis.  This analysis was designed to help us answer the question, “Where are we compared to where we want to be?”  The process looks at the vision where we want to go and compares it to where we are currently.  The gap analysis is another tool we used to help identify other ministry opportunities.

The final step we used in this process was to write our organizational goals.  In developing our goals, focus was given to accountability.  Thus we follow what is known as the SMART process.  The SMART process is designed to answer the following questions regarding the goals:  Are they specific (S), measurable (M), attainable (A6) realistic (R) and timely (T)?  Clearly implied in this process is the need for ongoing review and evaluation.



We are a congregation founded on biblical principles called to serve with excellence and integrity.  We seek to compassionately minister to our community, nation and world so that people will experience a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.  As we journey from salvation to lordship under the authority of the Holy Scriptures, we seek to transform every member into a believer; every believer into a disciple and every disciple into a minister where we proclaim God’s Word, worship God and witness to the whole of humankind.



The mission of Union Baptist Church is to be a loving, supportive Christ-centered congregation where the joys and blessings of Jesus Christ are spread thus bringing children, young people and adults into a vital and personal relationship with Jesus Christ through Christian discipleship, fellowship, service and growth.  This mission shall be accomplished through Bible-centered preaching, age appropriate teaching, the development and use of spiritual gifts, evangelism and committed service to God, God’s church and the community.



  • We value the Bible as the inerrant word of God for instruction in living and direction into a personal, life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • We value the unconditional love of God which was manifested in the redemptive work accomplished on Calvary by God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
  • We value prayer as the foundation upon which all ministry should be built.
  • We value the freedom to worship and express our faith in a variety of ways.
  • We value the use of our spiritual gifts in ministry, service and outreach.
  • We value stewardship through the use of our time, talents and treasure.
  • We value honesty, integrity, personal responsibility and accountability to God, self-discipline and respect for diversity.
  • We value the democratic process of freedom of choice in the church’s decision-making.
  • We value the priesthood of every believer and their right to scriptural interpretation.
  • We value unity within the Body of Christ.
  • We value our relationships with  external community and conventional affiliations.
  • We value excellence without exception and quality without question.



A SWOT Analysis is an attempt to identify our church’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  It helps us to identify key areas of the church that may need targeted resources as well as opportunities or opposing environments factors that could affect church strategy.



  • A Seasoned Servant Leader in our pastor
  • The quality of the worship experience
  • Diversity of ministries
  • The reputation of the church in the community
  • Solid financial resources
  • A talented staff
  • The Music Ministry
  • Diversity of Educational options
  • Significant community involvement
  • Quality youth ministries
  • A state of the arts facility which is accessible
  • A commitment to holistic ministry
  • Socio-economic diversity within the congregation
  • A cutting edge congregational care and counseling ministry
  • Strong volunteer participation
  • Media and Technology Ministry
  • Strong collaborations between and among ministries
  • A well trained ministerial staff
  • The number of men in the congregation
  • A willingness to adapt to change
  • Multiple worship opportunities
  • Global Scholars Academy



  • Space limitation which impact the growth or development of certain ministries
  • Limited facility expansion possibilities
  • Low percentage of congregants involved in ministries
  • Limited diversity within the congregation other than the metric or socio-economics
  • Over reliance on pastoral presence
  • A disconnect with certain age groups, especially young adults
  • The inability to create or respond to change in a timely manner
  • The inability to adequately communicate with disciples because of incomplete or outdated contact information
  • A limited presence in social media



  • Increasing congregational participation
  • Developing greater level of sophistication with existing ministries
  • Increasing the use of technology particularly in the area of social media
  • Increasing and improving parking and transportation
  • Expanding facilities by utilizing multiple site
  • Partnering with community organizations to extend the church’s presence



  • Losing members as a result of pastoral transition
  • Losing focus of our mission
  • Lack of financial resources to meet the challenges of holistic ministry
  • Lack of a succession plan for key personnel
  • Failure to engage more active involvement in congregational ministries
  • Debt service related to Global Scholars Academy
  • Inability to maintain the church’s facilities in top condition
  • Failure to recognize and adapt to the changing demographics in the community
  • The enactment of governmental and regulatory policies affecting such things as land use
  • Maintaining adequate security for the church’s property and a sense of safety for the congregation and community
  • Refusing to eliminate ineffective ministries



Union Baptist Church is a 118 year old congregation, steeped in history and tradition.  While valuing her history and traditions, the church has consistently striven to understand the needs of a changing community and world while providing relevant ministries to respond to those changes.  While based in Durham, NC, the church has become a regional congregation drawing significant numbers of disciples from five counties (Durham, Orange, Granville, Alamance and Wake).  Union Baptist, like other institutions, is an entity where change and continuity are wed together.  Understanding this while valuing the rich history of our church is important.  Our challenge is to value the good of our past while visioning for a faithful future.



The Strategic Planning Committee conducted a survey in the spring of 2015.  The survey was designed to obtain information from congregants and attendees regarding a number of areas.  One piece of information the Committee sought to acquire was a profile of persons who are members of the church.  Roughly, 550 surveys were completed and the demographic profile of those completing the survey revealed the following: Females comprise seventy-five (75%) percent of the membership and males twenty-five (25%) percent.  Sixty-five (65%) percent of the membership falls within the 36-64 year old age range; with approximately sixty (60%) percent being over the age of 50.  Approximately forty-seven (47%) percent is married.  The congregation is roughly ninety-nine (99%) percent African American. These percentages are approximately the same when comparing them to the membership data we maintain. 



Over the last decade (2005-2015) Union Baptist grew by an average of 237 new disciples per year.  Much of the growth can be attributed to cutting edge ministries, a stable staff and the reputation of the church within the region.  During the last half of the decade, the average growth in membership declined slightly. Several factors can be identified which contributed to the decline.  First, there is a perception of inadequate parking.  This factor was amplified when a major parking lot was taken out of use for the construction of Global Scholars Academy.

Secondly, Union Baptist was affected by the national trend which saw an overall decline in church attendance.  This factor could clearly be seen in the decline of young adults or millennials in congregations. 

Finally, the impending retirement of the pastor has prompted some potential new disciples to remain uncommitted until a successor to Pastor Hammond is named.  Remarkably, even with these challenges, Union Baptist continues to counter the national and regional trends which suggest that mainline congregations are stagnate as related to church growth.



Union Baptist Church is located in Durham County and in the city of Durham.  According to the country’s data, Durham County has a population of 286,722 with 246,722 of that number living in the city. Durham is the fourth largest city in North Carolina.  Over the past decade the county’s populations grew at roughly twenty (20%) percent with most of this growth occurring in the city.  A breakdown of the population by race in the county indicates that whites make up fifty-one (51%) percent, Blacks, thirty-eight (38%) percent and Hispanics, thirteen (13%) percent.  In the city, whites are forty-five (45%) percent, Blacks, forty (40%) percent and Hispanics, thirteen (13%) of the population.

Within the next six years it is projected that the population in the county will grow by approximately 47,000 just over 333,000 with the city claiming most of this growth.  Of the new growth, more than half is projected to be Hispanic.  According to the county’s data, these findings are conservative and assume that rates of immigration will fall.  If Durham’s immigration rates continue at current levels, these figures will be even higher.  All the indicators continue to point to the fact that Durham County will continue to see stable population growth over the next decade as will be the case for much of this region.



Many mainline churches and denominations have experienced financial and membership challenges over the last decade.  This situation was exacerbated by the economic collapse in 2008.  The literature suggests that the average church attendee is getting older and young adults are increasingly less engaged because they do not see church as relevantly addressing the concerns of society.  Union Baptist has been affected by these trends but fortunately not to the extent as some congregations.  It is important for us to give attention to these trends and to develop strategic directions to help to stem their effect.  How will we accomplish this?

  • LISTEN AND RESPOND – Communicate with our disciples and friends in ways that draw them into our congregation and give them a real sense of belonging
  • CONNECT AND ENGAGE – Make it easy to engage in the work and worship of the church.
  • GROW AND BECOME – Be more intentional about welcoming new people into our congregation while nurturing and retaining existing members.
  • MEASURE AND SUPPORT – Live the best practices of accountability, transparency, generosity, financial management, maintenance and flexibility of facilities and organizational effectiveness.
  • LEAD AND TRANSFORM – Carry out ministry in multichannel ways providing a variety of options for worship, gathering, education, outreach missions and spiritual formation.

The Strategic Planning Committee has chosen five initiatives to communicate the theme:

“Love, Learn, Lead and Living into our Purpose. These reflect our values and provide us with a roadmap for the congregation and leadership in our journey to achieve next level greatness.




 GOAL:  To listen and respond in order to discern our call and fulfill our mission as the Lord’s church.

Strategic Objective:  Become a congregation that listens and responds to the yearnings and needs of our congregation and community.

Strategy 1:  Cultivate deep attention to the work God is doing; reflect and discern God’s call for Union Baptist Church

Strategy 2:  Integrate listening practices throughout the church and operations using a variety of options to gather and respond to information from disciples and the community we serve



  • Create intentional listening opportunities for groups and individuals and use information gathered to discern direction for ministries and programs
  • Track and monitor significant life changes of members in order to respond in a personal way to their needs
  • Train lay people and staff to respond to people’s needs through various methods of support and communications
  • Use needs data from community sources to determine ministry opportunities

Strategy 3:  Nurture and value the presence and gifts of each disciple


  • Support and help disciples from small covenant groups where people can form significant faith relationships that provide a personal touch and nurture disciples need for love, caring belonging and feeling valued
  • Encourage and respond to the questions of disciples in a timely manner
  • Create and nurture a supportive environment where disciples feel free to take initiatives within church norms and processes



GOAL:  To build relationships within the congregation by helping disciples connect and engage.

Strategic Objective:  Connect people across the generations in ways that recognize needs of children, youth, young adults, middle aged and older adults.

Strategy 1:  Encourage the natural formation of small groups as a means of developing authentic and honest relationships


  • Empower the formation of small groups for classes, ministry teams or affinity groups and provide support as needed
  • Identify and train leaders who have interest in forming groups
  • Provide meeting space, resources and communication network for these groups
  • Plan and post a six month church calendar of events, classes and activities to facilitate wider participation

Strategy 2:  Create and maintain an online church directory, available through secure passwords that is easily edited, searchable and up-to-date to provide access to information so disciples can readily connect with each other 

Strategic Objective:  To communicate in ways that are innovative and transparent

Strategy 1:  Review, expand and/or create communication systems and methods customized for our disciples stated interests, needs and generational style


  • Establish a comprehensive e-mail database of disciples to facilitate timely and targeted communications to them based on their interest and needs
  • Expand the UBC weekly online newslink to include a hard copy for disciples without computer access
  • Increase the use of regular e-newsletters to young adults to connect them with each other as well as the church at large and the community
  • Expand our disciples interactions with the church through our website, encouraging giving, scheduling events and registration for classes
  • Provide for online exchange and engagement among our disciples using social media

Strategy 2:  To create, use and maintain a user-friendly database that tracks disciples skills, areas of service, leadership experiences and interest in order to connect disciples with each other and opportunities for service

Strategy 3:  To make an annual report to the congregation that communicates how well we are fulfilling the mission and objectives of UBC and managing our priorities and resources

Strategic Objective:  To encourage disciples to live out their discipleship in their communities, workplace and the whole of God’s world

Strategy 1:  To increase and broaden disciple engagement in activities of the church in ways that build on disciples faith, gifts, talents and passion

Strategy 2:   To expand the church’s outreach efforts by encouraging disciples to participate with Volunteer Connections



  • To encourage all disciples to participate in worship and at least one other church activity
  • To encourage all disciples to participate in at least one volunteer activity outside of the church


GOAL:  To grow a vibrant community of believers

Strategic Objective: To grow our congregation in ways that are intentional and inclusive

Strategy 1: Strengthen practices that demonstrate Union Baptist Church to be a welcoming and inviting congregation


  • Make personal contact with guest worshippers within 48 hours of their first worship experience
  • Provide welcome packets to first time guest worshippers
  • Designate ten parking spaces for guest worshippers

Strategy 2:  Develop a plan that encourages young adults (18-35) to join our community of faith

Strategy 3:  Seek and provide opportunities that attract young families with children 

Strategy 4:  Seek to expand the ministry for senior adults in our congregation and community



  • Maintain a quality nursery that is open when worship services are occurring
  • Aggressively promote the activities of the senior adult ministry

Strategic Objective:  To give more disciples an opportunity to contribute their time, talents and resources to support the church’s mission and ministry

Strategy 1: For all programs and projects continually identify opportunities for involvement, both short and long term relying on the database of disciples interest and skills

Strategy 2:  Develop a leadership development program which will help to prepare disciples when leadership opportunities arise

Strategy 3:  Discourage disciples from holding more than one major church leadership position so as to increase opportunities for others to serve



GOAL:  To be good stewards of resources and inspire generosity to increase support for our ministries 

Strategic Objective:  To adopt more effective and creative ways to accomplish the work of the church 

 Strategy 1:  Infuse transparency and accountability throughout the church’s work and operations 


  • Use best practices in all planning and operations to support a healthy church
  • Assure transparency and openly communicate plans and results with disciples on a regular basis
  • Practice an operating philosophy that includes well-researched ideas for managing challenges in a rapidly changing world and embraces the risk inherent in new opportunities

Strategy 2: Identify ways to improve our organizational structure to enable timely and collective decision making 


  • Develop and implement a plan to align the church’s organizational structure to accomplish this plan
  • Achieve “buy in” for the strategic plan by church leaders and staff by providing training and assigning appropriate leadership and operational roles for staff and ministries

Strategy 3: Make data driven decisions and measure results to determine which programs and ministries we should grow or curtail 


  • Assess the impact or progress toward achieving our goals and mission by determining what is important to measure and identify the criteria to measure
  • Train staff and leaders to gather data and use it to understand our congregation, applying it when deciding what is effective

Strategic Objective:  To fund the church’s operating budget with goals to achieve our strategic objectives

Strategy 1: Involve more people in the stewardship effort including youth by seeking their input regarding budgeting expenditures

Strategy 2: Promote charitable gifting as a means of sustaining long term objectives

Strategy 3: Encourage disciples to be faithful in their personal stewardship by offering classes on budgeting, financial planning and debt elimination

Strategy 4: Provide the disciples with an annual report of the church’s stewardship which can be easily understood


Strategic Objective:  Maintain our facilities and plan for providing new or restored facilities with the flexibility to support current and future ministries

Strategy 1:  Make facilities and equipment repairs necessary to keep ministry functions safe

Strategy 2: Implement a plan to increase and improve parking

Strategy 3: Develop a long term plan which details the church’s need for space and facilities to meet the demands of the ministry



Goal:  To bring people into a loving lifegiving relationship with God through multi-channeled approaches

Strategic Objective:  Become a more vital center for learning, outreach and leadership

Strategy 1:  Establish a faith and life curriculum that include classes in theology, spiritual disciplines, Christian ethics and church leadership



  • Establish a parental affinity group so that parents can support, grow and become more effective in their parental skills
  • Structure ministries and events that enable families to engage in hands-on community service together
  • Explore the need to create after school and summer programs for children



Over the course of her history, Union Baptist Church has been positioned to seize opportunities to do ministry in new and creative ways.  Though the church will undoubtedly be impacted by some of the emerging trends affecting churches and congregations, with prayer and visionary thinking, Union Baptist should only be impacted in a marginal way.  The growth patterns for Durham and the Triangle suggest that there will continue to be a healthy influx of new residents over the next decade.  This provides our church with some strategic opportunities to continue the track record of excellence in ministry.  Some of these opportunities represent bold steps which are designed to keep the church at the cutting edge of ministry while being responsive to the needs of our community.  The Strategic Planning Committee is recommending the approval of the following strategic initiatives which are born out of our current context and future external factors.



That the Chapel be renovated so that it can be used more as multipurpose facility.  This would entail removal of the fixed seating pews allowing for a space capable of being used with multiple set-ups.  Consideration should be given to using the renovated space as a social center for teens and young adults as an alternative to social clubs.  One possible use would be to develop a Christian Social Club (possible name: The Praise Connection) that will offer a variety of programming opportunities to teens and young adults at various times.  Such a club could be a significant outreach as well as an inreach tool to attract young adults to Union Baptist Church.  The research suggest that millennials represent the most absent population in congregations primarily because they do not view the church as being responsive to their needs.  In addition to serving as a Christian Club, the space could also be used as a coffee bar during worship services where worshippers who desire a more casual setting can engage the service.  The coffee bar could be a revenue generating opportunity.



  • That a committee be formed consisting of trustees, youth and young adult leaders along with persons they represent and the pastor to plan the structural changes necessary.
  • That a committee be formed to develop both policies and programming for the facility



That Union Baptist pursue a second location for the establishment of a Hispanic ministry. The census data suggests that the Hispanic population growth in Durham and the Triangle will far outpace that of other groups.  This provides Union Baptist with an opportunity to serve the community which is increasingly becoming more diverse.  Onsite facilities are stretched beyond the capacity to establish such a ministry at our present location.  Furthermore, the data on church growth and expansion suggests that the current trend is to move to multiple sites as opposed to remaining on one site.  The implementation of this initiative could be aided by resources available through American Baptist Churches.  Properly planned and executed, there is no reason to think that within the time framework of this plan, such a site would not be revenue neutral.



  • That a committee consisting of the pastor, trustees, deacons, missions and evangelism, soul patrol and community representatives to plan to programmatic structure for a Hispanic ministry
  • That the trustees begin site exploration to identify potential locations for the ministry



That a focused effort be given to re-igniting the work of the John W. Edwards Social Justice Ministry.  Union Baptist Church has had a rich history in social and civic engagement in the Durham community.  Our church is viewed as a leader in this regard.  In order to maintain our standing, social justice and civic engagement must be a priority.   While the pastor is looked to lead community engagement efforts, the entire congregation must be sensitized to its role in insuring that those who the Bible refer to as “the least of these” are given a voice.  Our church must connect or reconnect with those organizations and entities in our community who are working to make our society the “Beloved Community” as articulated by the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



  • That the JWE Social Justice Ministry be expanded to include a representative from all church ministries
  • That JWE Social Justice Ministry provide a monthly update via the church’s newslink and bulletin
  • That members of the JWE Social Justice Ministry be assigned to attend and monitor meetings of major community and governmental organizations including the City Council, County Commissioners, School Board and Planning Committee.



One of the most critical decisions that our church must make is who will succeed Pastor Hammond.  Historically, when a pastor died, resigned, was replaced or retired, the congregation would convene a search committee which would be responsible for identifying candidates or a candidate for the church’s consideration as Senior Pastor.  This entailed advertising for candidates and often bringing in multiple candidates to preach before the congregation.  This created more of a succession situation than a transition situation.  Ideally a church going through a pastoral leadership changes does it as seamless as possible.  The attempt is to make the change as smooth as possible so as not to create major disruptions in church operations.

Union Baptist Church is a much different congregation than it was when it sought and secured her present pastor.  The church has grown tremendously and has far more at risk than it did twenty-five years ago.  The next pastor will inherit more than seven million dollars of debt.  This means that the church cannot afford major disruptions in attendance and giving.  Thus it is incumbent to do all that is possible to minimize the potential for disruption. 

The Strategic Planning Committee shared a video conference dealing with pastoral transition and succession.  One of the things emphasized during the conference was that when a congregation has had a long tenured pastor who is retiring, the goal is to transition from one leader to the next.  Furthermore, the current pastor can be pivotal in the transition by helping the new pastor gain valuable perspectives about the church’s ministry and culture and validating the new pastor’s leadership.  In most instances when a pastor is retiring, planning can be undertaken to identify a potential successor.  Transitions seem to work best when the outgoing pastor and the incoming pastor either have or develop a relationship respectful of each other’s role.

The Strategic Planning Committee is recommending that the church authorizes it to engage the process in conjunction with our current pastor to identify a candidate to be recommended to succeed Pastor Hammond.  Further, that the candidate to succeed Pastor Hammond be brought on staff at least three and no more than six months prior to the pastor’s intended date of retirement.

In accordance with best practices and the feedback given through the Congregational Survey, the Strategic Planning Committee will identify a candidate with at least five years of pastoral experience who holds a minimum of a Masters of Divinity degree from a school accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.  The candidates to be considered will be individuals who have had experience in congregations whose culture is similar to that of our church. It is anticipated that the person recommended will possess strong preaching/teaching skills, administrative acumen, strong interpersonal skills, be approachable and possesses a sense of humor.  The candidate is expected to be a visionary who is willing to work with the leadership and disciples in the congregation to achieve the mission of the church. 

Once a candidate is identified and the committee is ready to make a recommendation to the congregation, the candidate will be brought to the church for an extended visit.  The suggested format for the visit is as follows: 

  • Candidate arrives on Wednesday and conducts Bible study
  • Thursday morning the candidate meets with the staff
  • Thursday evening the candidate meets with the church’s leadership (Church Council, Deacons, Deaconesses, Trustees)
  • Friday morning the candidate is given a tour of the church’s facilities, the school and the city
  • Friday evening the candidate meets the congregation in a reception format
  • Saturday morning the candidate meets with the Associates in Ministry and the Strategic Planning Committee
  • Sunday morning the candidate preaches before the congregation at the 9:30 a.m. hour at an external location where all of our disciples can gather at one time
  • Sunday afternoon a congregational vote to affirm the call of the new pastor 


  • That the Strategic Planning Committee be formally commissioned to lead the pastoral search
  • That the Prayer Ministry lead a fast and prayer vigil during the duration of the search
  • That the Trustees and Pastor identify and secure a facility for the worship service where the candidate will preach before the congregation
  • That the Discipleship Intake Ministry prepare the membership roll and ballot to be used in the voting process for the new pastor



Health Tips

Health risk screening programs are a good way to find conditions at an early stage when early intervention can make a difference. We offer periodic screening events at UBC and also let members know of screening opportunities in the community. Following are general guidelines for health screening programs which give the participant an idea of what to expect and what personal health information may be asked.

Health risk screening programs should be carried out on a one-on-one basis by trained health care professionals. Health risk measures should include the following:

  • Blood pressure measurements – at least two blood pressure measurements taken during the screening episode, using a mercury sphygmomanometers or regularly calibrated aneroids.
  • Blood pressure treatment status – ascertain whether the participant is under a doctor’s care, on any medication, on a prescribed diet, or any other type of treatment for hypertension.
  • Blood cholesterol measurement – total cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol taken either using a properly tested and maintained table top blood analyzer providing immediate feedback to the client, or sending blood to a laboratory providing feedback using a method that is as effective as immediate feedback.
  • Cholesterol treatment status – ascertain whether the client is under a doctor’s care, on any medication, on a prescribed diet, or any other type of treatment for high cholesterol.
  • Obesity – utilize an accepted method for estimating obesity. For example, Body Mass Index. Identify people with a BMI of 25 or greater.
  • Smoking status – assess whether the participant currently smokes cigarettes, whether the client has quit or never smoked, and the number of cigarettes smoked/day.
  • Exercise habits – screening questions may be limited to frequency and duration exercise. Are participants active in a moderately vigorous fashion most days of the week for 30 minutes or more.
  • Diabetes – whether the client has diabetes, and whether or not it is currently under control. A blood glucose may also be done via finger stick and desktop analyzer. Several manufactures make available cassettes which include cholesterol and glucose measurements.
  • Cerbrovascular disease or occlusive PVD – ascertain if the client has had a stroke or other kind of blood vessel disease.
  • Family history of cardiovascular disease – ascertain whether any of the participants’ parents or siblings had a heart attack or sudden death due to heart disease before age 55.
  • Coronary heart disease – ascertain if the client has had a heart attack or other type of coronary heart disease.
  • Stress – participant’s assessment of stress in work and/or personal life
  • Participant release form – A release form is required in which the participant authorizes the program to draw blood for testing to send information to the participant’s medical care provider if medical risks are identified, and to obtain information from the provider about diagnosis and prescribed treatment.
  • Participant interest survey – if an assessment of interest has not been collected previously, the screening activity must assess levels of interest in programs such as: weight control, smoking cessation, fitness or exercise, stress management, nutrition, self-care, cholesterol control.
  • Health education messages – the screener must review with the participant his/her identified health risks and what they mean to the participant’s overall health, and give the participant a written record of the blood pressure, total cholesterol, and any other physiological measures taken.
  • Referral of participants for treatment – participants with elevated risks must be referred to appropriate sources of diagnosis and possible treatment following nationally or locally recognized guidelines for such referral.