Stella Hill of Louisville recently donated a minute book from Mount Union Baptist Church in Summersville, Green County, Kentucky to the collections of the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives unit of the Department of Library Special Collections. The minutes from church business meetings chronicle the church’s history from 1898 to 1921. The minute book also contains membership lists and financial information related to the church.
Mount Union was established, like many African American churches in the region, soon after the Civil War ended. After completion of their new church building in 1868, the Liberty Church of Dezarn, Kentucky, donated their old log building to African Americans in the immediate vicinity. These blacks had been members of Jacob Grove Baptist Church in Summersville, Kentucky. They worshipped in the log structure until they purchased ten acres one mile northeast of the Liberty Church in order to construct a new building. This new structure burned around 1907, so the congregation erected a new church.
Along with the donation of the minute book, Ms. Hill donated a photograph of her parents, Richard F. & Margaret “Maggie” Owens. Interestingly, Mr. Owens served as church clerk for many years and you can find his beautiful penmanship throughout the minute book.
The Manuscripts & Folklife Archives houses records for a large number of churches in south central Kentucky. To see finding aids related to these records, click here.