Built in 1863
Rescued in 2017
Restoring for the future
An enduring piece of Greenpoint history.
Union Baptist Church was originally started in 1847 as the First Baptist Church of Greenpoint, Long Island. The current building was built in 1863 after land was purchased from Samuel Tilden in 1862. Tilden also gave funds to help erect the building. After a split in the years following, the resulting two churches reconciled in the original building in 1900 and renamed it The Union Baptist Church of Brooklyn. Thousands of lives have been touched through the years of gospel ministry at 151 Noble Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Recused from almost certain closure.
In 2015 Union Baptist Church had a decision to make. The City of New York had closed the church and locked them out of the building with an ultimatum: spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix the building or close permanently. After much prayer, it was decided to elect new leaders to pastor the church and set the church on a course towards restoration and revival. Hundreds of Baptist churches from around the country answered the call with funds and workers to save our historic church. Working closely with the City of New York and the NYC Landmarks Department, Union Baptist Church reopened its doors in 2017 after two years of emergency construction. The church is now open today as a vibrate, gospel-preaching church in Greenpoint’s Historic District.
Our plans for the future.
The building is now safe, dry, and open for services. There are four major future projects to completely restore the building:
Stained Glass Repair
We have 10 stained glass windows that run along the sides of the building. They need basic repairs of a few thousand dollars. Major restoration on these windows can wait until a future time. The three windows on the front of the building need a complete restoration. Being on the southeast side of the building they have born the brunt of direct sun and wind over the years. We have consulted with several contractors on this project. Estimated cost: $100,000.
Second Floor Sanctuary Rehab
The second floor main worship hall is a beautiful space with 35 foot high ceilings and seating for over 200. We believe that a basic cosmetic rehab would be enough to make the space usable for services and special events. A full restoration could be done by the church in the years ahead. Except for work that needs permits, we can do most of the cosmetic work with volunteers. Costs include electrical, heating, patch work, and painting. Estimated cost: $70,000.
This is perhaps the most critical project of all. As of 2019, the average rental price of a two bedroom apartment in Greenpoint is $3200 per month. A one bedroom co-op across the street from the church can go for over $800,000. If the church is to have men of God serve as pastor in the future and give the full-time attention that the people of the church and the building itself needs then there must be an apartment for a minister/care-taker to live in. The City of New York has told us that it is possible to install one in our building but it will require a long and expensive design, engineering, and permitting process before work can begin. Installing this apartment is critical to the long-term stability of Union Baptist Church. Estimated cost: $500,000.
Exterior wall rehab
The rear and east exterior brick walls were completely restored in 2016 & 2018 under the supervision of the NYC Landmarks Department. The west and south (front) walls need similar repair. This work must be done by a NYC licensed contractor. Our contractor has done well with the previous two walls and would like to bid on the work of completing the remaining two. Estimated cost: $150,000.