Union Baptist Aims to Rebuild

Following the terrible fire that destroyed their historic church building at Main and Locust, the leaders and members of Union Baptist Church are pledging to rebuild and are accepting contributions to a fund dedicated to this cause.

Those interested in sending a donation should make checks payable to “Union Baptist Church” and write “UBC Rebuild Fund” in the memo section of the check. Please mail donations to:

Union Baptist Church
438 Main Street / PO Box 1743
New Rochelle, NY 10801

Yesterday, several hundred residents gathered at Trinity-St. Paul’s Church for an interfaith program in support Union Baptist. Prayers and comments were offered by representatives from several religious traditions and local houses of worship. The determined spirit of those present was quite moving. I was privileged to offer remarks on behalf of the City, which you can read here.

Service This Sunday In Support Of Union Baptist Church

This Sunday, February 20th, the members of Union Baptist Church will gather in worship for the first time since the fire that claimed their historic church building at Main Street and Locust Avenue. Trinity St. Paul’s Church at 311 Huguenot Street (next to Avalon) has graciously agreed to serve as a temporary host for the Union Baptist congregation.

Residents of New Rochelle from every faith are invited to join together on this occasion, and I can think of no better way to demonstrate our support for neighbors facing a difficult crisis.

The Sunday worship service begins at 12:15pm. Immediately following the service will be a brief interfaith program, commencing at approximately 2:45pm. You can attend one or both of these events, and I hope to see you there.

Many residents have asked how they can help in a more tangible fashion. Under the leadership of the Inter-Religious Council of New Rochelle efforts are underway to coordinate donations and other forms of support. More information about this will be shared at the Sunday service and in the days to follow.

Here again are the details:

Sunday, February 20th
Worship Service: 12:15pm
Interfaith Program: 2:45pm

Trinity-St. Paul’s Church
311 Huguenot Street (corner of Division and Huguenot)

Historic Church Consumed By Fire

In the small hours of this morning, a serious fire broke out at Union Baptist Church at the corner of Main Street and Locust Avenue, across from New Roc City and adjacent to Monroe College. The Fire Department, as always, responded swiftly and effectively, preventing the blaze from spreading to nearby structures. By the time I viewed the scene at about 2:30am, the bell tower had completely burned out and the main roof of the structure was engulfed in flames. As of this morning, the building is still smoldering. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Fortunately and most importantly, there have been no injuries. But this is a terrible blow for the members of Union Baptist.

It is also a loss for New Rochelle’s architectural heritage. The handsome and distinctive stone structure — more than a century old — is very badly damaged and its survival is uncertain. As one of our Fire Fighters on the scene reminded me, in a bit of cruel irony, this church figures prominently in a mural of downtown New Rochelle displayed in our Fire Department headquarters.

More details, and photos, are contained in this article from Patch.

A gallery of even more photos are available from the Journal News.