In October 1916, Reverend John Samuel Taylor, “The Singing Evangelist”, as he was fondly known, gathered at 2200 Hunter Street and organized the Unity Baptist Church.
Subsequently, the congregation bought and paid for a building in the 400 block of East 22nd ½ Street. Favored by God, the growing congregation continued to expand and needed to move; the former Ebenezer Baptist Church building in the 400 block of East 23rd Street was secured. The Church remained there until the Depression years of the 1930’s. Rev. Taylor, wife, Sister Marie Eli. Thompson- Taylor (July 6, 1899 - June 18, 1975), and congregation then moved to 2224 N. Howard Street (formerly known as Oak Street).
On October 30, 1955, after an extensive illness, Rev. Taylor entered into his eternal reward on high. He had been preaching the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ for 55 wondrous years and had pastored for 40 of those magnificent years. By unanimous vote, in October of the following year, Reverend James Samuel Williams was elected Pastor of the Church. Rev. Williams had come from the Fountain Baptist Church and had served as Assistant Minister to our Founder, Rev. Taylor, during his illness.
Blessed with youthful increase, the church was on the move once again, and thus briefly worshipped in the annex of the Fountain Baptist Church, subsequently relocating to 1003 E. 22nd St. for the next ten years. With his effervescent wife, "Sis. Pearl" Wilmore-Stevenson-Williams (deceased December 28, 1980) by his side, the church experienced phenomenal growth spiritually, numerically, and financially.
In 1967, Rev. Williams (DOB) and the congregation were led to purchase the property at 2654 Polk Street. It was then that the church took on its present name of "NEW " Unity Baptist Church. Five members, of various tenure, Sisters Catherine Mosby, Elaine Taylor, Alberta Tillery, Irene Williams, and Rosie Lee Watts Davis (First Lady Rosie Lee Davis-Williams'received her wings on September 24, 2004), from the Howard St. location were yet present in worship and fellowship nearly some 60 plus years later (1995). Deacon David Brown, father of Sister Thelma Henderson, served as the very first deacon-officer of the church.
Upon the retirement of Pastor Williams in July 1989, Reverend Elwood Francis Carroll, Jr. assumed the Pastorate of the church. Rev. Carroll and wife, Margie Ann Carroll's tenure was relatively brief. Rev. Carroll departed from the church in 1993; on December 24, 1995 Pastor Carroll's earthly journey ended. The homegoing service was held at the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. Through it all God showed Himself Faithful, and the church’s commitment and dedication to the LORD remained as strong and determined as ever before.
On Tuesday, November 15, 1994 the church called the Reverend Johnny Napolean Golden, Sr. , his wife and our Leading Lady, Reverend Wanda Nadine Golden, along with their 2 children Keenya Joy and Johnny, Jr, whom we all affectionately call "Boomer", to lead the church into new dimensions of worship and spiritual increase. Rev. Golden, a Visionary Leader and ‘People’s Person’, immediately began to teach and preach on the dual principles of "Equipping and Empowering the People of God for the Work of the Kingdom", in the footsteps of the giants whose shoulders he now so gratefully stands upon.
On May 23, 2003, under the unction of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Golden and the Church moved downtown to 100 W. Franklin Street at the Cathedral. On Sunday, May 25th, the church benedicted its last and final worship service at Polk Street. Along with Pastors Golden and Family, Mayor Sheila Dixon, other dignitaries and a surging throng mighty in faith all began the ecstatic trek of marching, walking and riding from Polk and Homestead Streets to Franklin and Cathedral Streets for their Grand Entrance Ribbon Cutting and Celebration.The legacy of this Great Church continues for "eyes have not seen nor ears heard" all of the stirring anthems as our 'Great Destination Beyond the Veil' continues onward! Chosen! Royal! Holy! Peculiar! That we should show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into This Marvelous Light, His Church.