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North Campus
5445 East 29th Street
Kansas City, MO 64128

South Campus
5600 East 112th Terrace
Kansas City, MO 64134
God is the founder and foundation of United Believers Community Church.

Obediently responding to the unction of the Holy Spirit, a group of dedicated Christians, instructed by God, came together on September 1st, 1997 for the purpose of birthing a new and unique ministry. This small group of believers who had been members of St. Stephen Baptist Church, Kansas City, Missouri, believed that God had greater works for them to do.

The following events led to the birthing of United Believers Community Baptist Church, Kansas City, Missouri.


In August 1997, prior to the group’s departure from St. Stephen, Reverend Gregory Kirby of Steeple Chase Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, came to preach at St. Stephen Baptist, as one of the finalists to become pastor. During the course of one of Reverend Kirby’s visits, God moved upon the heart of Jerry Newsome to approach Reverend Kirby about the possibility of starting a new church in Kansas City, in the event Reverend Kirby was not elected as pastor of St. Stephen. So, Jerry talked about it with Reverend Kirby. In the final vote, Reverend Kirby was not elected pastor.

A few days prior to the vote, God placed the same idea on the heart of Robert Newsome, a deacon at St. Stephen. During a telephone conversation on the morning of August 29th, 1997, Robert and Jerry realized that God had been telling them separately to contact Reverend Kirby. Robert called Reverend Kirby the same day. Realizing the challenge of starting a new church, Reverend Kirby told Robert to prayerfully consider the request and contact several others who felt the same way and call him later.

That same morning, in a barber shop, Robert saw Sam West, also a deacon at St. Stephen. West suggested that Reverend Kirby should be contacted about starting a new church. That was another confirmation of God’s plan to begin a new church. When Robert shared that he had already called Reverend Kirby, West graciously offered the use of his office at First Fidelity Mortgage Company in Prairie Village, Kansas as a meeting place. The first official founders’ meeting was held there on September 1st, 1997.

The following people were present at the first meeting: LaTonya Barber, Ruby Beavers, Mary Brackens, Susan Bradford, Robert Chambers, Betty Hardin, Lacy Jones, Bryant Keith Newsome, Edward Newsome, Jerry Newsome, MaryAlice Newsome, Robert Newsome, Sr., Sterling Newsome, Sr., Travis Alexis Newsome, Travis D. L. Newsome, Herman Peters, Leola Pippens, Willie Pippens, Sr., Sylvester Rhynes, Laura Ruffin, Joe Turner, Sammie West, Carolyn Wiggins, and Robert Wiggins.


During the months of September and October, the group met several times a week for prayer, worship, and decision-making regarding church structure. Members were asked to think about a name for the church. God spoke to Sister Leola Pippens in a dream and gave her the name, United Believers Community Church. The name was unanimously approved by the group.

The first public worship service for United Believers Community Church was held at Boone Elementary School at 8817 Wornall Road, in Kansas City, on November 23rd, 1997. More than two-hundred people were present. During the service, Barbara Wiggins was the first person to join, becoming our first new member.

The church did not have a permanent place to worship. For several months meetings were held at about ten different places, including schools, offices, other churches, libraries, and hotels. Through Travis Newsome, the Lord directed our attention to a building for sale at 7546 Troost Avenue.

With fewer than 75 members the church raised $40,000 within 60 days for the down payment to purchase the building. The “Grand Opening Service” was held on June 14th, 1998 in the first church home.


Reverend Gregory Kirby, founding pastor of United Believers Community Church remained in his position as senior pastor at Steeple Chase Baptist Church, in Shreveport. For over two years, Reverend Kirby would preach the morning worship service in Shreveport and then fly to Kansas City to lead the 4:00 PM worship service. Faced with questions about his own health, the death of one parent, the sickness of the other parent, and the grueling travel schedule, the overwhelming task of pastoring two churches in two states was taking its toll. In the fall of 1999, it became increasingly clear that God was leading him to focus his pastoring in the Shreveport area.

A board of directors, chaired by Robert Newsome and consisting of Estelle Banks, Betty Hardin, Margaret Hicks, Jerry Newsome, Sterling Newsome, Leola Pippens, Laura Ruffin, and Sylvester Rhynes, was established to oversee the general operations of the church. Sterling Newsome served briefly and was replaced by Phyllis Brown.

The board appointed a pastoral search committee which was chaired by Delores French and Burnut Woods, Sr. Other committee members were Phyllis Brown, Megan Carter, Margaret Hicks, Eldon Spears, and Winnie Stuckey. A primary challenge of the board was to ensure that the pulpit was filled each Sunday. Through God’s guidance local preachers were found to fill this role. Many people left, but most remained faithful to continue the work that God had called the church to do. Reverend Kirby officially resigned his position with United Believers Community Church on January 23rd, 2000. The church was without a pastor for five months.


The pastoral search committee worked diligently to find a new leader. Guided by the Holy Spirit the committee consulted with local and national ministers, pastors, and other contacts. A posting on the internet caught the attention of Reverend Robert Houston of San Diego, California. Reverend Houston contacted Reverend Darron LaMonte Edwards, Sr., pastor of Samaria Baptist Church in Waxahachie, Texas, and suggested that he should apply.

The search committee invited Reverend Edwards to come and preach on May 21st, 2000. Impressed by his dynamic Word-based teaching and preaching, his impeccable credentials of spiritual leadership, and his devotion to God and family, the church elected him pastor on June 25th, 2000. He prayerfully accepted the call leaving his hometown church of about 250 members coming to a church of less than 75 members, calling the move his, “Abrahamic journey”. Pastor Edwards was installed as the first elected pastor of United Believers Community Church on October 1st, 2000.

Under the dedicated leadership of Pastor Edwards, the membership has grown considerably, many meaningful ministries have taken shape, and people throughout the area have been blessed. To God be the glory!

(Footnote: Sylvester Rhynes, Robert Newsome, Ruby Beavers, Sterling Newsome, Jerry Newsome, Betty Hardin, Leola Pippens, Reverend Darron Edwards, and Edward Newsome contributed to the writing of this document).

In the fall of 2010, United Believers Community Church, under the leadership of Pastor Darron LaMonte Edwards, acquired the old Greendale Baptist Church located at 5445 East 29th Street.  This campus is referred to as our NORTH CAMPUS.  This church (North Campus) was given to the pastor and church without indebtedness with only a gospel mandate to reach souls in the urban core.  On Easter 2011, the church opened her doors to a new multi-million dollar facility located at 5600 East 112th Terrace.  This campus is referred to as our SOUTH CAMPUS.  We have witnessed the hand of God at work in and through our church and pastor.  In September 2012, the church further extended its ministry to the community by providing a third worship service.  The story continues.