Interested in Joining UBA?
Frequently Asked Questions
UBA is a voluntary missional association of churches valuing diversity and practicing basic Baptist beliefs, cooperating together to pursue a common vision of the transformation of our world, and generally located in the Greater Houston metropolitan area. The association is defined primarily by vision rather than geography. Churches as far away as Laredo, Texas, and Louisiana have affiliated with UBA. Contact a UBA Church Consultant by email or telephone at 713.957.2000 for additional information about membership.
What are the requirements for membership in UBA?
- Constitution as a church (unconstituted sponsored new church starts may affiliate under sponsorship of a member congregation for first 12 months);
- Affirmation that the church has embraced, and is practicing, beliefs consistent with one of the Baptist Faith and Messages (review BFM versions here);
- Commitment to the pursuit of the vision of UBA;
- Commitment to the support of the Association through regular financial offerings; (Set up congregational donations online here.)
- Completion of a 12-month 'watchcare' or 'sponsored new church' status prior to confirmation as full members
How does the congregation affirm our commitment to these requirements?
- The pastor and a leader of the congregation will meet with a UBA consultant and receive a written covenant to be affirmed and signed by the agreement of the congregation. (Download pdf copy of UBA Membership Covenant)
Do we have to have "Baptist in our name?
- No. Many of our newest members as well as some of our oldest congregations have elected not to have "Baptist" in the name of the congregation, believing that this positions them more effectively to reach unchurched individuals. Member congregations of UBA are Baptist in faith and practice - not by virtue of name.
Are we required to affiliate with other Baptist agencies and conventions?
- No. Affiliation at both state and national levels may be beneficial and are encouraged for the purpose of cooperative missions endeavors; however, it is not required for membership in UBA.
Is unique affiliation with UBA required?
- No. UBA affirms the autonomy of the local church; no attempt is made to limit, identify, or control the number or diversity of organizational affiliations or networks that the church might elect to pursue.
Does UBA exercise any governance over my church?
- No. Baptists believe in the autonomy of the local church with no external governance accepted or imposed except by the members of that local congregation and its recognition of Christ as the Head of the Church.
- The Association when convened retains the right to accept, reject, or discontinue fellowship with a congregation; however, neither the associational staff nor the Association itself can exercise any authority over the staff, properties, theology, or decisions of the local congregations.
What are "messengers" and how does my congregation appoint them?
- Messengers are the representatives from qualified cooperating churches, elected or appointed by their congregations to represent the congregation in the Quarterly Associational Meetings where business related to the Association is conducted.
- Each qualified cooperating church may elect/appoint a minimum of 5 messengers or a maximum of 15 messengers depending on the size of the congregation.
Who is eligible to send messengers to the Quarterly Associational Meetings?
- Constituted member congregations are identified as "qualified, cooperating congregations" and may elect/appoint messengers if the following criteria have been met:
- The congregation has contributed financially to the Association within the past 12 months; and
- The congregation has turned in a statistical report (ACP) within the past 12 months indicating the number of individuals attending worship.
I am not a member of a UBA congregation. Can I join UBA as an individual?
- No, sorry. UBA is an association of congregations, not individuals. Only the congregations carry member status.
May I attend UBA events even though my congregation is not a member of UBA?
- Absolutely. Individuals of any denomination, any faith, or with no congregational attachment at all are welcome to participate in any of the many training events of UBA.
As an individual, I have found value in a UBA training event. How can I contribute financially to UBA?
- You may make checks payable to Union Baptist Association and mail to Union Baptist Association, 2916 W TC Jester, Suite 200, Houston, TX 77018. Individuals who contribute more than $250 directly to UBA, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, will receive annually a Statement of Charitable Giving for tax purposes.
- Donations may also be made online as a one-time donation or by setting up regular monthly donations. Donate Here.