Wendell P. Dabney      

Guide to African American Resources
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Rev. Wilber A. Page

Wilber Allen Page was born in Cincinnati in August of 1895. He was the son of Rev. H. L. Page, minister of Calvary Baptist Church. After growing up in Cincinnati, Page served in France during World War I with the 317th Army Engineers. Soon after returning to Cincinnati, he was asked to serve as the temporary pastor of the Union Baptist Church. In 1919 the congregation asked him to stay on as their permanent pastor, a position he would hold until his death 66 years later. His effectiveness as a leader was shown early when he began a door to door effort to gain new members of the church and bring back delinquent ones. Between 1919 and 1930, membership at Union Baptist increased from 210 to 1000.


  Rev. Wilber A. Page
Rev. Wilber A. Page
Chamber of Commerce Photo Collection
Cincinnati History Library and Archives
Cincinnati Museum Center
During the latter half of his career, Rev. Page helped oversee the building of a new church on 7th and Central after the site at Richmond and Mound was lost to urban renewal during the late 1960s. Shortly thereafter, the church sponsored a housing project funded by the city. The resulting high rise was called Page Tower in his honor.
He saw his position not only as a leader of the church, but of the African-American community as well. On the local level, Rev. Page served on the Cincinnati Recreation Commission for 20 years. During that time, the Commission developed the Avon Center in Avondale, Lunken Playfield and the Over-the-Rhine Community Center. Page served on several local boards, including the Hamilton County YMCA Board of Directors. For 25 years, he was a trustee of Central State University, where a dormitory has been named for him. In 1979, Page was selected by the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce as a "Great Living Cincinnatian."
Rev. Page continued as pastor of the Union Baptist church until his death in November of 1985. The impact he had on his church, the African American community, and Cincinnati still remains today. Union Baptist Church and Page Tower stand today as a testament to him.

To learn more about Rev. Wilber A. Page, consult the following resources:

A History of Union Baptist Church, 1831-1972 and the Career of Wilbur A. Page
By Terriel R. Byrd
Pamphlets f286.17714 B995
This work traces the beginnings of the church, noting what else was happening in the African American community in the nineteenth century. Byrd then chronicles the work of Page as pastor of the Church from 1919 until 1972.    View catalog record   Request slip
History of Union Baptist Church
By Wilber A. Page
General 286 P133
This is a history of the Union Baptist Church written by Wilber A. Page, who served as its pastor from 1919 until 1972. It discusses the founding of the church and lists the church's pastors and the buildings that have housed the congregation over the years.     View catalog record   Request slip
Wilber Allen Page Papers, 1920-1984
Mss 791
This collection of papers contains sermons, addresses and speeches by Rev. Page. It includes programs, pamphlets and newspaper clippings about Union Baptist Church. For More information, a register of this collection is available in the Library.   Request slip
Adeline Harris Collection
Mss 1 AT, Interview 17
At age 84, Rev. Wilber Page reflects on the status of African Americans and integration in this 1980 interview. He also discusses the role of morality in life.   Request slip

Sources Used for Biographical Sketch:
  • Byrd, Terriel R. A History of Union Baptist Church, 1831-1972 and the Career of Wilbur[sic] A. Page. Pamphlets f286.17714 B995, Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum Center.
  • “Church and Pastor Share Affection Lasting 47 Years”, Cincinnati Enquirer, May 23, 1966.
  • “Wilbur [sic] Page, West End Baptist Pastor”, Cincinnati Enquirer, November 27, 1985, page C4.
  • “Black History Month Profile: The Rev. Wilbur [sic] Allen Page”, Cincinnati Enquirer, February 14, 1991.


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This online guide opened on February 10, 2004.