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.
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
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 recordRequest 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 recordRequest slip
Allen Page Papers, 1920-1984
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
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.