Category Archives: Churches

“Dynamite Hill” unveiled Sunday, December 11th at Tabernacle Baptist Church

The Birmingham Historical Society’s newest book has 13 first-hand accounts of what it was like to grow up on Dynamite Hill, the neighborhood that was repeatedly bombed in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Barbara Shores, the daughter of civil rights activist and attorney Arthur Shores, along with Marjorie White, director of BHS, bring those stories to life with childhood memories, photos, and historical background.

Ryan Michaels with The Birmingham Times, interviews Shores and White prior to the event on Sunday in this article. Shores notes that many young people who have grown up in Birmingham are unaware of the significance of Dynamite Hill in breaking the racial barriers that existed in housing and schools. It’s a story that needs to be told and retold! Please mark your calendars for Sunday’s event:

Birmingham’s Dynamite Hill” will be unveiled on Sunday, Dec. 11 at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 600 Center St. North in Birmingham’s Graymont neighborhood, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Please note that this and other BHS publications will also be available locally at SHOPPE in Forest Park, via USPS and online HERE

100th Birthday Observance of Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth

Historic Bethel Baptist Church, in conjunction with the Greater New Light Baptist Church of Cincinnati, Ohio, will celebrate the 100th birthday of Freedom Fighter, Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth, on March 18, 2022. The event will originate out of Cincinnati but will be simulcast in Birmingham. Dr. Carolyn Shuttlesworth, Reverend Shuttlesworth’s youngest daughter, will be in Birmingham for the event. 

Bethel Pastor Thomas L. Wilder has asked Mayor Randall Woodfin and a few other dignitaries in Birmingham to come and say a few words regarding what Reverend Shuttlesworth’s life and legacy means to Birmingham. The particulars of the celebration are as follows:

5:00 p.m. – Tree planting service at Bethel Baptist Church, 3233 29th Avenue North

5:30 p.m. – Carlton Reese Memorial Choir – New Bethel at 3200 28th Avenue North

6:00 p.m. – Simulcast begins at New Bethel – 3200 28th Avenue North

Reception following the Simulcast

Special thanks to Martha Bouyer, educational coordinator for Bethel Baptist Church and Birmingham Historical Society Trustee

Celebrating 150 Years of Religious & Civic Growth: A Panel Discussion

“Sacred Spaces, Civic Places,
and the Building of a Magic City”

February 27, 2022
3:00PM to 4:30PM
First United Methodist Church Sanctuary
518 19th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203

Panelists:

  • Pam King, Assistant Professor of History and Historic Preservation, UAB Dept of History (retired)
  • Jim Baggett, Head, Archives Department, Birmingham Public Library
  • Barry McNealy, Historical Content Expert, Birmingham Civil RIghts Institute & Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Historian

Participating Congregations:

  • St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 1869
  • First United Methodist Church, 1872
  • Cathedral Church of theAdvent, 1872
  • First Presbyterian Church, 1872
  • The Cathedral of St. Paul, 1872
  • First Baptist Church, 1872
  • Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, 1873
  • Temple Emanu-EL, 1882

This event is free and open to the public and childcare will be available


In 1871 the City of Birmingham was incorporated by the Elyton Land Company on farmland that would soon be the juncture of two major railroads. The location had everything – coal, iron ore and limestone, all necessary for the soon to be thriving industrial city.

At that time, there existed an African-American Methodist congregation that, according to church records, began meeting in tents in 1869. In 1872 Elyton gave five land grants to establish houses of worship for white congregants of five major denominations – Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, United Methodist and Baptist.

In 1873 the first Black Baptist church was established downtown. Then in 1882 the first temple was built for the growing Jewish community. These eight congregations comprise Birmingham’s earliest houses of worship, and they are still thriving today and have over a hundred years of sacred and civic commitment to the Magic City..

View the reprint of the 1997 newsletter with MAP here

Coming Soon – Tour of Avondale Churches

POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO COVID-19

Historic Houses of Worship: Avondale
A Walking and Driving Tour
Led by David R. Bains, PhD
Sunday, April 5, 2020, 1:30-4:00 p.m.

Several Avondale churches built in the 1880’s still remain and have been joined by others in this thriving residential community established in 1884. See the map below for the houses of worship included on the tour led by Samford University’s professor in the Department of Biblical and Religious Studies.