Gardendale First Baptist Church
Gardendale First Baptist Church (GFBC) is a Southern Baptist church located at 316 Mountain Crest Boulevard adjacent to I-65 between Fieldstown Road (Exit 271) and Mount Olive Road (Exit 272). The senior pastor is Kevin Hamm, who has held that position since April 2006.
- The church traces its history to the 1876 founding of what was then called Chalybeate Baptist Church on a 1-acre plot donated for the purpose by James Kimmons.
- In 1960 eight acres were purchased at 940 Main Street in downtown Gardendale for $36,000.
- In 1963 a bond issue was sold and a new building (now Marler Hall) was erected with educational space, temporary auditorium, and office space for a total of $250,000.
- In 1968 another bond issue led to the construction of an additional two-story educational wing and transepts to the temporary auditorium.
- In 1976 construction began on a new sanctuary.
- In 1978 the new sanctuary opened it's doors for the first time on Easter Sunday.
- In 1991 the Family Life Center was completed at the South Campus.
- In 2002 the church purchased 145 acres along I-65 in Gardendale for their North Campus.
- In 2004 Upward Park was completed with 3 baseball fields and 1 soccer field.
- In 2005 the church hosted a community-wide Easter service at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center. Over 10,000 people attended.
- In 2010 the church completed its present sanctuary and youth/adult education space on the North campus. The $19.7 million, 104,000 square-foot worship center seats 2,500, but is designed for a future expansion to seat as many as 4,200. The first services were held there on August 8, 2010. A 125-foot steel cross serves as a landmark for the site, visible from I-65.
- In 2013 the church completed its Kidz Kingdom building, a two-story, 36,600-square-foot structure that connects to the main church building and houses all the children's ministries at the church.
- Jones, Pauline Parker. (1976) "This is Gardendale". p. 25
- Martin, Wayne. (January 23, 2007). "First Baptist to resume work on new campus." The Birmingham News.
- Ruisi, Anne (March 10, 2009) "Gardendale, Alabama First Baptist Church gets loan for new church." Birmingham News
- Songer, Joe (March 3, 2010) "Towering cross nearly ready beside Interstate 65 at Gardendale." Birmingham News
- Garrison, Greg (March 6, 2010) "Gardendale First Baptist nears completion on megachurch complex." Birmingham News
- Garrison, Greg (August 7, 2010) "Gardendale First Baptist opens new campus Sunday." Birmingham News
- Garrison, Greg (September 17, 2012) "Gardendale's First Baptist Church plans $6 million children's building" Birmingham News