Sardis Missionary Baptist Church

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Sardis Missionary Baptist Church is a church founded in 1884 and located at 1615 4th Court West in the Bush Hills community of Birmingham. The church is also the home of the Sardis Christian School, which provides Christian-based education for children in grades K-6.

Pastor Samuel P. Pettagrue, Jr announced his retirement in 2006.

History

Sardis Missionary Baptist Church began as a group of worshippers meeting at the home of Viola Freeman in September 1884. A few months later the church was incorporated with J. C. Curry as pastor.

In the 1890s, under Reverend W. C. Owens, the church moved to 1240 4th Street North in Enon Ridge. Around 1930, the mortgage was paid and ceremonially burned under Pastor J. P. Pritchett. During the depression, Sardis was able to rebuild their frame building in brick under Reverend C. H. George.

In the fall of 1945, R. L. Alford became pastor and expanded the scope of Sardis' mission with new programs and classes.

During the civil rights movement, Sardis served as the first meeting place of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Rev. Alford was an active member of the ACMHR, and president of the NAACP-Birmingham.

Alford also oversaw construction of new church structures and expanded community services. At his retirement in 1971, Ralph D. Abernathy recommended Samuel P. Pettagrue, Jr, who accepted the pastorship on June 12, 1971. Under his leadership the church membership rolls grew greatly.

In 1975 the church moved to a larger building at 923 Graymont Avenue. Along with establishing new child-development programs, Pettagrue instituted a "total congregational tithe" program, replacing fund-raisers with a focus on member's tithes. Under his leadership the church purchased the facilities, including the Family Life Center, of Hunter Street Baptist Church in 1987. Sardis Baptist Church moved to its present location on 4th Court West in September of that year.

The Sardis Christian School was founded in 1989 with students in Kindergarten through third grade. The school has since expanded to the sixth grade.

In 1997, Sardis hosted the national pastor's conference for the "Promise Keeper's" men's organization.

In November 2000 the new mortgage was paid off and also ceremonially burned.

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