Canaan Missionary Baptist Church

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This article is about the church organized in Bessemer in 1865. For the earlier church in Jonesboro, see Canaan Baptist Church.

Canaan Baptist Church is a Baptist church located at 824 15th Street North at the corner of 9th Avenue North in Bessemer. It was founded in 1865

The church constructed a new building in 1889 , which was expanded in 1908 and clad in brick veneer in 1940. The City of Bessemer condemned the structure in 1960, and it was demolished a new, contemporary style one-story church was constructed on the same site in 1961. George Wilson of Selma was the contractor.

Under J. H. Browder's leadership, the church actively supported efforts to establish equal rights for African Americans in the 1950s and 60s. After it was rebuilt, the church sanctuary served as an organizing and rallying point for the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights during the Birmingham Campaign. After passage of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, Canaan Baptist was one of the first churches to establish a Community Development Credit Union.

Because of those associations, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 20, 2005. An office annex was added to the building in 1984.

Pastors

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