Church of the Reconciler
The Church of the Reconciler is a United Methodist congregation and outreach ministry located at 112 14th Street North in downtown Birmingham. The congregation is committed to provided services to the city's homeless population. The church is led by co-pastors Isaac Burns and Sarah Smoot.
The Church of the Reconciler was founded by Lawton Higgs in 1992 as a homeless ministry operating out of his home. It was recognized as a formal ministry of the North Alabama United Methodist Conference in 1993 and moved to a building on 18th Street North in 1994. In 2003 the church moved to its present location, a former Hormel meat-processing warehouse. Higgs' son, Kevin, took over the ministry after his retirement in January 2006. A complaint was lodged regarding the administration of the center, but the conference found no grounds for discipline. Kevin Higgs was reassigned to Brownsville United Methodist Church in 2011 in a routine rotation of Methodist clergy. Higgs was succeeded by Bud Precise.
As an outreach center, the church provides meals and toiletries as well as practical and spiritual guidance to the homeless. Through a grant, UAB provides substance abuse and mental health counseling at the church. Volunteers from area Methodist churches staff the center and provide financial support for the ministry.
- Giles, Henry (February 3, 2006) "Downtown church offers spiritual home to homeless people" United Methodist News Service
- Garrison, Greg (June 4, 2011) "Birmingham Church of the Reconciler that serves homeless changes leadership." Birmingham News