McCoy United Methodist Church

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McCoy United Methodist Church (originally Owenton Church) is a former Methodist church located at the corner of 8th Avenue West and Arkadelphia Road (U. S. Highway 78) in College Hills near Birmingham-Southern College. It was founded in 1901.

Serving the neighborhood, as well as students of the nearby college, McCoy flourished in the early part of the century. The present campus was constructed in the early 1920s. The BSC Concert Choir performed an annual Service of Lessons and Carols at the church beginning in the 1930s. As the demographics of the neighborhood changed beginning in the 1960s, the church's membership declined.

Unable to maintain its membership, the congregation disbanded in 1993. In 2005 the North Alabama Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church organized a "Service of Confession and Recommitment to Disciple-Making" on the church's steps, asking God's forgiveness for letting segregation and racism limit the church's willingness to reach out to communities.

The church's pipe organ, which started as a 1929 2-manual, 9-rank Skinner instrument (Opus 772) and was joined with a 3-manual, 44-rank Austin organ (Opus 2386) in 1963, was sold to Bluff Park United Methodist Church.

The Alabama Volunteers in Corrections non-profit ministry rented office space in the church during the 1980's.

The City of Birmingham purchased the property for $350,000. The McCoy Center for Community Service leases the entire property and uses the former education building for its programs. The Birmingham Public Library operates a literacy and outreach center there. The Alabama Gospel Center has plans to use the former sanctuary as a performance hall and to add exhibit spaces.



  • Brown, Sara, et al (1993) McCoy United Methodist Church, 1901-1933. Birmingham: McCoy United Methodist Church
  • Chang, Pauline J. (July 18, 2005) "Reconciling the Past, Confronting Racism" The Christian Post
  • Bryant, Joseph D. (January 3, 2011) "Old Birmingham church aims for joyful noise as gospel center." Birmingham News

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