New Era Baptist Church

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New Era Baptist Church is located at 5 Cotton Avenue in the Arlington-West End neighborhood of Birmingham. The building previously housed the Elyton Baptist Church, which disbanded in 1975. The church also operates the Kimbrough Family Life Community Center across the street. The current pastor is Michael R. Jordan.

The church is known for putting controversial signs on its outdoor sign, including one in 2004 denouncing same-sex unions, and another in 2008 warning about crack cocaine being sold nearby. The 2008 sign was in response to several drug-related killings in and around the area, including one in the church parking lot in November 2007.

In 2018 Jordan put up a sign reading "White Folks Refused to Be Our Neighbors" on one side and, "Black Folks Need to Stay Out of White Churches" on the other. The message was intended as a response to an announcement that the megachurch Church of the Highlands was planning to open a new campus in a "high-crime neighborhood of Birmingham."

In 2019 the church then put up another controversial sign, stating "A black vote for Trump is mental illness. A white vote for Trump is pure racism." Jordan put up the sign in hopes to sway black voters to choose a politicial candidate other than Trump in the upcoming presidential election.

References

  • Garrison, Greg (March 7, 2008) "Tired of crime, west Birmingham church puts up warning about drug dealers on its street." Birmingham News.
  • Garrison, Greg (March 14, 2004) "Churches take sides on same-sex unions." The Birmingham News
  • Garrison, Greg (May 15, 2018) "Pastor denounces Highlands' urban plan as 'slavemaster church'." The Birmingham News
  • Folley, Aris (August 30, 2019) "Alabama church posts sign: 'A black vote for Trump is mental illness.'" The Hill