New Hope Baptist Church
- This article is about the Birmingham church. For the church in Ensley, see New Hope Baptist Church (Ensley). For the church in Sylacauga, see New Hope Baptist Church (Sylacauga).
New Hope Baptist Church is a 6,000-member church at 1740 Cleburn Avenue Southwest in West End. The church also runs the New Hope Christian School, Garden of Hope apartment community, and New Hope Credit Union.
The congregation was first organized on November 5, 1892 in the Sloss Quarters workers' community surrounding Sloss Furnaces under the leadership of King Nelson, but soon moved meetings to a building at 3431 2nd Avenue North. By the end of the 1890s, the church needed a larger house of worship. Pastor F. A. Chapman drew up plans for a building located at 33rd Street and 5th Avenue North.
That property was sold to the Louisville & Nashville Railroad in 1912 and the church returned to its former site on 2nd Avenue. An education building was added in 1946. In early 1964 the congregation moved across town to the former building of Second Presbyterian Church at 1154 10th Avenue South. They held their first services there on January 26, 1964.
With the continued expansion of UAB's Medical Center, the congregation decided to move again. UAB took possession of the building in 1970. On April 7, 1974 the church held its first services in its current building on Cleburn Avenue. This building was constructed by Continental Church Builders of Nashville, Tennesee.
The congregation had dwindled to less than 200 members when Gregory Clarke took over the pulpit in 1986. He spurred a period of explosive growth and the establishment of numerous community ministries, including a second campus in the former South Avondale Baptist Church at 4022 4th Avenue South in 2001. When Clarke reported for a 21-month federal prison sentence for tax evasion in 2007, he left plans for the operation of the church, which included bringing in interim pastor Kelvin Bryant, who commuted from Dallas, Texas to lead Sunday services. Clarke returned to the pulpit in April 2009 and concluded his prison sentence that August.
In 2015, the church sold the sanctuary building on its Avondale campus over to Redeemer Community Church. It continued own the education buildings which housed M-POWER Ministries and New Hope's child development center.
- King Nelson, 1892-1895
- A. D. Sanders, 1896-1899
- F. A. Chapman, 1899-1902
- E. M. Davis, 1902-1904
- W. T. Thomas, 1904-1906
- J. H. Pearson, 1907-1921
- J. H. Martin, 1921-1932
- E. M. Jenkins, 1933-1945
- Herman Stone, 1946-1986
- Gregory Clarke, 1986-present
- New Hope Baptist Church website
- Garrison, Greg (April 2, 2011) "Rev. Gregory L. Clarke writes memoir, says life back to normal after prison" The Birmingham News
- Garrison, Greg (December 24, 2015) "Christmas in Avondale: Ancient Meets Modern" The Birmingham News
- "Church History" (n.d.) New Hope Baptist Church - accessed September 17, 2019