Difference between revisions of "New Pilgrim Baptist Church"

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'''New Pilgrim Baptist Church''' is a [[List of Baptist churches in Birmingham|Baptist church]] located at 708 [[Goldwire Place Southwest]] in [[Birmingham]]'s [[South Titusville]] [[List of Birmingham neighborhoods|neighborhood]].
 
'''New Pilgrim Baptist Church''' is a [[List of Baptist churches in Birmingham|Baptist church]] located at 708 [[Goldwire Place Southwest]] in [[Birmingham]]'s [[South Titusville]] [[List of Birmingham neighborhoods|neighborhood]].
  
The church was founded as '''11th Street Baptist Church''' in [[1900]], and changed its name to '''St Luke Baptist Church''' in [[1909]]. In [[1929]] it was renamed '''Pilgrim Baptist Church''', which was modified to "New Pilgrim Baptist Church" in the 1940s. For most of its life, the church was located at 903 [[6th Avenue South]].
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The church was founded as '''11th Street Baptist Church''' in [[1900]], and was located on [[3rd Avenue South|Avenue C]] between [[11th Street South|11th]] and [[12th Street South|12th Street South]] in what is now the [[Five Points South neighborhood]]. Between [[1900]] and [[1914]] the church moved between rented houses. It changed its name to '''St Luke Baptist Church''' in [[1909]].  
  
Reverend [[Nelson Smith]] led the congregation for more than 50 years, marked by the congregation's involvement in the [[Civil Rights movement]].
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In [[1929]], under newly-called pastor [[W. H. Thomas]], the church moved to another new building at a cost of $5,500, and was renamed '''Pilgrim Baptist Church'''. His successor, [[ H. W. Perry]], led the congregation to purchase property on [[6th Avenue South]] at [[9th Street South]]. The cornerstone of a new Gothic-styled brick building on that site was laid on [[September 27]], [[1946]]. The church's name was modified to "New Pilgrim Baptist Church" before it moved into the new building. Under pastor [[W. M. Posey]] new wooden pews and air conditioning were installed at the new church.
  
The present 1,200-seat sanctuary was constructed in [[1979]].
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In [[1953]] the church called 22-year-old pastor [[Nelson Smith]]. Under his leadership the church expanded its outreach to include the city's first church-run day care center, headed by [[Willo Dean Davis]], a credit union operated by [[Lola Hendricks]], and an evening radio broadcast on [[WJLD-AM]]. As a close friend of [[Fred Shuttlesworth]]'s, Smith also led the church to join the [[Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights]] which organized the [[Civil Rights Movement]] in Birmingham. New Pilgrim hosted the organization's second mass meeting, on [[June 11]], [[1956]] and Smith's sermons were noted for their erudition and passion.
  
The church completed a $4.2 million expansion, including a gymnasium/fellowship hall and new childcare center in June [[2014]]. The project included spaces for a bookstore and coffee shop open during the week as well as on Sundays.
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New Pilgrim Baptist Church was expanded in [[1959]] with a new wing that wrapped around the church and opened to the main auditorium with movable partitions, increasing seating capacity while also providing day care classrooms and weeknight meeting space. Additional spaces accommodated a kitchen, dining room, pastor's office, library, restrooms and storage closets. A 2-story education wing was added in [[1961]]. Both additions were commissioned from [[Van Keuren, Davis & Company]] architects.
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The church's expanded facilities made it a natural meeting place for meetings leading up to the [[Birmingham Campaign]] conducted with the [[Southern Christian Leadership Conference]]. Its proximity to [[Birmingham Jail]] was conducive to the spontaneous "[[Walk to the Jail]]" after a meeting on [[May 5]], [[1963]]. Folk singer [[Joan Baez]] had attended morning services that day and her escorts, Guy and Candie Carawan of the Highlander Folk School, were arrested outside that afternoon for violating the city's [[segregation ordinances]]. Billups led the group of 2,000 demonstrators who faced off against [[police dogs and fire hoses]]. The confrontation ended peacefully when he led the group to the nearby [[Memorial Park]] to continue praying.
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Several leaders in the movement attended New Pilgrim. [[Charles Billups Jr]] was the church's associate pastor. ACHMR treasurer [[James Armstrong]] was the plaintiff in the lawsuit that desegregated [[Birmingham City Schools]]. Church secretary and credit union direcotr [[Lola Hendricks]] became the correspondence secretary for the movement. [[Georgia Price]] chaired the ACMHR usher board and led voter registration efforts. And [[Mamie Brown]] partnered with [[Nims Gay]] to organize the [[ACMHR Choir]]. New Pilgrim hosted the funeral of [[Johnny Robinson]], a teenaged [[List of deadly police encounters|police shooting]] victim in September [[1963]]. Reverend [[Abraham Woods]] said during the service that, "not only are we here for the funeral of Johnnie Robinson, but I think we can say we are here for the funeral of Birmingham."
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Smith led the congregation for more than 50 years. During the late 1960s and 1970s the residential neighborhood surrounding the church was cleared under federal "[[urban renewal]]" programs to make way for Birmingham's [[medical center]] district, anchored by [[UAB]]. New Pilgrim broke ground for a new campus at its present site in the [[Goldwire]] section of [[South Titusville]] on [[October 2]], [[1975]]. On [[February 11]], [[1979]] the congregation held its first services in a new 1,200-seat sanctuary. The former church building was taken over by the day care center. A retirement complex, the [[New Pilgrim Towers]], was completed in [[1989]].
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The church completed a $4.2 million expansion, including a gymnasium/fellowship hall and new childcare center in June [[2014]]. The project included spaces for a bookstore and coffee shop open during the week as well as on Sundays. The 1946 building was soon demolished.
  
 
==Pastors==
 
==Pastors==
* [[Nelson Smith]], [[1953]]-[[2006]]
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* [[Jerry Austin]]
* [[James Brooks]], [[2007]]-present
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* Reverend Smith
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* Reverend Johnson
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* [[F. S. Miller]]
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* [[J. B. Gardner]]
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* Reverend Brown, 1909–
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* [[W. M. Love]], October 1914–
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* [[W. H. Thomas]], 1929–
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* [[H. W. Perry]], 1936–December 1950
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* [[W. M. Posey]], 1951
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* [[Nelson Smith]], August 1953–September 2006
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* [[James Brooks]], November 2007–present
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
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* New Pilgrim Baptist Church, Marjorie White & Linda Nelson (September 2005) "[https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/e1d85366-8e9a-4a59-899d-0b768535628c New Pilgrim Baptist Church]". National Register of Historic Places nomination form - listed August 24, 2007
 
* Garrison, Greg (June 27, 2013) "New Pilgrim Baptist Church breaks ground on $3.5 million expansion." {{BN}}
 
* Garrison, Greg (June 27, 2013) "New Pilgrim Baptist Church breaks ground on $3.5 million expansion." {{BN}}
 
* Garrison, Greg (June 24, 2014) "New Pilgrim Baptist Church completes $4.2 million expansion." {{BN}}
 
* Garrison, Greg (June 24, 2014) "New Pilgrim Baptist Church completes $4.2 million expansion." {{BN}}
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==External links==
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* [http://newpilgrim.org/ New Pilgrim Baptist Church] website
  
 
[[Category:Baptist churches]]
 
[[Category:Baptist churches]]
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[[Category:Movement churches]]
 
[[Category:1900 establishments]]
 
[[Category:1900 establishments]]
[[Category:11th Street Southwest]]
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[[Category:3rd Avenue South]]
[[Category:6th Avenue Southwest]]
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[[Category:6th Avenue South]]
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[[Category:1946 buildings]]
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[[Category:1959 buildings]]
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[[Category:1961 buildings]]
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[[Category:Davis Architects buildings]]
 
[[Category:Goldwire Place Southwest]]
 
[[Category:Goldwire Place Southwest]]
 
[[Category:1979 buildings]]
 
[[Category:1979 buildings]]
 
[[Category:2014 buildings]]
 
[[Category:2014 buildings]]
[[Category:Movement churches]]
 

Revision as of 13:16, 5 May 2020

New Pilgrim Baptist Church is a Baptist church located at 708 Goldwire Place Southwest in Birmingham's South Titusville neighborhood.

The church was founded as 11th Street Baptist Church in 1900, and was located on Avenue C between 11th and 12th Street South in what is now the Five Points South neighborhood. Between 1900 and 1914 the church moved between rented houses. It changed its name to St Luke Baptist Church in 1909.

In 1929, under newly-called pastor W. H. Thomas, the church moved to another new building at a cost of $5,500, and was renamed Pilgrim Baptist Church. His successor, H. W. Perry, led the congregation to purchase property on 6th Avenue South at 9th Street South. The cornerstone of a new Gothic-styled brick building on that site was laid on September 27, 1946. The church's name was modified to "New Pilgrim Baptist Church" before it moved into the new building. Under pastor W. M. Posey new wooden pews and air conditioning were installed at the new church.

In 1953 the church called 22-year-old pastor Nelson Smith. Under his leadership the church expanded its outreach to include the city's first church-run day care center, headed by Willo Dean Davis, a credit union operated by Lola Hendricks, and an evening radio broadcast on WJLD-AM. As a close friend of Fred Shuttlesworth's, Smith also led the church to join the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights which organized the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham. New Pilgrim hosted the organization's second mass meeting, on June 11, 1956 and Smith's sermons were noted for their erudition and passion.

New Pilgrim Baptist Church was expanded in 1959 with a new wing that wrapped around the church and opened to the main auditorium with movable partitions, increasing seating capacity while also providing day care classrooms and weeknight meeting space. Additional spaces accommodated a kitchen, dining room, pastor's office, library, restrooms and storage closets. A 2-story education wing was added in 1961. Both additions were commissioned from Van Keuren, Davis & Company architects.

The church's expanded facilities made it a natural meeting place for meetings leading up to the Birmingham Campaign conducted with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Its proximity to Birmingham Jail was conducive to the spontaneous "Walk to the Jail" after a meeting on May 5, 1963. Folk singer Joan Baez had attended morning services that day and her escorts, Guy and Candie Carawan of the Highlander Folk School, were arrested outside that afternoon for violating the city's segregation ordinances. Billups led the group of 2,000 demonstrators who faced off against police dogs and fire hoses. The confrontation ended peacefully when he led the group to the nearby Memorial Park to continue praying.

Several leaders in the movement attended New Pilgrim. Charles Billups Jr was the church's associate pastor. ACHMR treasurer James Armstrong was the plaintiff in the lawsuit that desegregated Birmingham City Schools. Church secretary and credit union direcotr Lola Hendricks became the correspondence secretary for the movement. Georgia Price chaired the ACMHR usher board and led voter registration efforts. And Mamie Brown partnered with Nims Gay to organize the ACMHR Choir. New Pilgrim hosted the funeral of Johnny Robinson, a teenaged police shooting victim in September 1963. Reverend Abraham Woods said during the service that, "not only are we here for the funeral of Johnnie Robinson, but I think we can say we are here for the funeral of Birmingham."

Smith led the congregation for more than 50 years. During the late 1960s and 1970s the residential neighborhood surrounding the church was cleared under federal "urban renewal" programs to make way for Birmingham's medical center district, anchored by UAB. New Pilgrim broke ground for a new campus at its present site in the Goldwire section of South Titusville on October 2, 1975. On February 11, 1979 the congregation held its first services in a new 1,200-seat sanctuary. The former church building was taken over by the day care center. A retirement complex, the New Pilgrim Towers, was completed in 1989.

The church completed a $4.2 million expansion, including a gymnasium/fellowship hall and new childcare center in June 2014. The project included spaces for a bookstore and coffee shop open during the week as well as on Sundays. The 1946 building was soon demolished.

Pastors

References

  • New Pilgrim Baptist Church, Marjorie White & Linda Nelson (September 2005) "New Pilgrim Baptist Church". National Register of Historic Places nomination form - listed August 24, 2007
  • Garrison, Greg (June 27, 2013) "New Pilgrim Baptist Church breaks ground on $3.5 million expansion." The Birmingham News
  • Garrison, Greg (June 24, 2014) "New Pilgrim Baptist Church completes $4.2 million expansion." The Birmingham News

External links