“The world was convinced it could build a better kingdom than God could. We know now how completely it has failed.”
– Dr. R. L. Alford
Perfectly positioned for the movement.
Old Sardis Baptist Church is in the Enon Ridge neighborhood, a historically black neighborhood in the Smithfield Community. It was dubbed “Dynamite Hill” because of the frequency of racially motivated bombings that occurred in the area as black middle-class families moved into the previously all-white neighborhood in the 1960s. Being on the borderline between the black and white neighborhoods, the church was chosen as the meeting place for strategic planning during the Civil Rights Movement.
Old Sardis Baptist Church was organized in 1884 under the name of “Sardis Baptist Church.” The church was built in its present location of 1240 4th Street North, Birmingham, Alabama, between the years 1892-1908.
Reverend Robert L. Alford became pastor in 1947 and the church became involved in civic, social and economic matters. On June 5,1956, the church hosted a meeting led by Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, and from that meeting the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights was formed. Rev. Shuttlesworth, Rev. Alford and other ministers were the founding members.
The church legally became known as “Old Sardis Baptist Church” in 1976.
Previous notable members include John T. “Fess” Whatley (Famous Musician), Emory O. Jackson (Editor of the World Newspaper), Lee May (Major League Baseball Player-Orioles), Carlos May (Major League Baseball Player-Yankees), and The May Brothers.
Take in the history for yourself.
Whether you join us for Sunday Worship Service or you book a tour, you can come experience OSBC’s historical significance for yourself!
Choir & Music Ministry