You are Invited
Sunday School ...... 9:45 a.m.
Sunday Worship ...... 11:00 a.m.
Wednesday Bible Study ...... 10:00 a.m.
Contributions to Local and World Missions
Non-perishable Food Bank
Use of Church Facility for Mission Groups
Volunteer Services for Fire House Shelter
AIM ( Aid to Inmate Mothers) Program
Agape House (AIDS Program)
Member: Greater B'ham Ministeries and Smithfield-College Hills Ecumenical Fellowship
Assistance to persons in need
First Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
1024 Center Street North
Birmingham, Alabama 35204
Rev. Dr. Rodney Franklin, Pastor
We hold it to be the mission of the church to be an inclusive and living Christian fellowship, in covenant with God and one another as we seek to know God's will through prayer and study of the Bible. We are committed to being witness to God's love and mercy, to serving God and community and to strive for world justice and peace.
"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God;"
I John 4:7
Reverend Franklin, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, became the 17th pastor of First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Birmingham, Alabama, during November 1994. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Talladega College, Talladega, Alabama, in 1984, A Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology, Emory University and his Doctor of Ministry degree in May 1994 from United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio. He is a native of Chicago, Illinois.
Reverend Franklin's leadership has caused the Church to grow in many ways. He participates on all levels of the denomination, serving on national as well as local boards and committees.
Reverend Franklin is married to Angela Balfour Franklin.
Reverend Doctor Rodney Franklin
Congregational Churches in America began in the 1620's when settlers from England and other European countries declared their freedom in thought, consciousness and word. This resulted in many members becoming actively involved in abolitionist campaigns which divided many congregations. An incident known as the Amistead revolt which occurred in 1839 served to galvanize a strong abolitionist movement within the denomination. Congregational churches in New England organized the Amistad Committee, which later became the American Missionary Association, to advocate on behalf of African captives who had seized control of the Spanish ship, "La Amistad." The outcome of this effort was a favorable decision by the United States Supreme Court in 1841 to free the kidnapped Africans. In 1846, the AMA became the first anti-slavery Christian missionary group in the United States.
Following the Civil War, the AMA started a network of elementary schools, high schools and colleges for Blacks in the south. Among these institutions were Lincoln Normal, Emerson Institute, Swayne School and Trinity School. Some of the institutions that exist today are Talladega College, Fisk University, Tougaloo College and Lemoyone College. Congregational churches also grew in the south.
The First Congregational Church in Birmingham, Alabama, was founded in 1882 and operated in a vacant store on 4th Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets, North. A few years later, the small membership, proud of its modest achievement, erected a frame structure at 2nd Avenue and 25th Street, North. The building, costing nine hundred dollars, was partially financed by the American Missionary Association. The AMA donated two hundred fifty dollars toward the new building. The congregation, having raised an equal amount, borrowed the four hundred dollar balance from the Penny Savings Bank, a Black business which had earned a prestigious reputation.
In 1905, the membership purchased a plot of land on the southwest corner of 7th Avenue and 15th Street, North. Here, they erected a brick structure which was dedicated in 1911. The church remained at this location until it was destroyed by fire on April 9, 1949. Undaunted by the destruction of their church home, the members began immediately to plan a new building. For a while, services were held in the Smith Building, (Later known as the A. G. Gaston Building), on 5th Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets, North. Later, the members conducted services at Ephesus Seventh-Day Adventist Church at 523 First Street, North. Having purchased a lot at 1024 Center Street, North, the congregation broke ground in 1951 for their new home. The new building was dedicated in 1952.
In 1957, a new denomination was born. The Congregational Christian Churches united with the Evangelical and Reformed Church to form the United Church of Christ. The UCC is interested in uniting with other churches in fulfillment of the great prayer of Jesus Christ, "That they may all be one". The denomination seeks to unite Christians from varied historical, theological and cultural backgrounds into Christian fellowship and ministry. UCC is divided into several conferences which are united through a General Synod.
First Congregational Church, UCC of Birmingham, Alabama, continues to grow by making God's will dominant and witnessing to His spiritual presence and guidance in the lives of all. This church acknowledges Jesus Christ as its head and finds its guidance through divinely inspired interpretation of the holy scriptures.