Birmingham, AL-The Alabama Historical Commission has selected Old Sardis Baptist Church to
receive $192,000 in funding to assist with preservation efforts. This landmark appropriation of
funding will allow for enhancements to the historical building bringing tangible, restorative
impact to the community and preserving Alabama’s history. Birmingham’s Old Sardis Baptist
Church is on the National Historical Registry because of its role as the place where the Alabama
Christian Movement for Human Rights was organized. Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and then Sardis’
Pastor Rev. Robert Alford, along with other prominent ministers of the Civil Rights era met and
organized at Old Sardis Baptist Church first on June 5, 1956. That meeting and the organization
born from it played a critical role in advancing the movement.
“The Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights was needed to replace the NAACP, which
had been outlawed by the state of Alabama at the time. Up until this acknowledgement from
the Alabama Historical Commission, the narrative of Old Sardis Baptist Church and its role in the
movement had been lost in Birmingham’s Civil Rights memory. The Historical Committee of the
church hopes this selection reminds the world of the impact of Old Sardis Baptist Church on the
world,” said Adrienne Reynolds, Old Sardis Baptist Church Historical Committee.
Old Sardis Baptist Church is in the Enon Ridge neighborhood of Birmingham, 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 1950’s and 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.
For more on the historical preservation efforts contact Adrienne Reynolds at:
firstname.lastname@example.org 205-907-0392. More details on the significance of Old Sardis
Baptist Church can be found at: About Us – Old Sardis Baptist Church (osbchurch.org).