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Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

The New Pilgrim Baptist Church / New Pilgrim Baptist Church Timeline

Civil Rights Gathering Place

 
 
The New Pilgrim Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, December 26, 2021
1. The New Pilgrim Baptist Church Marker
Inscription.  
The New Pilgrim Baptist Church
Civil Rights Gathering Place.
This church served as a gathering place and strategic hub for Birmingham's Civil Rights Movement in 1956 under the leadership of Rev. Nelson H. Smith, Jr., who was called as pastor in 1953. Rev. Smith was secretary of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR), which was led by Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, and founded in 1956 after Alabama outlawed the NAACP. New Pilgrim's support for the local Civil Rights Movement was both inspirational and financial, ACMHR held meetings, hosted weekly radio broadcasts, and prepared notices and agendas within the auditorium and administrative spaces. The church was one of only seven Civil Rights Movement churches with auditoriums large enough to hold crowds attending ACMHR mass meetings. During the Civil Rights Era, New Pilgrim church bulletins often included the motto: “The Church in America where people are taught that God is love, right is right, wrong is wrong, and all men are brothers."

New Pilgrim Baptist Church Timeline
1900: New Pilgrim
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Church established on Birmingham's Southside
1946: New church built under Pastor H. W. Perry
1956: Church hosted second ACHMR mass meeting
1961: Associate Pastor Charles Billups recounted beating by Klansmen in the CBS documentary "Who Speaks for Birmingham."
1963: Reverends Smith, Shuttlesworth, and Wyatt T. Walker published Birmingham Manifesto in April, ahead of downtown demonstrations. New Pilgrim staff coordinated the Birmingham desegregation campaign with SCLC. Palm Sunday demonstration led by Ministers Smith, John Porter, and A.D. King, later immortalized in Kelly Ingram Park statue. The Miracle Sunday walk from New Pilgrim to the Birmingham Jail on May 5 ended without violence despite confrontation with Commissioner Eugene “Bull" Connor. 1979: Church relocated to Titusville's Gold wire neighborhood
2007: Church listed on National Register of Historic Places
2017: New Pilgrim Daycare remained at this site until the property was sold to the UAB Educational Foundation
 
Erected 2021 by UAB and New Pilgrim Baptist Church.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & ReligionCivil Rights. A significant historical date for this entry is May 5, 1956.
 
Location. 33° 29.988′ N, 86° 48.933′ W. Marker is
New Pilgrim Baptist Church Timeline Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, December 26, 2021
2. New Pilgrim Baptist Church Timeline Marker
in Birmingham, Alabama, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of 6th Avenue South and 9th Street South, on the right when traveling east on 6th Avenue South. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 903 6th Ave S, Birmingham AL 35233, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail’ (approx. half a mile away); Glen Iris Park (approx. 0.6 miles away); School of Medicine (approx. 0.9 miles away); Disabled American Veterans (approx. 0.9 miles away); Metropolitan AME Zion Church (approx. one mile away); Emory Overton Jackson (approx. 1.1 miles away); Fraternal Hotel Building (approx. 1.1 miles away); a different marker also named The Fraternal Hotel Building (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Birmingham.
 
More about this marker. The church was sold and demolished in 2017.
 
Also see . . .  Bhamwiki about the New Pilgrim Baptist Church. (Submitted on December 26, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Former location of the 1946 New Pilgrim Baptist Church. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, December 26, 2021
3. Former location of the 1946 New Pilgrim Baptist Church.
Looking easterly on 6th Avenue South. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, December 26, 2021
4. Looking easterly on 6th Avenue South.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 28, 2024. It was originally submitted on December 26, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 438 times since then and 104 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 26, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Jul. 16, 2024