Bluff Park Baptist Church
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Traditional Church, Contemporary Love
Bluff Park Baptist Church was founded in 1898 as Summit Baptist Church, one of the first churches in the Bluff Park community. Just over two dozen members began the work that would eventually become Bluff Park Baptist.
Just after the turn of the century, they built a small wooden chapel used both as a church and a school (pictured above). As Birmingham boomed with iron mines and steel mills, Bluff Park developed into an escape from the smoke and soot of the big city. Nestled high atop Shades Mountain with a spectacular overlook of Oxmoor Valley, it was a picturesque village with just a few homes, some small businesses, and its own hotel.
The late 1920s and 1930s brought hardship to all of Birmingham, prompting both President Hoover and President Roosevelt to declare Birmingham the "worst hit big city" of the Great Depression. With men out of jobs and families out of homes, the churches of Birmingham provided much needed relief, including the churches of Bluff Park.
As World War II dawned, and with it the revitalization of Birmingham's steel works, the surrounding communities slowly recovered. The church constructed a new building in the 1950s, and slowly added on more space. Through the fabulous 50s and tumultuous 60s, Bluff Park Baptist continued to grow. Soon the growth of Bluff Park, the church's neighbor Bluff Park United Methodist, and the church itself made another transition necessary.
The church built a brand new facility in 1973 on a site just a few blocks from the original location. The new building provided ample room for both worship and education. It is in this building that the church currently meets.
Bluff Park Baptist Church has grown with the times, from the Roarin' Twenties through the Civil Rights Struggle of the Sixties, and finally into a new millennium. Through our first 100 years we have seen many changes - horses have given way to cars, trains to planes, and the telegram to email. But through it all, there has been one thing that has not changed - Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and our devotion to him.
Thank you to Mrs. Orez Nichols for her work as Church Historian. Much of her work is reflected in this section