St. Paul United Methodist Church, in Birmingham, has received $500,000 from the National Park Service to restore and rehabilitate the church building.
The grant was awarded under the African American Civil Rights grants program funded by the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
“This grant will assist with phase two of the restoration of this historic church,” said LaVeeda Morgan Battle, chair of St. Paul’s History project. “It will enable us to tell the untold story of the church’s involvement in the Civil Rights movement.”
The current building was erected in 1904.
St. Paul was the first church in Birmingham to hold a mass meeting following the success of the Montgomery bus boycott and is also one of the churches where children were trained in non-violent civil disobedience to segregation laws. Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery was a pastor at St. Paul during the movement and completed the sanctuary construction during his pastorate.
Founded in 1896, St. Paul is one of the oldest African-American churches in Birmingham. It is located in the Birmingham Civil Rights District and is part of the Civil Rights National Monument created by President Barack Obama in 2017.