The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church turned 140-years-old today. The 1963 bombing that killed 4 little girls at the historic church spurred the civil rights movement and galvanized the nation.
The church released the following statement:
"Sixteenth Street Baptist Church will celebrate its 140th anniversary on Sunday, April 21, 2013 with services at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The keynote speaker for the morning worship service will be Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr., President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention and Senior Pastor of International Community Baptist Church in Gainesville, VA. At 4 p.m. Spelman College Glee Club of Atlanta, GA will present a concert in honor of the 4 little girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the church. This event is free and open to the public.
This year also mark's the 50th anniversary of the Birmingham, Alabama Civil Rights Movement. Sixteenth Street, most known for the 1963 bombing of the church that took the lives of four little girls, will also host several events throughout the year, along with the City of Birmingham, to commemorate its place in the movement that impacted racial relations in America, and specifically the south.
"We are excited about our 140th church anniversary. This church was started in 1873 ten years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The first edifice was torn down because the political powers of that day thought that black people shouldn't be able to worship in a church so beautiful. This church has stood the test of time! Jim Crow laws couldn't stop us, segregation couldn't stop us, and even bombings couldn't stop us. We are still standing to tell God's message of love and redemption," exclaimed Rev. Arthur Price who serves as the church's pastor.
Spelman's Glee Club participation is significant in that it is a college choir. The Birmingham Civil Rights Movement was organized by using young people to carry out the cry for justice and equality. It is also an all girls choir, giving homage to the four little girls."
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