Historic Church Celebrates Mortgage Burning Ceremony

      Birmingham, Ala._ Bethel Baptist Church of Collegeville is now the sole owners to two buildings-one of them is a historic monument. The church celebrated paying off the mortgage to its 28th Avenue North location with a mortgage burning ceremony Sunday evening. Bethel relocated to the 28th Avenue building in 1997 because the old church needed repair.{}

      {}{}{}{}Bethel Baptist Church was bombed three times during the Civil Rights Movement, but that did not stop members from coming to service. Back in that time, the Late Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth led the congregation and played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement.{}

      {}{}{}{}Bethel has also renovated its old location and opened it up as a historic site. Since the church has paid off the mortgage to the newer location, church leaders say they will be able to hire more ministers. Bethel is also considering using the historic church as a youth center.{}