Nestled in Bessemer there is a church that is rich in African American history.
It is the 6th Avenue Beulah Baptist Church.
From the music to the prayers... the tradition and the faith you find there is a rock to the community.
At the Beulah Baptist Church.... singing is an important part of worship.
Carolyn Norris/Musician. "The melody the slaves would hear the songs sung by the european types they would hear the songs they would take them and when they would sing them there was a change in the melody... That ... because of the African influence."
It's called line singing... while the deacon sing the song the congregation repeats it....
They were passed down from generation to generation.
the singing... and praise..... by members... breaths life into this church.
Pastor Arron Johnson says, "We are blessed by it."
Pastor : "It tells the story of the African American experience and even though our parents didn't have a lot ... it was those songs that carried them through hard times.
This church was established more than a hundred years ago in Bessemer.
Pastor: "Next month we celebrate our 105th anniversary."
Pastor Johnson has been leading this church for 17 years. and has seen how the church serves... the community.
Pastor: "They grilled hot dogs hamburgers invited community hopefully take a gospel track with them."
Also in devastating times... the church is there.
Pastor Johnson: " Say they've a house fire... bills we try to help them."
For a hundred years the church has been serving even through civil rights challenges.
Pastor says, "I grew up in this church and this church used to be about a block down it was condemned during the civil rights movement."
And this church building has stood since 1960.
One of Pastor Johnson's most memorable sermons according to a member is that life isn't fair but God is... and he takes care of his people.
Pastor Johnson says all are welcome here.