Church History


Union Bethel Christian Church (formally) Union Bethel Independent Methodist Church) had its origin in the home of one of its members, Sister Lizzie Barringer, on December 19, 1932. The Reverend W. D. Hargrove was its founding pastor. Pastor Hargrove was the first African American “Radio Pastor” in Alabama and a true humanitarian. The church was housed in a small wooden framed building located on Birmingham’s south side. Under Pastor Hargrove’s leadership, the membership grew and great things were achieved: young people were encouraged to participate in youth activities; the junior children’s church had its beginning and Sunday school and other auxiliaries were formed. As the church grew, it became evident that more space was needed.

Reverend Terry L. Lane led the church in a major renovation project in 1952 and the church continued to prosper under his administration.

Due to the expansion of The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital, Union Bethel had to relocate. Under the pastorate of Reverend A. H. Felder, a new edifice was built in the Mason City neighborhood of southwest Birmingham, our present location.

Pastor Kenneth R. Robinson became the Associate Minister in 1977 after serving as a steward and deacon. In his youth, Pastor Robinson began ministering as a Sunday school teacher while still in high school

After a year of seeking God’s will through prayer and meditation, Pastor Kenneth R. Robinson presented his proposal to change the church’s name from Union Bethel Independent Methodist Church to its current name Union Bethel Christian Church to the charter members on June 19, 2004. In July of 2004 the name was voted on and changed.