NPS bar for print

National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

Bethel Baptist Church, Parsonage, and Guardhouse

Bethel Baptist Church

Collegeville, Alabama

Bethel Baptist Church was built in 1926 in the African American working class neighborhood of Collegeville. Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth, a well-known civil rights leader served as pastor from 1953 to 1961. He participated in several desegregation demonstrations and was as a role model for freedom-loving people. It was during Shuttlesworth's tenure that the little red brick church achieved national prominence. Although threatened, and even bombed on Christmas Day 1956, Bethel Baptist Church survives to this day and will always be remembered for the role it played in the Civil Rights Movement.

Photo: Bethel Baptist Church
– Courtesy Alabama State Historic Preservation Office

Learn More