St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church, North Avondale, Birmingham, Alabama

North Avondale in Birmingham is an African American neighborhood that was almost completely razed and replaced by a housing project, Tom Brown Village in 1961. One of the reasons was that it sits on the highway to the airport and city leaders did not want what they regarded as an eye-sore to great visitors entering the city. As in Kingston, it was the churches that remain. Two of them sit across 42nd Place North from each other. The Baptist church, Harmony Street, was designed by Wallace Rayfield, the famous African American architect. This church, St. James African American Episcopal Church is not credited to Rayfield. But it is similar to St. Luke AME in the Greenwood neighborhood, which is, and as I recall, Rayfield prepared plans for a North Avondale church some years before St. James was built in 1929. So I think it may still be to Rayfield’s plans though he was not directly involved with its construction.

St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church, June 14, 2019.
Cornerstone of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church, June 14, 2019.

Read this first post for more on this series on Birmingham churches and their cornerstones.

Map of Posts in this Project

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