Independent Presbyterian Church (Birmingham, Alabama)

Birmingham, United States

Independent Presbyterian Church (Birmingham, Alabama)

Independent Presbyterian Church is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) located on the Southside in Birmingham, Alabama. Initially started by a group of 25 following controversy over doctrinal issues within a local congregation, the church now has approximately 1800 members.

Independent Presbyterian Church was formed in 1915 in Birmingham, Alabama, after a popular and charismatic preacher at South Highland Presbyterian Church, Dr. Henry Edmonds, was criticized by members of the Southern Presbyterian Church for having views that varied from the doctrinal standards of that denomination. The controversy was brought to a head when an article appeared in the Birmingham Age-Herald in which Edmonds was quoted as differing from orthodox Presbyterian theology on the subject of the inspiration of the Bible and of the substitutionary Atonement of Christ. Before arguments were fully resolved, Dr. Edmonds withdrew from South Highland Presbyterian Church and with a small group of followers formed the Independent Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, Alabama. The first worship service was held at Temple Emanu-El, Birmingham, Alabama, a congregation of American Reform Jews and a close friendship between the two congregations has existed ever since. During the early years, the church also held services in downtown Birmingham at local theaters, primarily the historic Lyric Theater which services were attended by both whites and blacks and which ministered to the working class and the poor.

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