We missed the indoor tour but seeing the plaques exactly where these girls died was still a holy site.
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My family and I came here last week. I had called the previous week and spoken with a very nice woman who said we would be able to join a group at 1pm the day we would be in town. We arrived at the church a few minutes early and I told a woman we were there for the 1pm tour. Immediately a man with a "ministries" badge started shouting, "We don't have a 1 o'clock tour! We don't have a 1 o'clock tour!" Then walked past us and went into an office apparently to call the other woman to ask about the tour. He then came back out and told us there was no tour, and that we could just walk around the basement and look at the pictures. He seemed annoyed at us, and was really kind of rude (not very Christian like honestly) and all we had done was followed the instructions of the woman I spoke to on the phone. So we decided to look around, and eventually the man took a group of us up to the sanctuary. Once we were up there he just stood against the wall. I heard another female visitor ask him if he was going to tell us anything and his reply was, "No. You can ask me questions. But I'm not going to tell you anything." We then went back downstairs and continued to look around and left. Now, I don't want this to deter anyone from visiting the church. It's a major part of the history of Birmingham and Civil Rights in the south. I would recommend everyone come here and pay their respects to the victims of the bombing, and see such a historic building (besides the bombing, it was a major center for civil rights meetings as well as a starting place for historic marches). However, plan to just do a self-guided tour, not a scheduled tour. And from what I experienced I would say don't expect a super friendly welcome. I would also highly suggest that if you want to actually learn more history, to go across the street to Kelly Ingram Park and take a self-guided tour on the Heritage Trail, go to the other side of the street to the Civil Rights Institute, as well as watching some documentaries like "Four Little Girls" or something similar.
Birmingham earned the nickname "bombingham" during the Civil Rights struggle as white supremacist groups frequently bombed locations in African-American neighborhoods. The saddest case was the bombing of this church, which killed four young girls. The tour guides are knowledgeable, there is a good film and a small museum in the lower level includes plenty of photographs and news clippings from the era.
This is an absolute must see and is a Beautiful Church and you can feel and see the History surrounding the Civil Rights Movement.
A powerful, poignant reminder of the Civil Rights Movement and the loss of 4 innocent, young lives. This church has been lovingly restored and preserved by its religious community. You can feel the reverence of this place. Lest we forget.