About Church of the Reconciler

Church of the Reconciler is an intentionally multicultural, multiracial United Methodist Church in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. We started in June 1993, and in 1996 we were chartered in the Birmingham-East District of the North Alabama Conference. Our vision was to stay in the city and maintain a commitment to a racially inclusive witness, proclaiming radical hospitality, an unguarded gospel, and a common meal that together would overcome issues of privilege and race. We soon discovered that race and poverty were deeply connected, and the principles we committed to because of racial issues met deep needs in the homeless community and with the working poor. As one homeless man told us, “I was treated as a human being for the first time in years, and it built a chain of joy in my life that I haven’t known for a long time.” The common meal became food for the hungry. Class, not race, became the overriding issue. Because we welcomed the homeless, we received community opposition, and middle class people ­— both white and black — stayed away. But we stayed true to our calling, and by the grace of God, in time we were successful in building a church that became a congregation in ministry with the poor and marginalized as well as middle class people (black and white) who love Jesus enough to be part of an urban mission congregation that speaks truth to power.

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