Birmingham Metro Baptist Association celebrated its new building with an open house May 16.
The 16,000-square-foot building was a gift from Baptist Health System, BHS announced in December. It also came with an additional gift — $350,000 to put toward renovations.
Chris Crain, BMBA executive director, said the “gracious gift” provides churches “with a sound investment in a redeveloping part of the city.”
Until BMBA moved into the new building in mid-March, it was leasing a smaller building from BHS at the rate of $1 per year.
That arrangement was the fruit of a long partnership — BMBA created BHS in 1922, and the association approves all of the members of the BHS board of trustees and has three members on the board.
BMBA’s former and current buildings are located on Montclair Road directly across Medical Park Drive NE from each other. The new building nearly doubles BMBA’s capacity.
“Within the walls (of the new building) we are creating a gospel-centered culture of partnership with several biblically faithful ministries,” Crain said. “These ministries can work together and make an impact for Jesus Christ in the Birmingham area as never before.”
Metro Changers, Discovery Clubs of Alabama, WorkFaith Birmingham, Birmingham Woman’s Missionary Union and Pathways Professional Counseling are all serving alongside BMBA in the new facility, and “more partners will come,” Crain said. “Together we can serve to advance the gospel and make disciples. We are grateful for Baptist Health System and CEO Amy Allen for their foresight for ministry and desire to bless the 180 churches of the BMBA.”
Michael Ethridge, BMBA director of operations, said the move has been “a very pleasant, smooth process.”
Ethridge was in charge of overseeing the contractors while Toni Wall, BMBA’s marketing specialist, helped with building design, and Josh Cook, church revitalization specialist, coordinated the move. Marisa Taylor, church resource specialist, kept things running, Ethridge said.
The renovations include new ceilings, roof, HVAC system, flooring and paint.
“We’re just extremely pleased,” Ethridge said. “Everything has gone really well.”