Downtown Church, a campus of Cottage Hill Baptist Church in Mobile, has officially found its home at the Steeple on St. Francis, site of the historic St. Francis Street United Methodist Church.
In 2022, Cottage Hill Baptist formed a separate nonprofit named the Hill Collective with the aim of planting, replanting and adopting churches. Establishing Downtown Church in 2018 and recently purchasing the Steeple are the beginning efforts of Cottage Hill’s goal of empowering congregations to reach their communities.
“We hope Downtown Church can be a blueprint, a model that can inspire more replanting of churches,” said Alan Floyd, lead pastor of Cottage Hill. “When a church closes (such as the closure of St. Francis Street UMC), a community loses much more than a place of worship; it can lose its heart.”
The Steeple was founded in the mid-1800s. Its current structure was built in 1895 after its previous structure was destroyed by fire. Once a bustling hub of church activity, St. Francis Street closed its doors in 1993 and was turned into an event space in 2015.
After 30 years of lying empty most days and only being used for events, the Steeple will now be filled with church activities again.
Since its launch, Downtown Church has met weekly in the Steeple by renting the space on Sunday mornings, but now they can call it their permanent home. Downtown Church is committed to loving the people of Mobile as they seek to connect people to Jesus Christ and one another, leaders noted.
Along with Sunday morning services, members of Downtown Church also participate in community activities in downtown Mobile. Church members aspire to make a positive impact in the lives of the people who live and work in the area.
Cottage Hill leaders said they are thankful God has blessed them with the leadership, resources and heart to help churches plant, replant and thrive.