Independent Presbyterian Church was founded in 1915. In that year a group of members from South Highland Presbyterian Church, a congregation of the Southern Presbyterian Church, withdrew to form a new church. This group was dedicated to the proclamation of the gospel in Birmingham and a ministry of community service.
During the next seven years, under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Henry M. Edmonds, this new congregation worshipped in Temple Emanu-El and also held evening services in the Lyric Theater. In those years, the church was among the first social service agencies to initiate programs for community services in public health, child welfare and legal aid.
In 1922, the congregation established the Children’s Fresh Air Farm on Shades Mountain in the Bluff Park area.
The sanctuary was completed in 1926, representative of the English Perpendicular Gothic style and is topped by a French style spire. The striking stained glass windows were executed by the D’Ascenzo Studio of Philadelphia and the Connick Studio in Boston.
The original organ was built in 1925 by the E. M. Skinner Company. It was rebuilt and enlarged in 1969 by the Aeolian-Skinner Company, bringing its size to 75 ranks. In 1974 an antiphonal organ was installed in the rear gallery by the M. P. Moller Company.
In 1992, a devastating fire destroyed all of the church buildings except the sanctuary. New construction over the next two years resulted in new buildings for educational and other program ministries.
Feb 27, 2022