When someone asks you where you are from …right before you answer Birmingham, Alabama, do you feel it?
The swelling in your chest. The joy in your heart. The ‘stand a little taller’ proud? The smile spreading across your face. The way your eyes come alive with hope and optimism. Catch the laughter before it sneaks out.
“Birmingham. I am from Birmingham.”
Have you ever been to Birmingham? Oh, you must come. You can stay at my house. My husband will smoke some meat, we will eat a big salad, and some friends will pop by to welcome you. You will find a basket on the bed, with a book, lotion, an encouraging word, fresh towels, shampoo, and some candy.
Come open-handed. We are ready to share.
Rise early and find us at our community coffee houses for your favorite brew. Ask us and we will tell you what to order and we will share a cup of coffee as if we were old friends. We will be soon!
Go for a walk in one of our parks and you will meet some of us. We will be on skateboards, swings, scooters, blankets, and benches. We will be throwing frisbee, sharing a picnic, teaching our kid how to ride a bike, walking our dogs, or playing a guitar.
Pull up a patch of our ground. We have room for you.
Or come to one of our local dives and taste our delicacies. Love is stirred in, and you will taste it with every bite. Enjoy barbeque, homemade pizzas, spicy chicken, sushi, tacos, home cut fries, fried fish, donuts, or popsicles. If you have special dietary concerns, no worry, we can accommodate you.
Unity comes around tables, so pull up a chair at our table.
Have you ever volunteered in a new city? Our Birmingham non-profits collaborate. If you want to bless women, men, children, elderly, the food insecure, outdoor spaces, animals, or historical societies, we have a spot for you.
Or do you have another idea? We can do that too!
Enter any of our professional businesses or retail shops and we will be ready to serve you. No matter what our occupation, we are here to help.
The people of Birmingham are “the helpers.”
We will hold open the door as you come running in from the cold. We ask you how you are doing on the elevator, and you can really tell us. We value relationships. We genuinely appreciate what you bring to the world. We fuel your dreams, support your small businesses, and pray for one another.
We are all learning to be more vulnerable. We appreciate your constructive feedback. We are willing to put in the work. We are talking less about what we are going to do, and we are doing it.
Visit our schools and you will see how we value our next generations. Education is important and we champion our kids. We learn something new every day because we expect the same from our children.
If you drive around, churches are every few blocks. Those buildings represent who we want to be every day, not for one hour. The church has left the building and poured into our streets, our businesses, our communities, and we are unified by our commonalities as we respect our differences.
Birmingham has been known by the Nation and the world for hate. Our city has a sad and divisive history, but yesterday does not define us. Yesterday propels us. We bravely remember our past to protect our future.
We are rebuilding a city that reaches a city.
Spend time with us and we will change your perspective.
We are BIRMINGHAM.
Know us for love, not hate. Know us for unity, not division. Know us for changing the world.
Come pray with us and watch what God does. The foundation is laid.
We stand on the shoulders of legacy. A faith legacy.
Martin Luther King. Brother Bryan. Frank Barker.
They believed God and it is credited to them as righteousness. They showed us the most excellent way.
We stand from our knees. Join us.
“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.”