Covenant began as Metropolitan Community Church, Birmingham in February 1981, when 12 people came together for the first worship service of an LGBT affirming congregation. Speakers included student clergy and others who helped provide pastoral guidance during our first 16 months. In 1986, the name Covenant was officially added to the church’s name.
In 1987, long-time pastoral leader Mary Moore decided to follow another calling and Cliff Morrison was appointed as the pastoral leader in September 1989. He remained our pastor until his death in 1994.
In 1994, a decision was made to relocate to the church’s campus at 5117 First Avenue North in Birmingham at which time long-time MCC clergy, Rev. Marge Ragona became Covenant’s pastor, serving until her retirement in February 2000.
A new period of growth at Covenant began when Rev. J.R. Finney, II began as Senior Pastor in September 2000. His ministry has spurred even greater growth in membership, ministries, attendance, outreach, community involvement, and community exposure. The history of Christian love and effort of this church is made possible by Covenant’s long-time dedicated members, newcomers, and friends and is reflective of Covenant’s commitment to its vision.
After much prayer, two congregational forums with a total attendance of 139 people, due notification and a pastoral letter from Pastor J.R., Covenant, in the largest attended congregational meeting in our history, voted 97% to disaffiliate with UFMCC on January 8, 2006.
After Covenant’s disaffiliation with UFMCC, membership continued to grow at a robust pace and the congregation soon outgrew the facility on First Avenue North. Covenant embarked on an ambitious drive to sell the First Avenue North campus and purchase a larger facility in the Birmingham area. It was our goal to relocate the campus by Spring 2009 and relocation to the new worship center and ministry complex in Center Point became reality in March 2009.
Covenant’s first service at the new campus was March 29, 2009, and included the largest attended Sunday morning worship attendance in the church’s history. A special dedication service was held on Easter morning in April 2009.
After being an independent congregation for several years, and following extensive dialogue with the Southeastern Conference (SEC) of the United Church of Christ (UCC), Covenant voted at its October 2012 annual congregational meeting to seek membership in the UCC. On April 28, 2013, the Board of SEC/UCC voted to receive Covenant as a member congregation. In a celebratory worship service on May 19, 2013, Covenant was officially received as “A United Church of Christ Congregation” by Reverend Tim Downs, Conference Minister.
On February 19, 2014, Covenant Community Church was certified as an “Open and Affirming” (ONA) congregation within The United Church of Christ.
In 2019, Covenant decided their existing facility (located in Center Point) had become increasingly inaccessible to the metropolitan area of Birmingham. In January 2020, they purchased half of the building then owned by Pilgrim Community Church, also a UCC congregation and located in Birmingham’s historic Lakeview District. Covenant cohabitates with Pilgrim in the building, which has been renamed the United Church Center. Each church has retained their own separate pastors and continues to operate their own separate congregations and church services. This collaborative partnership means each congregation maintains its unique identity and worship styles while cooperating on special events, special events, and justice work
Our vision is to be an inclusive community of faith: Offering Hope + Showing Faithfulness + Sharing Joy!
We invite you on a journey of discovering God’s unconditional love for all people without the guilt of religion.