Birmingham: Waiting for Her Flock
By State of the Re:Union
When Helen McCarrol was called to preach decades ago, she was turned away from the Baptist churches she approached in Birmingham. They didn’t have a place for her, because most Baptist congregations only allow men to become pastors. So Helen went out on her own and founded the Rising Star Holiness Church on Tuscaloosa Avenue. The storefront church stands near the end of a long block, by a gas station, some boarded-up businesses and a few empty lots. Her congregation has remained small– she often preaches to a room full of empty pews– but Pastor Helen holds services few times a week at Rising Star Holiness whether people show up or not.
Listen to our radio episode, Birmingham – The Long Story Short, for more Birmingham stories. Waiting for Her Flock was produced by SOTRU intern Sylvie Kovnat with photography by local artist Dana Smithberg and sound recording by SOTRU Radio Producer Laura Starecheski.