Our History


The First Presbyterian Church of Bessemer, Alabama was established on April 10, 1888 by action of the Presbytery of North Alabama, barely a year after the incorporation of the city of Bessemer. Nineteen persons were part of that brand new church.





 



 
 



Since then, four different church buildings have been home to this congregation. The first was a white frame building on Sixth Avenue and Eighteenth Street.









 







As the city grew, so did the church.  In 1909 the congregation erected a beautiful, red brick Gothic style church building and relocated to Third Avenue and Eighteenth Street.








 

  


The third plant was a gradual replacement of existing facilities. After demolition of a small part of the facility, an educational building was erected and completed in 1952.


The remaining units of the plant, the Fellowship Hall and the Sanctuary, were completed over the next few years and the dedication of the completed church was celebrated in June of 1962. A magnificent pipe organ was added and dedicatedin 1987 and an adjacent parking lot was purchased in 1990.





 
 

 
 
In November of 2014, the fourth and current plant took us to a new location under a new name.  After acquiring property and constructing a new building, we moved to Mc Calla and became Shepherd of the Valley.




More important than the buildings have been the people. During our many years of existence, thousands of men, women and children have been part of the worship, work, and witness of this church. Twelve full-time pastors and other dedicated staff members have shared their leadership in this ministry. Many programs and opportunities for study and service have added to the vitality of this congregation. Although we have experienced many changes, our church continues to be a vibrant witness to the presence of God in our community and to the world.





 
 
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