When & Where We Meet
Sunday morning gathering begins at 10:30 am. Our Sunday meeting location is a little unorthodox. We meet in the parking lot of Norton’s Florist: 401 22nd Street South \ Birmingham, Alabama 35233.
Word on the Street
“He began inviting the homeless to visit [The Church at Southside] at their building but was unable to attract anyone, despite his assurances that they need not worry about dressing up to attend the casual services. The homeless would also share ‘horrible stories about the unwelcoming nature’ of many churches, Akins said. But he soon felt the call to try a different approach. ‘That’s when God began to put on us, “What if you went to them? What would it look like? What would it be like if we went mobile?”‘ Akins said.”
“The people there are an example of the widow’s mite in action. Oftentimes churchgoers will bring money or food they’ve found during the week so that they can give it away to people who need it more. ‘It’s a beautiful picture of the kingdom of God,’ Akins said. ‘This whole thing, God’s been great in it. There’s buy in, and it’s beautiful. We don’t have it all figured out, but God is at work.'”
“People smile more. They say thank you as they receive their meals, sit together at the round tables, catching up after a long week, welcoming new faces to the service. Church, at least in the traditional sense, can be one of the more uncomfortable places when you’ve got a little dirt on your shoes and a few bags over your shoulder, visible or not. But not here.”
“Every Sunday morning they serve a hot meal prepared by people in the church, then eat together and have a worship service. In the past two years the church has served more than 10,000 meals.”
What to Expect
What should you expect when you come to The Church at Southside? A relaxed environment filled with imperfect people trying to spur one another on to walk closer to Jesus.
We know visiting a new place isn’t always easy, whether you’re used to a typical church setting or you’ve never set foot in the doors of a church. So we want to put your mind at ease about all the details. Thinking of coming by but have some questions first? Read on. If you still have questions, head over to our Contact page and drop us a line.
Our Sunday mornings look a bit different than what you’d expect to find at your typical church. We meet outside and share a meal together, as well as spending time in worship, in the Word, and fellowshipping with each other. After our service each week, we provide bagged groceries. Toiletries are also on hand the third Sunday of each month, and we have clothing items available some weeks.
We get wet! Seriously, though. We meet every Sunday at 10:30, rain or shine. We have a couple of tents we can sometimes huddle up and gather around underneath, but usually we just pull on our rain boots and pull up the hoods on our rain jackets.
Casual dress is typical, but if you’re more comfortable in a 3-piece suit, go for it! Don’t make any special arrangements, though; you’ll often find our pastor in jeans and a Johnny Cash T-shirt. Remember that we do meet outdoors, so check the weather and dress accordingly. Bottom line? Come as you are, however you are most comfortable.
There is plenty of room to park in the parking lot where we meet, as well as street parking close by.
If you have one, absolutely! We encourage people to bring a Bible to follow along during our time in the Word.
Absolutely not. While we do think giving is an important part of our relationship with Jesus, we never single out anyone or pressure you to give. God loves an eager giving heart. If The Church at Southside becomes your church home, we simply ask that you honor God with your resources as you partner with us to reach Birmingham for Jesus.
You will be greeted upon your arrival, but you will not be harassed. No one will ask you to stand or raise your hand during our time together.
We have kids of all ages at our weekly gatherings on Sundays. We set up a small play area for our younger children, and many of the older kids and teenagers help serve the meal and distribute bags of groceries after the service.