The vision for a new church plant in Shelby County began in 1993 with several couples who were studying the book, Experiencing God. They sensed God’s call to be part of a new work and coordinated with the Birmingham Baptist Association to begin the challenge of starting a church. Their heart was committed to being a church that would intentionally teach God’s word through Biblical preaching and traditional worship. These early leaders believed that the church should display the cross as a continual reminder of the fact that salvation is found only as the result of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. The founding members desired to organize the church in a manner that would allow their pastor to focus on preaching and teaching, while also ministering to the members individually. From its beginning, the church desired to practice and promote missions in a way that combined local evangelism with giving for global outreach, while also being committed to serving around the world through short-term mission efforts.
The original group met in the basement of one of the members home on Tuesday night, November 22, 1993, with forty to fifty people in attendance, including children. By Sunday, space had been rented in the Valleydale Village Shopping Center for a worship area and Sunday School space. While they were grateful to God for providing them space, it was not an ideal situation. Located next to the church in the shopping center was the local Pizza Hut, which meant they could smell the food and hear the people next door during the church services. At this time, the group called Retired Pastor Gene Nail to serve as their interim pastor, and he served wisely and well for sixteen months. The love was mutual between Bro. Nail and the NSBC church members, with many difficult decisions being made under his leadership.
In October 1994, only eleven months after the church was constituted, a Southern Baptist foreign missionary, Bro. Allan Murphy, along with his family, was called to be North Shelby Baptist church’s first pastor. While finishing out their commitments overseas, the Murphy’s got to know the membership very well via letters and phone calls until they were able to make the move to Birmingham, Al., and join the congregation permanently.
In January 1995, one of the members encouraged the church membership to decide about a permanent location. By this time, they were renting four store fronts. The Shelby Baptist Association was looking for a church to locate on Highway 280 since no Baptist church existed at all on that highway in the Birmingham area. As a church, they voted to make plans for a permanent site on the land that the Association was considering. In March of 1995 when Pastor Murphy and his family finally joined the congregation, the church also petitioned and was accepted into the Shelby Baptist Association.
In the fall of 1995, Bro. Allan was approached about accepting church property being offered by Shady Grove Baptist Church on Highway 41. This offer came on the same day that NSBC had voted to maintain their cooperative giving level as a church despite their high rent and expenses. The property, which is now North Shelby Vietnamese Church, and two acres of land were donated to NSBC. The first service there was held on Christmas Eve, 1995. The story is told that they almost bought a triple wide trailer to serve as the sanctuary, but soon realized that was “our plan vs. God’s plan.” The triple wide literally fell apart as it was being set up. New believers in Christ were baptized in swimming pools, in borrowed baptismal pools and later in a baptismal pool that was donated to the church. While NSBC did not have much in the way of facilities God blessed the church with a great love for one another, along with a deep sense of family that was seen by all.
The property on Highway 280 was secured by the church, with the help of the Shelby Baptist Association, in the Fall of 1999. The church members moved to the current site in December 2000 with much celebration. They had anticipated and worked for five years to get to a permanent location, and the Lord provided once again. The architecture of the church was a traditional red brick, white-columned, typical southern church.
In 2004, construction began for the Education Building, which tied into the original building. The Welcome Center, Church Offices, Fellowship Hall, Sunday School classrooms, Choir Room, Children’s Church, Nursery, Youth Room, and the Library all found their “new home” in this building in 2005.
At this point everyone felt that God had been abundantly gracious to the church, but they soon learned that God was not done yet. In 2013 the church was given an opportunity to purchase 13.55 acres of adjoining land for the ability for future expansion at a miraculous purchase price. After much prayer and discussion, the church voted to purchase the additional land.
At the end of 2017, Bro. Allan announced his retirement after 23 faithful years of service as the Senior Pastor of North Shelby Baptist Church. Being the church’s first and only full-time pastor up until this point God used Bro. Allan mightily during those years. His legacy of faithfulness still lives on through many of the people and things associated with NSBC. In January 2020, after a long two-year interim period, the church unanimously called Pastor Mike Meadows to be the next pastor of NSBC. The 100% vote affirming his call was an answer to prayer and served as a great reminder of God’s faithfulness to NSBC. Since that first meeting in 1993 until now God has been guiding and providing for the people of NSBC every step of the way. We are thankful for our extraordinary past, but excited about what God has in store for us in the future.