In 1921, a small group of believers met on the front porch of Mrs. J.H. Lonergan’s home, located at 1026 Seventh Avenue South (now part of the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus). They felt the need for a Baptist church in the area, and later built a small building on Eleventh Street. This congregation merged with another group meeting in a house in the Glen Iris neighborhood on Southside. These two congregations bought the present location on Tenth Place South and built their first building in 1950. James Monroe was the pastor during this time and remained until 1951. Ray Wood pastored the church until 1956, when Lewis Drummond (noted evangelist, author, and professor) came to pastor until 1960. Jay Tolleson pastored from 1961-1965. John Hollingsworth pastored from 1965-1968. Jack LeGrand pastored from 1968 until 1995, when he went home to be with the Lord after a long and fruitful ministry. A visionary and pioneer, Dr. LeGrand led the church to establish a Christian day school, a bus ministry (the first of its kind in the state of Alabama), and the “Where God is Blessing” Broadcasting Network. Steve Kluth pastored from 1995-1998. Chris Lamb, who joined the pastoral staff in 1980, became pastor in January 1999, and currently serves the church.
Glen Iris Baptist Church has been rooted in the Southside community of Birmingham for over ninety years. The Lord has been pleased to bless the efforts of this congregation of believers as they spread His glorious gospel. They are a thriving and faithful witness in the metro-Birmingham area, as well as throughout the world with their broadcasting ministries.