16th Street Baptist Church: Still Standing

It's not all about black and white at the sanctuary where four little girls were killed 50 years ago.

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Indeed, the church can take on the feel of a monument to history. Sunday, Price preached a sermon entitled "From Trouble to Triumph," while a crew from PBS filmed the service for a broadcast segment. Outside of the church, visitors to the Birmingham Civil Rights District snapped photos.

 

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 Price usually preaches to a congregation of about 500 people, with visitors often mingled among the worshippers.

"Visitors usually come because of history, but the regular worshippers come because they want to hear a word from the Lord," Price said.

The church will be packed full of visitors Sunday, Sept. 15, and among the anticipated visitors are U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, members of Congress and leaders from throughout the city and around the country.

At 10:22 a.m., a memorial wreath will be laid near the point where a bomb ripped through the women's restroom, killing Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Denise McNair and Carole Robertson. The families of the girls will receive the Congressional Gold Medal on Tuesday.

The four girls were not the only youths to lose their lives to violence in the Birmingham area on Sept. 15, 1963. Two Eagle Scouts shot and killed 13-year-old Virgil Ware as he rode on the handlebars of his brother's bicycle, just west of the city.

Also on that day, Johnny Robinson, a 16-year-old, was gunned down by a white police officer as he and other youths ran in an alley near downtown.

"We remember the four girls, and the two boys," Price said.

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