Only the Very Best

Last fall we celebrated 125 years of life together as a congregation, and 123 years of worshipping here in this building. A Heritage of Witness describes the vision that our forebears had for the sanctuary as follows “Only the very best would do – and in Birmingham in 1891 that meant a church in the English Gothic Revival style of split-faced limestone. The very size of the sanctuary is amazing – room for five hundred. Surely their trust was in their Lord, for their means were small but their hearts were liberal.” Today, we have 60,000 square feet where God does amazing things each day. How did our building grow physically from a sanctuary to 60,000 square feet…ask SHPC member Richard Barr. If you wonder how much maintenance a 123 old building requires, ask Richard Barr.

Richard has a passion and talent to ensure that the building built under the premise of “only the very best would do” remains that way. Richard maintains a “punch list” of maintenance items for SHPC that now fills a three inch binder. Most weeks he is here at the church meeting a contractor, checking out a leaky spot or determining which renovation is most pressing. It is a normal week day if you see Richard on the roof of the church.

Richard Barr lives into the talents God has given him, and gives generously of his time to maintain the building our forebears entrusted to us 123 years ago. He ensures that every 60,000 square foot of SHPC is ready for the amazing ways God is at work here each day, for indeed “Surely their trust was in their Lord, for their means were small but their hearts were liberal.” Richard Barr is a demonstration of how the actions of others can change lives…with the passion of Christ.

Our Sanctuary in 1903

For information on how to join Richard on the roof, email him at