In 2002, Region 2020 developed a Cultural Master Plan for the Greater Birmingham Area, which recommended that the city work to strengthen existing buildings and facilities for the arts and cultural programming. The plan identified the former McCoy United Methodist Church as a potential site for cultural arts programming in an underserved, predominately African American neighborhood. In response, the vision for the Alabama Gospel Music Cultural Arts Center was conceived and the organization was incorporated in 2004.
The Historic McCoy United Methodist Church
The Alabama Gospel Center will be housed in the former McCoy United Methodist Church, five miles west of downtown Birmingham, at the convergence of Birmingham- Southern College and three historic neighborhoods: College Hills, Bush Hills and Graymont.
Once renovation of the McCoy Church building is complete, there will be several areas for interactive exhibits.Guests will enter an orientation area housed in the semi-enclosed theater. Through this immersive media experience, the audience will be introduced to the philosophy for the Center: that gospel music is the vivid combination of life, religion and art. Highlighting the ways in which gospel tradition can have a widespread influence within our lives, this exhibit will entice visitors to discover more about gospel music in their experiences at AGMCAC.
Other amenities: Recording Studio, Research Library, Rehearsal Spaces
Other unique features the AGMCAC's new building will include are a research library, recording studio and rehearsal spaces which will be open for reservations. The recording studio will offer visitors a real-time experience of the day-to-day recording of songs, performer interviews, news and events. Visitors might even get involved in these transmissions, learning the ins and outs of recording.
The state-of-the-art performance facility also will offer areas for cultural education programs for children and adults.