In the early 1980’s, Jefferson Christian Academy brought Dr. E.R. Brannan to Birmingham to become the Administrator of this K-12 school. Dr. Brannon had previously served as a pulpit preacher, an elder in the church and long term Christian educator and fund-raiser for Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. On arrival here, he and his board of directors determined that the then location just inside the city limits of Mountain Brook, on Montclair Road, was land locked and could not grow to a sustainable size with tuition achievable by people of even moderate income. Therefore, the administration and board located its’ current site on highway 78 in Irondale and quickly found a buyer for the 7+ acre Montclair campus.
On Easter Sunday of 1985, prior to moving to Irondale in 1986, the Campus church of Christ was formed, meeting on the school campus with Dr. Brannan as the first minister and an elder, along with Mr. Gary Thompson and Wayne Crocker also serving as elders. Members from four mainstream churches of Christ in Birmingham left their parent churches and came to establish the Campus church with the aim of keeping Christian education alive and supplemented by the rental of the school property for worship and church activities. These latter two men continue to work and worship with the present Heritage Place church, the name chosen when the church moved out of the current school auditorium and classroom location to its independent site fronting highway 78 in 2006. This move was always anticipated, once the school was felt able to survive without an associated church as a portion of its financial base. Dr. Frank Sutton was on the original board of directors of the school and also was a charter member of the church, later served as an elder and continues to teach and worship with Heritage Place. He currently serves as a Trustee of the church, as do the present five elders Charles F. Brown, Sam Ellison, Reginald Johnson, Doug McBee and Leon Thompson, Jr.
Membership has fluctuated during the years from an average of approxi-mately140 to its present active membership of 185, with over 220 on the church rolls. The church has enjoyed wonderful leadership from the pulpit ministries of men who are all today still proclaiming the Christian message of salvation and peace through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Dr. Brannan is active in the Madison church of Christ in Huntsville, Alabama while Larry Cline is currently pulpit minister of the Hardin Valley church in Knoxville, Tennessee and Fred McClure teaches and preaches here in Birmingham for the Christ’s Church of Fairfield. Following these men over the 25 years of the pulpit ministry of the Campus/ Heritage Place church was Will McSweeney who presently preaches for the Cuba, Kentucky church of Christ. He was in turn followed by one of our Jefferson Christian Academy graduates, Mr. Mark McGuire. After 5 years with Campus/Heritage Place, Mr. McGuire went to assist the Fayette, Alabama church as their lead pulpit minister and the church then secured the services of our present minister, Dr. Wayne Kilpatrick in April of 2004.
Heritage Place is a good corporate citizen of Irondale, Alabama and tries to be a very positive influence by building strong Christian families with a strong work ethic and benevolent hearts. The church has always been known for its outreach in the community and its great generosity for innumerable Christian ministries. It has never defaulted on any debt, has not has any ‘split’ of membership, has attracted a wide range of Christian believers and has sent productive and well-equipped young men and women all over the Southeast as it has supported Christian education. Its’ current building and campus was dedicated, occupied and has been growing since November 5, 2006. It is an exciting place to work and worship, seeking God’s direction is all its’ endeavors.
Minister – Wayne Kilpatrick
Dr. Kilpatrick has been in the full time ministry for 50 years and has served at Heritage Place for 14 of those years. His long experience and expertise in church growth (for which he earned his PhD) has been especially effective as he has led us in capital campaigns that resulted in the building of our current church and in our recent expansion plans—the latter essential because of the growth of church membership and the continuing vision for benevolence, missions and Christian education at every level.