As a people of God, we offer to you our warmest Christian hospitality and invite you to worship and serve the Lord Jesus Christ with us. The people of this church family are committed to faithful and creative experiences of worship, study, discipleship, fellowship, and ministry. Our congregation is a cooperating Southern Baptist Church founded upon the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ our Lord. We are guided by His Holy Spirit and the teaching of Holy Scripture as well as committed to missions and evangelism. We stand firm in the rich Baptist heritage of religious freedom, the priesthood of believers, and local church autonomy.
When you step into Gilgal Baptist Church you will feel as if you have finally come home. Come see for yourself.
The History of Gilgal Baptist Church
Gilgal Baptist Church was organized on September 28, 1828. Over the years, research has been conducted in how the name Gilgal was chosen but without confirmation. The word is mentioned in the scriptures many times because it was a very important place. The meaning of the word Gilgal is "circle of stones". Gilgal is very fortunate that its history has been recorded in ledgers which have been preserved. There were very few churches in Tuscaloosa County in the year of 1827. In fact, only five churches existed: Grant's Creek, Big Creek, Bethel, First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa, and Sardis. In 1828, the early settlers of the Duncanville community built a log house and furnished it with seats. This log house became Gilgal Baptist Church. The work was led by Daniel Swindle, James Beams and Dixon Loggins. Swindle and Loggins were not members of any church family, however Mr. Beams was a baptist. When the log house was completed, the question arose as to what denomination the church should be. Mr. Beams discussed the doctrines of different denominations and left the decision to Mr. Swindle and Mr. Beams who felt, after much thought, to follow the Baptist doctrine.
In September 1828, what is presently known as Gilgal was constituted with thirteen members. Mr. Joab Pratt was asked to preach for the church. In 1839 during a great revival, Mr. Swindle united with the church. The three men who led in building the church, Mr. Beams, Mr. Loggins, and Mr. Swindle are buried side by side in the church cemetary.
In 1834, the Cahaba Association met with Gilgal Church. After the Association adjourned, a revival was held that lasted 11 days. It was the greatest meeting known in this county. There were 130 people saved and Gilgal was blessed with sixty-seven members with sixty-three others uniting with local area churches.
In March of 1854, a committee was appointed to look into the cost and extent of repairs for the meeting house. The committee reported it would be best to build a new church. Following this decision in June 1854, an agreement was contracted with Mr. Robert Jemison Jr. to build a new church for $1,600. During the April 1856 conference, the committee reported the church was completed and paid for. It still stands today as part of the Gilgal Baptist Church property.
Gilgal voted to build a new house of worship in the spring of 1965. Sadly, the first service held was for the funeral of Pastor Billy Ryan who was killed in an automobile accident. in 1986, the church added and occupied a new modern three-story educational building. The new facility accommodates approximately 500 for bible study and training. The rich heritage of being a church with the motto "The Church That's Reaching Out" requires a great deal of commitment from its members as we press onward to the future.