Christmas Eve, December 24, 2021 will mark the 100th Anniversary of the dedication of McCoy Bell Tower of Highlands United Church at Five Points, South.
Published: December 17, 2021
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2021 will mark the 100th Anniversary of the dedication of McCoy Bell Tower of Highlands United Church at Five Points, South. The McCoy Bells have rung out over the Southside Community continually since 1921.
A Christmas Eve Bell Concert will take place at 3 p.m. on December 24, 2021 with a selection of ten traditional carols played at the bells and tower dedication one hundred years ago. All in attendance will receive a small bell ornament to commemorate the occasion.
The McCoy Bell Tower and thirteen bronze bells were an anonymous gift to the church following the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and were given in memory of Bishop James Henry McCoy (1868-1919), the church’s first pastor, later President of Birmingham-Southern College, and Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal South.
The thirteen bells were cast and are still maintained by the McShane Bell Foundry of Baltimore Maryland. Each bell was cast with a Bible verse. The bell tower was designed by Birmingham Architect Bem Price and constructed by Smallman- Brice Construction Company.
In 1994 the bells were electrified to be rung automatically and chime each quarter hour with portions of the Westminster Chime and play the full chime at each hour during the day. The bells ring automatically each day of the week and are still rung manually each Sunday before and after worship. The bells peal for weddings and other celebrations and toll for funerals. Members of the church recently pealed the bells each night at 8 p.m. during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in honor of the medical community and frontline workers.