Cook Book of Choice Luncheons. By Unit Number Two [of] Pilgrim Congregational Church.

[Birmingham, Ala.]: [The Church; Printed by]; Printed by American Calendar & Novelty Co., 1942.

Octavo-size booklet (22.5 x 15 cm.), 28 pages. Advertisements. Title from cover. Printer from rear panel of wrappers. Evident first edition. A church cookbook with menus, some attributed, supplemented with one hundred short, unattributed recipes. Includes entries for: Shrimp Cucumber Salad, Creole Pie, Casserole of Sweet Potatoes, Apples, and Sausage, Asparagus Timbale, Date Torte, Orange Raisin Cake, Sour Cream Apple Cake, Southern Pecan Pie. ~ The path of Congregationalism in the South has been winding, its convolutions charted in the histories of individual communities. It is largely a story of the twentieth century. The name Pilgrim Congregational, of course, derives from tradition – many churches of New England and the Midwest preserve it still – but Pilgrim Congregational of Birmingham took more than one occasion to affirm that aspect of denominational tradition that embraces alterity and inclusivism. Founded in 1903, the congregation initially failed to cohere and fell dormant in 1918 – though its charter was never revoked. In Alabama of the 1920s, separate white and Negro churches operated within the Congregational Conference, and while First Congregational of Birmingham was an active African-American community, there was no white congregation after the demise of Pilgrim Congregational. Unpredictably, owing in large measure to interest from disaffected Presbyterians, new and original members resuscitated the charter, held organizational meetings and services in local theaters, and in 1941 established a new sanctuary on 8th Avenue North, in the suburb (later annexed by Birmingham) called Zion City. Cook Book of Choice Luncheons, then appeared at a time of hopeful rejuvenation. ~ And indeed the community flourished for a time, initiating construction of an imposing modernist church made of glass and steel, on Montclair Road, in 1959. But again, within two years, a rift over desegregation severed the Pilgrim congregation in half, with the pastor’s own vote breaking the tie and thus permitting all members of the Conference to worship side by side. In 2001, members confronted discriminatory inertia again and adopted an “open and affirming” stance with respect to gender identity beyond traditional heterosexuality. The majestic Montclair structure, too, was eventually forfeited, as the vicissitudes of attrition and social upheaval whittled resources. Retaining the name Pilgrim Church and allied with the United Church of Christ, the descendent congregation adapted a one story commercial building on Sixth Avenue South, and held its first services there in 2010. ~ Some interior staining, and central opening loosened. Still good, in stapled tan wrappers, edge-worn and soiled, titled in brown. Unrecorded. [OCLC locates no copies; not in Brown, Cagle, or Cather].

Price: $150.00