Edward Road Baptist Church is founded on a tradition of Evangelistic outreach, which continues to this day. The Church believes that it has been placed where it is for a reason – to serve and spread the Good News of Christ to its community. This has been both a constant challenge and a privilege as the community has continued to change since the Second World War.
After the War, a Jewish population arrived and settled in large numbers in Balsall Heath. This community began to move on in the 1950’s as they were replaced by the incoming hard working West Indian community. By the 1970’s the area had changed again and had become well known for sex and drugs as it became Birmingham’s red light district. The sex industry was rife in the streets surrounding the park opposite the Church. During this period the Church played a founding role in what has now become the Jericho Foundation Charity, but which started life as part of a vision to reach out to the working girls on the street and help them come out of that lifestyle. By the 1980’s the Pakistani and Yemeni community began to arrive and the sex workers were forcibly chased away. Today, these trends continue, and Somali and Eastern European migrants are once again drawn to this area. This constant cultural change has been a backdrop to appalling social deprivation and struggle, with which the Church has always been called to engage, challenge and serve. The Church has always aimed to change its mission strategies with the changing needs, from the needs of the Jewish migrants to the West Indians, to the sex workers to the Pakistanis and Yemenis who are in the majority today. Today, the Church also hosts both a small Nigerian fellowship and at times a thriving Romanian, Roma, congregation that meet in the building.
Edward Road has been faithfully ministering to its community for over 147 years. Today, it is reaching out in a variety of creative ways – from hosting a winter night shelter, to running more traditional children’s Bible clubs and doing youthwork – always seeking to be salt and light of God’s Kingdom in Balsall Heath and beyond. The Church is aware that the opportunities for global mission are on the Church’s doorstep and that to love our neighbours as ourselves can only be done by sharing the Message of the “Gospel of Christ through Word and Deed.”