By Zach Bentley and Nathan King

Corpus Christi Faith Church, founded in 1997, is located in Woodlawn, Alabama, located just outside of downtown Birmingham. Most of Woodlawn’s neighborhoods, including West Woodlawn where Corpus Christi is located, had predominantly White residents in the mid-twentieth century, but are predominantly African American today. Just as houses changed hands, so did church buildings, Corpus Christi’s building was erected by a White congregation, First Assembly of God, but now houses a primarily African American one. A constant in the building’s life, however, has been its use for Pentecostal worship.

History of the Congregation

On Sunday, October 30th, 2022, Corpus Christi Faith Church celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. Founded in 1997, CCFC moved to 4735 2nd Ave North in Woodlawn area in 2013. Information regarding their previous location is unknown. CCFC’s staff is made up of 14 team members, currently under the leadership of Senior Pastor Bishop Michael Saltmarch–though it was previously under the leadership of Elder Rick Saltmarch, the current bishop’s father. Michael Saltmarch took on the title of senior pastor in 2013. Having attended both law school and seminary, the preacher is very well equipped for the teaching and shepherding of his church members.


The sanctuary is structured in a traditional manner consisting of a center aisle with pews on either side and a carefully decorated pulpit at the front of the room. Behind the pulpit is a small stage where members of the congregation will sometimes assist during worship with their respected instruments. There are several offices located inside the building to the right of the sanctuary where Saltmarch and his staff work together to uphold and serve their values of faith, scripture and community. The outside of the building features a main entrance with a gable roof. The contrast of the white paint with the building’s redbrick provides for a simple yet pleasing aesthetic that can be admired from the street. If one ventures to the backside of the building they would find stairs leading up to a loft area. On the fence that is adjacent to the building is posted a cheerful sign which commemorates CCFC’s 25th anniversary.

Corpus Christi Faith Church. Photo: David Bains, January 29, 2019.

Beliefs and Practices

Bishop Saltmarch, in a Facebook review on CCFC, characterizes their denominational affiliation as falling under the Holiness tradition. With this in mind, he goes on to explain that “Pentecostal[ism] is our experience,” (Saltmarch, using the account of the Day of Pentecost found in the Book of Acts to validate their beliefs and practices. Additionally, the church includes a graphic on its website indicating its affiliation with “Apostolic Global Assemblies” (A.G.A.).

Corpus Christi’s website lists four different markers that aim to present their ethos to the public; displaying content about their church, vision, people, and theology. CCFC holds a strong conviction of helping others in need, explaining that upon getting involved in their congregation, one will be met with “a community led by love and hope.” In this same regard, CCFC holds that the core value of its congregation is anchored in the outpouring of love towards others, shown through the “vision” and “people” sections on their website. Their fourth section is a small description about God. They offer assurance to their audience that God is always present, and that fulfillment in life comes from loving God and people. Likewise, CCFC highlights three major tenets to their congregation: faith, scripture, and community. They have a high regard for all three, and explain that each plays a vital role in the life of their ministry.

Corpus Christi holds worship services that include singing, some scripture reading, and a sermon given by Bishop Saltmarch. Although it tends to hold to this structure, sometimes other elements are added, such as a testimony or word of praise. There is an abundance of participation from the audience, in terms of responding to certain points that Bishop Saltmarch makes. There seems to be a familial sense of togetherness in this congregation. Though there may be ministerial leadership, Bishop Saltmarch talks to his fellow congregants with a level of humility that conveys an immense amount of love and respect.


CCFC continues to hold services, bible studies, and classes for its congregation and remains a beacon of faith, scripture and community for the Woodlawn community as it has for the past 25 years.

Corpus Christi Faith Church
Location: 4735 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL
Founded: 1997
Moved to current location: 2013
Denominational tradition: Holiness/Pentecostal


Church Facebook Page:

Bishop Saltmarch’s Facebook Page:

Zach Bentley ‘24 and Nathan King ‘23 were students in Race and Religion in America in Samford University’s Department of Biblical and Religious Studies in the Fall of 2022.

Published April 22, 2023.

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