John Bagby

John Bagby

I am an Episcopal priest. I live in Birmingham with my wife of forty-three years—Nancy. I have two adult sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandsons. My parish is The Church of the Messiah in Heflin, Alabama.

A City, a Mountain, and a Tiny Kingdom

Margaret Brown lived in Titusville, a neighborhood in Birmingham. Two months before I was born in 1949, she was hired to come and live with my family, and work in our home six days a week as a maid, or “the help,” as folks in Mountain Brook would have said back then. I would imagine that Margaret had dreams like any other young woman: a husband, a family of her own, perhaps. She probably knew she was abandoning those dreams when she took the offer to come cook, clean, and do the laundry for my family. I can only imagine what Margaret was thinking when she boarded the #50 Crestline bus in downtown Birmingham, leaving her world and heading for “The Tiny Kingdom.”  (more…)