Bomb threat ends without incident

Alabaster Fire Department and Police Department personnel arrive on the scene of a bomb threat at Amazing Grace Worship Center on Highway 31 in Alabaster. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

ALABASTER – Police and firefighters did not find any explosive devices or suspicious packages at Alabaster’s Amazing Grace Worship Center July 14, after someone called the church to report a bomb in the building.

Members of the Alabaster Police Department, the Alabaster Fire Department, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Birmingham Police Department bomb squad searched the church, which is at 949 U.S. 31, for nearly four hours before declaring the building safe.

Alabaster Police Officers perform a walk-around of the Amazing Grace Worship Center shortly after a bomb threat was discovered on the morning of July 14. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

An employee at the church notified authorities at about 8:40 a.m. July 14 after the employee received a voicemail earlier in the day claiming there was a bomb in the building, according to officers on the scene.

Shortly after arriving on the scene, authorities blocked both entrances to the church and set up a 300-yard perimeter around the church. U.S. 31 remained open to traffic during the incident.

The Amazing Grace Worship Center is regularly involved in several outreach ministries, including a monthly food ministry for those who are struggling with food costs, and the C.A.R.E. program, which helps elderly residents cope with the rising costs of living.

As of July 14, a call to the church’s office had not been returned.