The church was also the place that McKinstry's life would be forever changed on Sept. 15, 1963.
While volunteering as a secretary, a 14-year-old McKinstry was walking upstairs in the church to take roll that morning. She walked past the girl's bathroom, where her four friends were busy combing their hair and chatting. When McKinstry got to the top of the stairs, a phone was ringing. She said she answered it, and the caller only said, “three minutes.”
Moments later a blast shook the church's foundation, and McKinstry's four friends were dead.
”I still get real sad when I think about my friends in that their deaths were the blood price we had to pay for our freedom in Birmingham,” McKinstry said.