Birmingham woman recounts missing church the day of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing
Carol Bowie says she skipped church that morning after staying up with her infant son. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -
The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing may have taken place nearly 50 years ago, but one Birmingham woman can recount it like it was yesterday.
She was supposed to have been in church at the time of the bombing, but her infant son changed everything.
"I said to myself, out loud, 'Oh my God, I bet that's my church,'" said Carol Bowie.
For years Bowie was the assistant Sunday School teacher at the 16th Street Baptist Church. She planned to attend Sunday School the morning of Sept. 15th, 1963, with her baby boy but he changed all that.
"He had been kind of fretful that night before and we just didn't feel like going to Sunday School," said Bowie.
She said the bombing happened shortly after she and her son would have gotten out of the class.
"Our telephone was ringing, ringing, ringing all up into the night. People were calling to see if we were at the Sunday School at that time," said Bowie.
She said at no time did she think to herself, "that could have been me."
"I didn't think about I would have been there. I was concerned about what happened to the people there," said Bowie.
To this day, Carol's husband, Evell, questions how someone could commit such a hateful act.
"I thought and I still do that how could someone do something like that. How could someone have so much hate in their heart to do something like that," said Evell.
He said he doesn't play the "what if" game. Rather, he feels there was a higher power looking out for his family.
"I guess I believe in predestination and I thought well the Lord, just wasn't her time then. Let's put it that way," said Evell.