After an early attempt in 1836, the congregation of the Church of the Nativity was organized in December of 1842, and In 1845, construction began. The first church building was of brick and the first service was held in August of 1847.
The second building, the present main sanctuary, was constructed alongside the first beginning in 1856 with the initial service on Easter Eve 1859. Known as one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival Architecture in the South, the church structure has a nave and aisles lighted by windows of tracery.
The original church and present church stood side by side until 1878, when the original building was razed. The Church received National Historic Landmark status in 1990.
The historic church Is part of the North Alabama Hallelujah Trail of Sacred Places, a driving tour of 32 churches that are at least 100 years old, stand on their original sites, still hold services, and are accessible to the public.