The City of Brent was founded in 1898 in the southern portion of Bibb County along the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Rail line. The town was named after Mr. Brent H. Armstrong, a surveyor for the railroad. Brent was later incorporated in 1913. The mayor-council form of government began under the administration of Mayor A. J. Hardin. Other Council members of the original administration included H. V. Faucett , W. E. Hobson, Jr., John T. Martin, J. W. Thompson and J. S. Yeager. The original census of 250 citizens has grown to exceed 4,500 making Brent the largest municipality in the county in 2011.
On May 27, 1973, a category 4 tornado tore through the Brent, Centreville, Montevallo, and Greensboro area, and 90 percent of the city of Brent was destroyed. The tornado demolished more than 12,000 acres of timber and over 500 buildings; 72 people in the area were injured.
The tornado destroyed the largest church in the community, Brent Baptist, while many members huddled in the basement. The very next Sunday, the church set folding chairs among the debris and listened as Reverend David McGowin preached his first sermon as the new pastor.
“We are a strong Christian community full of caring, hard working people. You can knock us down but you can’t stop us”, said Mayor Stripling.
All the citizens of Brent rallied together and rebuilt their community. The city even adopted an inspirational new motto: Proven by Tempest. For many years, residents gathered in observance of “Twister Day,” a day set aside to commemorate the spirit, strength, and resilience of their city.
The thoughts and fears of that dreadful day will linger with the citizens of Brent for years to come. The City of Brent was founded in 1898 but was forever changed on May 27, 1973. A site next to the current City Hall building was dedicated to the people of Brent whose lives were forever changed by a devastating tornado on May 27, 1973. Five lives were lost: Birdie Mae Doolittle, Tom Green, Bertha Ann Hill, Robert Tildon, and Andrew Mitchell. They say heroes are made not born and this was a night many heroes were made.