The lawsuit seeks a court order that declares the ordinances unconstitutional and bars the city from enforcing them.
U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre has set a hearing in the case for Wednesday.
Efforts to reach Alabaster Mayor David Frings or attorneys representing the city were unsuccessful.
Todd R. McFarland, associate general counsel with the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Maryland, said that the church has had police officers in other cities ticket student missionaries under similar laws in those places. But they can work it out with the city on most occasions, he said.
In the case of Alabaster, they weren't able to work out a solution and filed the lawsuit Friday, McFarland said. It is the first lawsuit of its type regarding door-to-door solicitations filed by the church in at least a decade, he said.
Under the Summer Student Missionary Program, the lawsuit states, teams travel to a predetermined destination and canvass door to door. The teams offer free literature about the Seventh-day Adventist faith, engage in evangelism and solicit charitable donations to help support the program.
The church in April had sent the Alabaster Police Department a letter explaining its program.
"On constitutional grounds, we must respectfully decline to seek any permit or license," the letter said. "We feel no government has the right to require and order payment of fees or take for the purpose of engaging in this door-to-door ministry."
Two Alabaster ordinances place restrictions on any person or group engaged in pamphleteering or solicitation anywhere in the city, according to the lawsuit. One is a business license permit ordinance and the other is a solicitation ordinance.
"These ordinances directly target, and impose a prior restraint upon, speech afforded the highest levels of protection by the First Amendment," the lawsuit states. "Courts have routinely rejected governmental efforts to impose this sort of sweeping prior restraint on speech, and particularly so when the speech involved lies at the very core of our constitutional system."