CHURCH SPOTLIGHT: Atlanta First UMC
District: Atlanta College Park
Address: 360 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
Mission statement: Transforming Lives by Modeling Christ to the City and Beyond
Senior Pastor: Charles Gardner (2nd year)
Sunday services: 11 a.m. Traditional service in sanctuary. Thursday service and luncheon, 12:10 p.m. in sanctuary.
TV ministry: Sunday worship services are televised by Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters (AIB) on Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. and Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
History: Founded in 1847, Atlanta First United Methodist Church has been a longtime and distinguished landmark, reflecting the city’s history and providing a foundation for God’s ministry in Georgia and beyond.
The first AFUMC building survived the Battle of Atlanta and was used by the congregation until 1870 when a new church was built; in 1903, the congregation moved again to the present location on Peachtree Street.
Designed by Willis Franklin Denny, the 1903 Sanctuary is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The oldest item in the church is the bell, which survived the Civil War; it rings every Sunday at 11 a.m. and on special occasions such as Good Friday.
Atlanta First has a long history of serving God by ministering to the city. During the Civil War, ladies in the congregation formed a commission to tend to wounded soldiers of both armies; since then, many missions were started or partnered with the church, including Sheltering Arms, the Midtown Assistance Center, SafeHouse, and Friends @ the Front Door.
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