- First Baptist Church (Atlanta, Georgia)
First Baptist Church
Atlanta, Georgia, is a megachurchlocated at 4400 North Peachtree Road at Interstate 285 in Dekalb County, Georgia. It is commonly known as First Baptist Atlanta. It is an evangelical, Christian church, and is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Charles F. Stanley, former President of the Southern Baptist Convention, has been Senior Pastor of the church since 1971.
The church has two Sunday morning services, a Wednesday night prayer meeting, extensive Sunday school and midweek Christian training programs, and other meetings throughout the week. Dr. Stanley typically preaches at both Sunday morning services. The newly renovated sanctuary seats 3,000, excluding the overflow room. In addition to the sanctuary, the church building includes a chapel, a theater, a large youth facility (including a coffee shop, a rock climbing wall, and a gym), dining facilities, a bookstore, rotunda and other spaces typical of megachurches. The church is a theologically conservative congregation, and Dr. Stanley has longtime links to
Jerry Falwell, Bill Brightand others in both evangelical and Baptist circles.
Addressing social and spiritual concerns such as parenting, finances, personal crises, emotions and relationships, FBA guides believers through the inerrant word of God for the purpose of personal spiritual growth. Through an applicable reference to God's Word, FBA focuses on prayer, the character of God, fellowship through the Holy Spirit and the Person of Jesus Christ. First Baptist Atlanta continually works to service the needs of believers, followers, and seekers of God's holiness through various missions, ministries, and programs.
First Baptist Church Atlanta began a television and radio ministry in
1972, one year after Dr. Stanley became the senior pastor. It is now known as In Touch Ministries. Together, the teaching of Dr. Stanley and beliefs of FBA are available globally -- translated into more than 100 languages -- via radio, television broadcast, audio- and videotapes, CDs, DVDs, pamphlets, books and a daily devotional magazine, In Touch.
First Baptist [ [http://www.fba.org/ First Baptist Church Atlanta] ] was originally located in the downtown of
Atlanta, Georgia, in Fulton County, Georgia. In the late 20th century, a commercial facility was purchased on Atlanta's Interstate 285and the church relocated to the larger, more accessible, property in Dekalb County. The trend of churches relocating adjacent to a major interstates and highways is not uncommon in commuter-oriented cities such as Atlanta.
The history of First Baptist Church Atlanta:
1848: David Gonto Daniell was sent by the Baptist State Convention to the tiny railroad town now known as Atlanta. He gathered 16 other men and women together and First Baptist Church was born. They met where they could find space, usually in a small one-room schoolhouse. In June, they dedicated their first church building on the corner of Walton and Forsyth in downtown Atlanta. Unfortunately, during the Civil War the building was heavily damaged and many members were wounded or killed. Even still, the members trusted in God to provide a new building.
1869: God was faithful and they dedicated a new building on the same lot debt-free.
1903: At this point, the church had grown and was in need of a new building. Because of Atlanta’s growth, they were now surrounded by the business district and wanted to move to the suburbs north of Atlanta. They sold the Walton and Forsyth site for $81,000 and purchased a lot in the residential area across the street from the Governor’s Mansion on the corner of Peachtree and Cain streets.
1906: The new building opened for worship on June 3.
1920: By this time, once again, the church had outgrown the building and was surrounded by the business district. Sunday school had grown so much that parents were having to send their children to neighborhood churches because there was no room for them at First Baptist. When the site was bought it was in the residential area, but now the business area was closing in again, leaving them no room to grow. To accommodate the current membership and provide room for growth, an entire city block was purchased in the new residential area north of the business district at Peachtree and Fifth streets.
1930: The sanctuary was completed. Many people thought the building would take care of the needs of the church forever.
1971: Dr. Charles F. Stanley was called to be the senior pastor of First Baptist Atlanta. The church continued to experience tremendous growth under his teaching and leadership. By 1988, the membership had outgrown the available space again.
1989: First Baptist Atlanta purchased 55 acres from the Avon Corporation in the Dunwoody area with plans to renovate the building to meet its expanded needs as a congregation.
1997: The congregation moved to its current location in April.
* [http://www.fba.org/ First Baptist Atlanta Website]
* [http://www.intouch.org/ In Touch Website]
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