First Christian Church at its original location on Main Street in College Park. Photo/Special.
By Marilyn Doyal and Judy Kilgore
In September of 1900, a group of families gathered under a brush arbor on the south side of Atlanta to form First Christian Church of College Park. Two locations and 117 years later, that church is this year celebrating more than a century of service to its community. And it’s now the First Christian Church in Tyrone.
A Homecoming celebration is planned for this Sunday, Sept. 10, to celebrate those 117 years.
Gary Boyd, a former minister, and member of First Christian, will preach the Homecoming message. A covered dish dinner will follow the morning worship.
Members and former members are planning to attend and to bring family and friends. Everyone is welcome to join in the festivities for this special day.
The church was first located on Main Street in downtown College Park, at the edge of the Atlanta Airport, near where the present College Park MARTA Station stands today.
In 1965, due to airport acquisition, the church was moved to Old National Highway, where it remained for 30 years. But, in 1995, those members who had carried their Christian faith and rich heritage in their hearts throughout the years, said good-bye to the Atlanta metro area and relocated to Tyrone. Today, First Christian meets at 294 Jenkins Rd., adjacent to Burch Elementary and Flat Rock Middle School.
More than 10 families who are current members can trace their families back to those founding members. Many remember being in the College Park location as children and have been members of First Christian during the two relocations.
Currently, Rich DeWees and Howard Taylor are the church’s ministers. First Christian has Sunday School classes at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning for people who range from nursery age to adults in their 90s.
Two worship services are held at 10:30 a.m. — traditional and contemporary.
The traditional worship service features hymns, hymnals, and a Worship Choir accompanied by an organist and pianist.
The contemporary service is for those who choose a less formal worship time and contemporary music. Rusty Guest conducts the contemporary worship.
Wednesday evening activities include a service, a dinner (reservations required) at 5:30, adult and children’s Bible study at 6:30 and adult choir practice at 7:30.
New members and visitors are always welcome.