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South Fulton church celebrates 25 years
by Christine Fonville
August 21, 2013 11:07 AM | 1481 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye
From left, volunteers Corine Black and Amery Moorman receive help gathering food items from food pantry co-coordinator Dorothy Cochran last week at New Life Presbyterian Church in College Park.
Staff / Katherine Frye From left, volunteers Corine Black and Amery Moorman receive help gathering food items from food pantry co-coordinator Dorothy Cochran last week at New Life Presbyterian Church in College Park.
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New Life Presbyterian Church, which is among the denomination’s largest and fastest-growing black congregations, celebrated its 25th anniversary Aug. 18.

The event’s theme, Celebrating Our Heritage and Embracing Our Future, represented the church’s history and its future with new pastor Billy Honor, according to founding member LaVances Givens,

Givens said the Rev. Billy Honor helped bring the church “into the 21st century,” after replacing its 20-year pastor, the Rev. Lonnie Oliver, in 2010.

The quarter-century anniversary celebration began with a worship service at 10:30 a.m. followed by a 5 p.m. banquet and gala at the Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel featuring music, dancing and food.

Givens said the entertainment during the evening banquet highlighted the church’s international aspects.

“Our [heritage] is very diverse,” she said. “We’ve had many members from different countries.”

Some of the congregation’s 700 members showcased their talents by playing traditional African instruments like steel drums, Givens said.

“We’re also on a different page within our church,” she said of the “future” facet of the anniversary celebration. “Pastor Honor has brought a lot of new members to our church, especially youth and young adults.”

Honor said several changes have taken place during his tenure.

“In the past year we’ve done a great bit of ministry expansion,” he said.

Honor said the church has incorporated new technology into its services.

“We have fully embraced visual media in our worship services and we currently have a fully functional website where individuals can listen to sermons,” he said.

Although Honor has helped the church’s progression, according to members like Givens, he said he believes its history plays an important role in the community.

Givens agreed, saying over the years, the church created and participated in programs to help the community both inside and outside of its facilities.

“Roots Adoption Agency, a nationally recognized organization, got its start in the church,” she said.

Church volunteers help maintain the programs, Honor said.

“We have a food pantry every Tuesday and Thursday, an educational ministry to tutor students in the community and a cancer awareness ministry that partners with other health organizations in order to raise awareness and funds in the fight against cancer,” he said.

The church is at 6600 Old National Hwy., College Park.

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