Let Us Tell You a Story
100 years is a long time, and we invite you to read these monthly stories as members of our church share glimpses into the past chapters of the life of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.
So, why are we offering this collection of stories?
Well, first, to learn of its history. There is much to know about its ministry over these one hundred years in the heart of Buckhead. Contained in these stories is the big picture of its guiding spiritual growth, its service to the community, and its continuing expansion and development. And there are the little stories that give this history its personality – like the one of the Senior Minister in the 50s who concluded his moments with the children in worship each Sunday with the question, “And what is your favorite part of church?” One Sunday a child’s response was, “Going home.” The pastor stopped asking that question.
We begin this reading as students of history. We want to know our church – its origins, its journey, its path over these past one hundred years.
Then, as we read through the stories, we realize that not only are we learning of its history but also what we can reap from its history. We gain insight not only from how it has been done but also how it can be done. We read of the journey of those who came before us, and, as we learn from their faithfulness and discernment, they become our mentors. Time after time, those who built our church took on the challenges with boldness and took advantage of the opportunities with wisdom. We see how they were followers of Christ in all their circumstances.
We learn of their vision. It began with just a handful of Methodists, living in the Buckhead area, seeing the possibilities in beginning a church of their denomination in the middle of their community. A survey of the area confirmed their sense of the need. In 1925 the land was purchased and a tabernacle – roof and floor, but no walls – was built, and Peachtree Road Methodist Church began.
We learn of their dedication. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it began with challenges. A year later this small congregation, with its new debt, faced foreclosure on their property. With humility and resolve, they accepted Emory University’s generous loan and boldly continued their ministry and grew their church.
It was with faith, vision, and commitment that a tiny church with debt and no walls moved forward in the name and with the inspiration of Christ. As they say, the rest is history as Peachtree Road became the church it is today.
So, we read this work not just to learn of our church’s history and from its history – but, finally, to become a part of its history.
This is where we come in. It’s now our turn.
We continue Peachtree Road’s faithful heritage and tradition. We have read of those who devoted themselves to following our Lord and living out His teachings. Now, as we begin our second century, we build on their ministries and achievements as we humbly and intentionally engage this new chapter of our church’s life of faith and service.
Ron Greer is the Director of the Pastoral Counseling Service at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta, where he has served for over 30 years.
He is a frequent speaker at conferences, churches, and organizations on a variety of issues including parenting young adults, grief and its healing, integrity, personal growth and marriage enrichment.