2015 Graduates,
Atlanta First News

The Prayer List

Atlanta First History

Atlanta First Day School

Midtown Assistance Center

Compassion In Action
Mission Ministries

and Monthly Reports

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Nadia J. Jones as the new Executive Director of the Atlanta First Day School. She is from New Jersey and has lived in Atlanta for five years. She is married to her college sweetheart, M. Cole Jones, and they have a furry child (a dog) named Suede who is almost two years old.

Dr. Jones attended East Carolina University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Family & Community Services. She also attended George Mason University where she earned a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership. And most recently she earned her Doctorate Degree in Education Leadership from Clark Atlanta University. Prior to working at AFDS Dr. Jones served as the Director of Childcare at the Atlanta Children’s Shelter.

We also extend our thanks to Jeanne Spencer who has been our Interim School Director during our search for a new director.

“I am very excited to be a member of The AFDS family
and look forward to continuing to be a servant leader.”
• ACPK Pre-Conference Briefing: Sunday, June 7th at 3:00 PM
• Annual Conference in Athens: Tuesday, June 16th through Friday June 19th
• AFDS Donuts for Dads: Friday, June 19th 7:00 - 9:00 AM
• Habitat for Humanity Project Completion: Saturday, June 20that 8:00 AM
• Hospitality House Dinner: Tuesday, June 23rd at 6:00 PM
• SafeHouse Outreach Dinner: Tuesday, July 7th at 3:30 PM

Congratulations to the following members of the Atlanta First family who have graduated in 2015!

Rachel Elizabeth Lowe, granddaughter of Roy and Ruth Fruit, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia on May 8th.

Angus McIntosh, grandson of Betty McIntosh, graduated from Druid Hills High School on May 18th.

Sandrea Terrell, great-niece of Dorothy Ann Turnipseed, graduated from Sandtown Middle School on May 20th.

Congratulations also to the AFDS Pre-K Class of 2015, the first class of the Day School
to complete the journey from Infant to Pre-K since the founding of the school in 2010.

William Carey Bowen, V
Olivia Estelle Douglas
Analise Isabella Edwards
Parker Marie Estes
Nina Soledad Frady
Lucy Neckermann Goldberg
Marin Elizabeth Karlowicz
Sofia Yoshimi Klingsoehr
Mya Elle Mcclain
Coltrane Russell Morris
James Robert Myers
Cameron Dorothy Philbrick
Marley Pavey Raw
Emma Sue Riebel
Myles Imanuel Ward
Thornton Tucker Wilder
Wyatt James Zimmer

Congratulations to Anne & Jason Weidert on the birth of their daughter Victoria Afton, who was born on March 29th, 2015, at Piedmont Hospital.

Congratulations also to Dr. Bob & Flo Smith on the birth of a great-granddaughter, Florence Evelyn Donahue, born on April 24th, 2015.

The Altar Guild:
Flowers For The Sanctuary

Each week our chancel area is made even more beautiful by the addition of flowers. The flowers can be in Honor of, or in Memory of someone you love, a friend or group. The cost for the two arrangements is $120. If you would like more information call the church office at 404-524-6614. The following dates are available: June 7 & 14

Welcome a New Member!

We extend a warm welcome to our newest member, William (Bill) Sims. Bill joined on April 12th by transfer.

New Fax Number

Atlanta First has a new fax number:


The UMW will meet at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, March 17th with guest speaker Rev. Ed Nelson, who was originally scheduled for the cancelled February meeting. He will speak on “A New Kind of Church… Cyberspace”. Come join us for fellowship and enlightenment.

Church Family
Mickey Angel

Christine Boteler
Margaret Davis

Marlee Franklin

Nelda Hill
Jackie Scarborough

W. Clyde Thomas
Homebound Church Family
Frankie Chambers

Jack & Harriet Head
Dot Miller Joyce M. Pair

Betty Small
Extended Church Family and Friends
Julia Dougherty,
Daughter of Marge Madill

Dollie Gilreath,
Mother of Dede Gilreath
Tobias Reichel,
Friend of Mary Lynn Purcell
Jack & Jeanne Vann,
Friends of Dede Gilreath

Alyssa W.,
Friend of Erin Devine
Active Duty Military
MSgt. Logan Cathcart,
Grandson of Virginia Cathcart

MSgt. Scott Cathcart,
Son of Virginia Cathcart
Cpt. Ben Fulp,
Friend of Patricia Thomason
Lt. Rusty Hearn
Nephew of Pat Sibley

Pvt. Matthew Ross
Cousin of Dr. Charles Gardner


Condolences to the family of Wally Colly whose aunt, Mary Orr, passed away Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 in Marietta.

Condolences to Nadia Jones, Executive Director of Atlanta First Day School, whose grandmother, Vivian Brooks passed away Sunday, May 17th 2015 in Elizabeth, NJ.

A Corner In Time

If the 1903 church building committee and architect Willis F. Denny were to come back to 360 Peachtree Street today they would be very surprised at the changes in the area surrounding the church. Besides the beautiful granite sanctuary they built, the only thing they would recognize would be our neighbor in faith, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1897). The large Victorian era houses that surrounded the church property are all gone. Even the Church School building that was built in 1903 is no longer standing. To better understand the changes that have happened over the years, this article will focus on the changes near one corner of the sanctuary building.

The oldest photograph of the sanctuary in the Archives dates to October 1920. A group of young people attending the “First Junior Missionary Conference” were photographed on the front steps. Visible next to the northeast corner of the church are a group of trees and part of a large two-story house. When the church was built, many of the members lived in walking distance of the church on Peachtree and West Peachtree Streets and Forrest Avenue in similar houses.

A photograph from 1922 shows long time church member Robert Hemphill standing next to one of the trees on the property next door. The large sassafras tree was removed in 1925 when the area was cleared to build the church Annex building. The Annex was built to provide much needed Church School rooms and was completed that year. Church member W. F. Trenary carved a candlestick from wood from the sassafras tree and presented it to the Ladies Aid Society of the church. The candlestick was given as a prize to Mary Walker that year and she donated it to the church Archives in 1983.

By 1927 the house next door was gone and in its place was a small art deco decorated commercial building. Built by the Packard Motor Company this building served as a showroom for new cars. The Hemphill Church School Class (Late Hemphill-Rogers Class) met on the showroom floor of this building while the new church school building was under construction in 1948. In later years the building was purchased by Hub Ford Company. A postcard in the Archives shows the building and a large billboard next to the church. In 1967 the property was purchased by the church.

At some point during this time, a parking lot was built on the northeast side of the sanctuary building for the church staff. This lot was reached by a drive off of Peachtree Street.

In 1975 the City of Atlanta decided to extend Forrest Avenue from Peachtree Street to West Peachtree Street. This would take the new street through the property of Atlanta First. After much discussion and several legal challenges, the property was purchased from the church and the street built. This left the church with a small side yard with a large retaining wall dividing it from the street below. Forrest Avenue is now Ralph McGill Boulevard on the east side of Peachtree Street and Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard on the west side.

In 1977 the church decided to turn the small side yard into a garden in honor of the founders of Wesley Chapel. The Founders’ Garden was dedicated on September 16, 1977. The beautiful garden became a peaceful place for members and visitors alike to sit and rest from the noise of the city. The garden went through many transformations and upgrades during its lifespan. A bronze plaque from the garden is now in the Archives.

Today the northeast corner has been transformed again. Students from Atlanta First Day School use this area as a playground. A large, decorative iron fence and gate protect the area and the children. Some of the bushes and trees from the Founders’ Garden still surround the play area with green.

The north east corner of the building has under gone many changes over the years as has the other areas surrounding the church. The one constant has been our beautiful sanctuary and the people who worship God there each Sunday. May that continue for many years!

- Carol Colly, Church Archivist & Librarian
The northeast corner in 1920. Note the houses nearby, and no street.

The northeast corner today.

Peachtree Street in the mid 1950’s.

The 1948 Hemphill Church School Class, meeting in the neighboring Packard showroom.
The ramp to a now gone parking lot is visible.

MAC Client Stories
Emergency Assistance for an Emergency Responder

Hayley is a single mother of a 13 year old son, and has worked as a paramedic for 15 years. She had to take a few days off without pay to recover from the flu. When she returned to work, she was fired for missing her shift. As her bills accumulated, she called MAC for assistance. Midtown Assistance Center was able to keep her power on, as well as help her with her rent. ‘If it wasn’t for you,’ she said with tears in her eyes ‘my son and I would be on the street.

The Second Job Blues

Cassie called Midtown Assistance Center in February for rent assistance. She had never been late on her rent, and was laid off from her second job as a bartender the month before, and was struggling to take care of her young son on a part time income. Cassie came to the office organized and ready to do whatever necessary to keep her in her son from losing their home. MAC was able to help Cassie pay her rent, and work with her apartment complex to waive the late fees. She will start a new job this month. Cassie is now on the track to return to self-sufficiency.

MAC News

Get your sneakers/tennis shoes /whatever-you-call-them ready for the Midtown Race for MAC! On June 13th, hundreds of runners and walkers will gather in Piedmont Park for our 5k. Registration can be found on www.active.com, Phidippides in Ansley Mall, or in the office. Race participants also receive a great gift bag and a t-shirt! For more information- whether you’d like to run, walk, volunteer, or cheer runners on, contact themacatlanta@gmail.com or speak to your MAC congregational liaison, Robert Sherrill. Hope to see you there!

To learn more about the Midtown Assistance Center, visit:

Rebecca Richard
MAC Program Coordinator


Atlanta Hospitality House
Tuesday, June 23rd - 6:00 PM

“I was sick and you looked after me…”

Since 1981 the Atlanta Hospital Hospitality House has strived to provide a “home away from home” to outpatients and relative of patients hospitalized in 21 Atlanta area hospitals.

At 6:00 PM on the fourth Tuesday of each month, we meet at the Hospitality House at 1815 Ponce de Leon Ave. to prepare and serve a meal and also to fellowship with the guests. To serve with us, please contact M.L. Purcell via email at marylynnpurcell@gmail.com.

SafeHouse Outreach Dinner
Tuesday, July 7th - 4:00 PM

“For when I was hungry you gave me something to eat…” (Matthew 25:35)

SafeHouse, located at 89 Ellis Street, provides practical, emotional, physical, and spiritual assistance to those living in the margins, to help integrate them back into society. On the first Tuesday of each month you’re invited to help provide hot meals for nearly 300 men, women, and children. You may meet the team in the Atlanta First UMC Fellowship Hall at 4:00 PM for meal preparation and travel with the team to SafeHouse for dinner and worship at 6:00 PM; or join in the fellowship anytime you can arrive.






Sandy Farrington
Noah Moody

Lynnea Moody

George Jones

Danielle Moody

Bob Parris

Taylor McKinney





Steve Angel
Neil Garrard

Evie Dilliplane

Dylan Locklear

Michael Lewis

Cornelia Witte

Herbert Smithson
Margaret Medicus





Holley Forsyth
Bryce Peterson

Kathy Locklear

Yohanne Darku
Florence Evelyn Donahue

Terry Pierce

Nicole Eldridge

Cody Peterson






Jeanne Spencer

Elizabeth Rudisill
Darry Williams

Therisia Arnold
Jane Cook Barwick

Kelly Garrard

Les Scarborough

Sam Cole

Mark Standard
Jason Brady
Jennifer Alley







Ellen Reynolds

Beth Angel

Parker Martin

Elliott Stotler

Paige Ruf

Carter Reynolds

Ian Smith Jr.

Dorothy Bovard
Stefan Forsyth




Laura Meadows
Robert West

Becky Lingerfelt

Rob Dailey

Tom Bruner

Beth Alley
Claudia Harris





Randy Edenfield
Ed Kenimer

Joyce Fortson
Bill Squires

Harry Wells
Al Garrard

Bud Gragor

Olivia Dailey

Barbara Pate





Dahama Darku

Mark McKinney

Elisa Wells
Bailey Williams
Bryce Williams

Jeanne Thomas

Dr. Bob Smith III

Jackie Scarborough




Mary Julia Stephens
Jack Clavell
Shannon Gardner

Anthony Williams

Frances Riley

James Johnson, Jr.
Sam Dennard

Arleen Walker
Week Of: March 1 March 8 March 15 March 22 Palm Sunday
March 29
Sunday School Attendance: 36 32 37 37 34
Worship Attendance: 102 99 128 106 95
Regular Giving: $2,998.00 $3,952.00 $1,437.00 $1,519.00 $5,524.00
Week Of: Good Friday
April 1
Easter Sunday
April 5
April 12 April 19 April 26
Sunday School Attendance: - 31 30 28 30
Worship Attendance: 45 236 98 91 101
Regular Giving: - $5,054.00 $3,341.00 $903.00 $2,202.00
Week Of: May 3 May 10 May 17 Pentecost
May 24
Sunday School Attendance: 30 31 31 30 33
Worship Attendance: 101 107 207 90 87
Regular Giving: * * * * *

March Online Giving: $3,477.00  -  April Online Giving: *  -  May Online Giving: *

*: Giving figures unavailable at press time, will be reported in the next issue.

Messenger Subscription Info

If you would like to subscribe to The Messenger or change your current subscription method, please send an e-mail to Steven@AtlantaFirstUMC.org with your mailing or e-mail address, or call the church office. You can choose to receive a paper copy in your mailbox, a digital copy by e-mail, or both. All contact information is kept confidential.

Messenger Contribution Info

If you would like to submit an article, information or corrections for The Messenger, please send it in an e-mail to Steven@AtlantaFirstUMC.org. The deadline for submissions is the 20th day of the preceding month.