In the fall of 1980 two families started having church in their homes. They were Linn and Brenda Stoller and Sonny and Esther Sazdanoff from the Church of Nazarene (sister church) and a few others. Then in the fall of 1980 there were five couples who started meeting at the Ramada Inn in Marietta, Georgia. This group consisted of three members, seven friends, and nine children. Elder Bros. Alfred Bahler and Wendell Gudeman shared the duties of counseling elder. At this time the minister rotation was started and a minister would come every second and fourth Sundays. This group met at the Ramada Inn until 1986.
The next meeting place was at the Bradbury Suites in Smyrna where they met for about a year. After that the meeting place was Don Sellers’ pest control business for about six months. In the fall of 1988 the group began to meet at the Renaissance motel near the airport and the minister rotation was switched to the first, third, and fifth Sundays. The group met there for eight years until the summer of 1996.
Bro. Jeff and Sis. Lynne Streitmatter moved from Sarasota, Florida, to Charleston, South Carolina, in the winter of 1994. They made Atlanta their church and he was the first ministering brother local to Atlanta. In October of 1996, Bro. Jeff’s temporary assignment came to an end and they moved back to Sarasota.
In 1995 there were four families, twelve members, and ten children. There was a desire by all to have their own place of worship and with that in mind the brethren started praying and searching for a building and/or property to have their own church. A search was started around the airport since it was the central location. Property in that area was found to be very expensive or undesirable so the search expanded further out. In the spring of 1996 the current property was found for sale. After much prayer and consultation with the North America Building Committee and others it was decided to proceed. Upon proceeding we found the property was already under contract with someone else.
A short time later, it was discovered that the contract did not go through and we decided to make an offer, only to find it was under contract again. After much prayer and a period of time we found this contract fell through also and the owner came to us asking if we were still interested in the property. We, as a congregation, felt the Lord had answered our prayers and opened the doors to proceed again. A contract was offered and the 2596 square foot building and 3.31 acres were purchased for $140,000. It was originally a house, which was built in 1950 and remodeled in 1992 for a telemarketing business.
We closed on the building on November 14, 1996. Folding chairs were borrowed from the Morton Fellowship Hall, which were on their way to Haiti, and were set up and used. The first church service in the new building was held on November 17, 1996. Elder Bros. Wendell Gudeman and Bud Klopfenstein were present with us the first Sunday. They also shared Holy Communion with us.
Having our own building provided us a wonderful place to worship. There was a desire by Elder Bro. Wendell Gudeman and the congregation to have their own local minister. After much prayer, Bro. Tom Waldbeser was put into the ministry on March 16, 1997.
Since the building was quite functional it was decided to wait a period of time to determine the type of remodeling that needed to be done. With the help of the North America Building Committee and others, plans were drawn up and during the winter of 1997 remodeling started. Some of the remodeling entailed taking out a doorway and raising part of the ceiling in the assembly room, enlarging the restrooms, converting the kitchen to the baby room, moving the kitchen to the dining area, and adding the carport. Bro. Orin Rufener, Rittman, Ohio, was willing to lead the project. Many volunteers assisted Bro. Orin and the local congregation, and the remodeling was completed in the fall of 1998.
Based on the occupancy of the church we were required by the city to expand our parking lot. We completed the plans for expanding the parking lot and then ran into difficulty in trying to find a contractor willing to do the work. After a lengthy search, we found a contractor willing to do the work. During the spring and summer of 2000 the parking lot was enlarged with the circle drive, the storage shed was built, and the outside landscaping was finished.
With growth over the next fourteen years, we began to outgrow our small church sanctuary. In October 2014, God opened the way for us to purchase a church building at 202 Robinson Road in Peachtree City, Georgia. God quickly provided a buyer for our Fairburn church building. Our first service in the new church building was on Sunday, November 30, 2014. On December 27, 2014 we started remodeling the Peachtree City building with an anticipated date of completion being towards the end of March, 2015.
We are very thankful to our almighty God for providing a place of worship and look forward to fellowship and worshiping together in this church for many years.