At first glance, Atlanta, Georgia, would seem the last place where another church would be needed. Atlanta is in a region of the US where there are churches on almost every corner. So why plant another? Our city is home for many large Christian congregations and home of Christian conferences, concerts, conventions, counselors, clinics and clergy, and that is just covering the letter ‘c’ in the alphabet!
At the same time, Atlanta is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation, with the population in the Metro area reaching almost five million. Traffic in Atlanta has a reputation for being horrendous Monday through Saturday, but travel on Sunday before noon, the time Christians traditionally worship together, is tellingly light.
Atlanta has a cosmopolitan and international feel with 100 languages represented in the school district where Jubilee Church is meeting. The largest Buddhist temple in the world is currently being constructed in Atlanta, while new suburbs are regularly being built, creating more communities with spiritual needs. In all, approximately 400 people move to the Atlanta area every day, enough to make a couple of churches!
Jubilee Church, led by Carl Herrington in the Northwest Metro area of Atlanta, was launched publicly on 14 August 2005 with a great sense of purpose. Our vision is to plant relational communities that are Spirit-filled, Bible-based and are committed to the mission of making disciples of all people groups in Atlanta, the Southeast, the US and the nations.
Jubilee started with about 50 people moving to the area, including many children, from seven different Newfrontiers churches. We started gathering for worship, prayer and fellowship from house to house. Each person and family that has moved for the church plant, or been added to the church from the local community, has brought a new gift and fulfilled a vital need in our church body.
Our preparation for the public launch of Jubilee in September 2005 exemplified the teamwork and community we developed during our first year together. A team of volunteers from Missouri joined church members for a week of outreach before the launch. During that week we hosted two backyard Bible schools for children, gave free car washes, invited neighbors to a celebration with games and food, and distributed water bottles with church information to people exercising in a public park.
Our goal is to recapture a Biblical view of church that is different from the church experience of most people in the South. The church we envision is more than a meeting on a Sunday morning. Jesus says in Matthew 16:18 that He is building the church. Then, in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus issued the Great Commission to preach the Gospel and make disciples is given. As we make disciples we are involved in building God’s church. All believers have gifts to use in building the church, so we want to welcome all people. Our true success will lie in seeing Jubilee Church become a worshipping community for people from all nationalities, people groups and social classes.