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ABOUT US > Our History



OUR HISTORY:
BRINGING PEOPLE AND GOD TOGETHER FOR OVER SIXTY YEARS

1945 - Lutherans Make Their Way to Atlanta
Prior to World War II there were relatively few Lutherans in Atlanta. But, by the end of the war there were four Lutheran congregations in the area -- three were affiliated with the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA) and one was a member of the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod. The picture changed rapidly after the war. Many young men had been sent all over the U.S. and around the world, where they met and married women from other places, many of whom were Lutheran. The booming post-war economy brought an influx of new people. The time was ripe for the establishment of new Lutheran congregations. Between 1948 and 1955 six new congregations were begun in the Atlanta area, including Peachtree Road Lutheran Church.

 

1947 - A Buckhead Survey Points to Opportunity
A survey was made of the Buckhead and North Atlanta area in 1947. It determined that there was a good potential for the establishment of a new congregation. It was at the northern limits of the city and was primarily a residential area. The Buckhead business district was composed of a few blocks at the intersection of Peachtree and Roswell Roads. A large farmhouse sat on the present site of Lenox Square. Peachtree Road was primarily residential from Buckhead to a small business area and post office at North Atlanta, now the site of the Brookhaven MARTA station. In 1948 the Board of American Missions purchased the property at the present location (Peachtree and Narmore) and sent a Mission Developer, Dr. Charles E. Fritz to the area in early 1949.

 

1949 - A Dream Realized
The first service for the new congregation was held May 1, 1949 in a pub, called "The Hall" over the old Roxy Theater in the heart of Buckhead. There were 54 adults and seven children present. The congregation was formally organized on May 29, 1949 with 55 confirmed and 20 baptized members. Ground was broken for the first unit of the church on October 1, 1950. The congregation continued to meet in The Hall until the new church was dedicated on September 16, 1951. The congregation grew; additional classrooms and a new educational building were completed in 1958. Ten years later, in 1968 the mortgage was burned and in 1971 a remodeling project substantially increased the size of the sanctuary and provided a new pipe organ.

 

1970 - The Challenge of Changing Demographics
The congregation grew and prospered until the 1970s when the demographics of the area changed. Residential areas were replaced by commercial developments and the membership moved further out into the suburbs. In the early 1980s the Educational Building was no longer needed and was rented to a Jewish Day School.

 

1984 - A New Pastor Revitalizes the Kindergarten and Day School Program
In January, 1984 the present minister, Rev. Dr. Kirk Bridgers became pastor of the congregation. Under his leadership the Education Building was reclaimed and a Kindergarten and Day School was established. In 1988 a major building program was undertaken in which the Education Building was rehabilitated so that it could be used for licensed day care. A Connector Building and Church Tower were constructed integrating the facilities of the original church and school buildings.

 

1999 - We Celebrate 50 Years of Service to God
Time passes fast when you're doing God's work. On May 1, 1999, exactly fifty years since our first service, we celebrated this major milestone in our history.

 

2009 - Another Milestone: We Celebrate Our Pastor's 25th Year with PRLC
Kirk Bridgers, our pastor, is well-loved by his flock. Pastor Bridgers has a unique ability to make his sermons not just interesting, but memorably applicable to each member of the congregation. Many have asked him where he acquired the skill to construct and deliver so many sermons that have the personal impact his have at the pulpit. His response invariably is, "I just listen. God tells me what to say."

Another story has been told that when Pastor was first considered for posting at our church, he already had a reputation of being a good story-teller, and when the search committee discovered that he was a descendant of John (Jim) Bridger (1804-1881), a famous mountain man, trapper, scout and story-teller of the old West, they knew they had the right man for the job! As the story goes, he was ultimately selected because, "Every church needs a good story-teller."

To celebrate his 25 years with Peachtree Road Lutheran Church, Pastor Kirk Bridgers and his son, Bill, flew to the Holy Land to walk where Jesus walked. The trip lasted roughly two months. They took many photos of the things they saw and did and gave several presentations about their trip. In July, 2009 Pastor delivered a Sunday service from the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Palestine. That service was sent live via the Internet into the Sanctuary of Peachtree Road Lutheran Church - Atlanta.

 

 

2011 - Small, but Spirited, We Continue Moving Forward to Meet New Challenges Ahead
Today, our congregation is smaller consisting of a group of older, retired adults and a growing number young families and dedicated professionals. Our primary outreach mission continues to be the Peachtree Road Lutheran Preschool, which has been accredited by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) SACS Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Bright from the Start. In January we were visited by Elizabeth Fritz Deal, the daughter of Rev. Charles Fritz, Founding Pastor of this Congregation in 1949. She recounted stories of early days worshiping in the bar over the old Roxy Theater in the heart of Buckhead. As her fingers scrolled through the names on our Charter Member Plaque, she recounted many pleasant and inspiring stories.

All of these experiences remind us that we are all part of God's mighty works. We are people who by God's grace, are empowered to be inspirational, impactful and engaging with others in ways that matter far beyond our lifetime or our ability to comprehend. We are called to be faithful where we are. We realize that God is substantially at work in the places that we least expect to see the miraculous. It's in the ordinary living and doing of the love of Jesus Christ, it's in the openness to His word in obedience to His will that we are embodiment of the Living Christ who is the same at Worms, Wittenberg, or at Peachtree Road. This is the place where we are called to allow His presence to live through us.

2014- Pastor Bridgers celebrated 30 years of service with Peachtree Road Lutheran Church

 

 
Peachtree Road Lutheran Church  •  3686 Peachtree Road NE    Atlanta, Georgia 30319