A common misconception about this highly in uential city is that there is no need for new churches, but this could not be further from the truth. Though there may seem to be a church on every corner, the truth is there is little gospel presence. It is estimated that 92% of one million people living inside the I-285 perimeter (the urban core) have no inclination toward church. The city of Atlanta is a juxtaposition of wealth and success set alongside violence, drugs, human trafficking, and poverty. Specifically, the east Atlanta area has been historically known as a dangerous and undesirable area. In recent years, this area has seen a wave of new life and is now one of the most up and coming areas of Atlanta with young families and young professionals moving in by the droves. As it currently stands, east Atlanta has “everything” anyone could desire, except a strong church presence. Those moving into this area have a deep desire for community but have never experienced the true community of the family of God.
Christian and Kimmie White
Christian was born in Fulton County and raised in Hampton, Georgia. As a proud Georgia native, he grew up loving the Atlanta Braves, Falcons, and going to Georgia Tech baseball games as a kid. Christian and his beautiful wife, Kimmie, have an interesting story. Knowing each other in high school, Kimmie played a major role in bringing Christian to faith in Christ. Just a few months into his new faith, Christian convinced Kimmie to go on a date with him. Exactly four years later to the day, they became married - that was 2010! Christian and Kimmie have two incredible girls together, Charlieanne and Madeline. Christian loves being with people, especially his family.
Why Glenwood Park?
With intentions to land in a Western city, Christian and Kimmie half-
heartedly visited urban Atlanta in March 2015. They have
not been the same since. The Lord has put on their heart’s
an unmistakable desire and a clear vision to plant Parkside
Church in the up and coming area of East Atlanta. With
a heart to reach the neighborhoods and communities of
East Atlanta, it become clear that the most strategic
way in which to do that would be to move their family to
Glenwood Park, and to see the church planted there. Glenwood Park is considered to be one of the top three most strategic areas of all of metro Atlanta.
Historically, East Atlanta was a tough part of town. Facing the difficulties of urbanization, most churches fled the area for suburban destinations outside of the perimeter. In the last several years, however, East Atlanta has experienced a major revitalization. It is now considered an “up-and-coming” area and premiere choice for young families and business professionals, but the church is still sorely missing.
In a 5-mile radius from Glenwood Park, there are nearly 325,000 people and hardly a single church. All people are important and need the gospel, but research also indicates that many of the young “millennials” in this area (nearly 40% of the total population) will turn out to be the future leaders and influencers of Atlanta. This research is only confirmed when looking at the affluence present, along with the proximity to the capital and to downtown.
As an additional layer, Glenwood Park has proved to be the hub area and destination of choice for many of East Atlanta. The Whites believe that if they plant Parkside Church there, they will be able to have a much wider reach and stronger pull to the residents of the East Atlanta neighborhoods.