Our Story

We Welcome All

North Decatur Presbyterian Church is a Christian community that worships, learns, and serves together. We sing, read Scripture, and laugh. Children play, theological mysteries are explored, families grow in faith, activism is encouraged, and God’s love is made visible in our relationships. Most of all, our church is a place of inclusion. We welcome all. Those three words greet passersby as they whiz by on Scott Boulevard, and they capture the essence of North Decatur Presbyterian Church. Those words are the ethos of a church that has been at the forefront of social action, outreach, and community service since we opened our doors more than 60 years ago. The words echo Christ’s message that we are all God’s children. Everyone is welcome here.

A Progressive Theology

Our congregation was founded in living rooms in the 1950s, when the Medlock neighborhood was being established as Atlanta’s new “suburban frontier.” NDPC’s founding members were “dreamers” and “activists,” and the church was ecumenical and open to joint services and fellowship within and outside the immediate community. The church’s first pastor signed Atlanta’s Ministers Manifesto, advocating for racial integration.

North Decatur Presbyterian Church has cultivated an inclusive and progressive Christian theology, with members taking active roles in the civil rights movement, feminism, the antiwar and anti-nuclear movements, environmental awareness, and full equality for the LGBTQ community. Our willingness to promote social change is rooted in a theological vision of a liberating God.

A Spirit of Service

Serving others and living in solidarity with our neighbors is essential to NDPC’s identity. Shared worship with local African-American churches in the 1960s led to an integrated Bible School program, and the start of Manna in the 70s laid the groundwork for hunger assistance services that evolved into a Meals on Wheels program. The church’s involvement with low-income families in Scottdale in the 70s led to the opening of a preschool enrichment center and a kindergarten program. The church helped give birth to Our House, a daycare center for homeless families, and the Initiative for Affordable Housing. Church members participated in marches and letter campaigns to Washington, lending their voices to the cries for civil rights and an end to wars in Vietnam and the Middle East; we continue to advocate at the Georgia statehouse for increased access to healthcare and affordable housing. Members have served as missionaries in Asia, South America, and Africa, and the church has current mutual relationships with sisters and brothers in the faith in Guatemala, Madagascar, and Haiti.

A Community of Love

Compassion and commitment to the world around us is matched by our dedication and devotion to one another. When our own hearts, minds, and bodies are nourished, service to the greater community is possible. There is a symbiosis between the two; the love and support that is developed within the congregation helps galvanize members seeking to do good works for others, and it is through these selfless deeds that the family at North Decatur Presbyterian Church is able to better understand Christ’s message and live as servants dedicated to the glory of God.

The communal spirit of the church is found in they many ways our members share life with one another: potluck dinners, book clubs, an active community of senior adults, caregiving support groups, a joyful and participatory music program, spiritual retreats, and a dynamic Christian education program where adults and children act as both teachers and learners. Youth groups flourish, with youth involved in mission work, confirmation classes, conferences, and leadership of worship. Every NDPC member is grouped into a neighborhood parish, where we share meals and life’s milestones, foster a sense of belonging, and reaffirm the commitment to care for one another as family.

NDPC Vision Poem

God gathered a community of the faithful
From the neighborhood
And planted a church at the intersection of life and faith.
Inspired by the worship of God,
Rooted in Christian Education,
Shaped by reaching out in ministry and mission,
We followed God’s lead to form a church

− a Sanctuary where we praise God in wonder, awe and love,
− a home where we are nurtured by the word,
− a haven where music lifts our souls and renews our spirits,
− a safe space for all God’s children to learn, to question and to grow
− a place to rest, to be comforted, and to celebrate
− a community striving to discern and respond to God’s call for our lives.

God calls us

− to welcome all who would join our journey of faith and service,
− to keep the promises we make at baptism,
− to share our blessings in joyful communion,
− to reach out to those among us and to those we do not know,
− to be unafraid to go to risky places in love, with hope,
− to witness to the love of Christ by serving our neighbors in need,
− to work for justice and be peacemakers in a chaotic world.

God is calling us to new places in faith and mission,
And to ministries not yet imagined.

We seek to follow Jesus Christ, Empowered by the Holy Spirit,
Emboldened by the love of God.