Atlanta Westside is a neighborhood church formed in 2007. Some of what we do is unique, but at our heart is simple, historic Christianity—the good news of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus, worked out in us through the glorious mess of living together in a particular place.
Several passions converged in the small group of people who founded Atlanta Westside Church, but chief among them was the desire to offer faith in Jesus and a community of real relationships to the spiritually homeless of west Atlanta.
That’s why today we work to make the Sunday worship service a place where anyone can safely belong, even if he or she doesn’t yet believe. And it’s why we preach understandable sermons and constantly explain why we do what we do—like using time-tested Christian liturgies, celebrating the Lord’s Supper, and mixing old hymns with current praise music.
But most of our church’s work happens outside of the Sunday morning service, in the everyday tasks and relationships of life. We value organic, neighborhood-based ministry over lots of church programs. So in our minds, love for next-door neighbors, service to those in need, and dedication at work to glorify God and benefit others should define active members of Atlanta Westside Church.
Our church’s geographical focus directs much of what we do, too. We desire to be integrated in the Westside community. For our first nine and a half years, we worshiped in a rented, shared facility called the Defoor Centre. Having outgrown that space, we now meet at an elementary school in the heart of our parish, Boyd Elementary School. We’re not in a hurry to own our own building or become a large church where people could feel disconnected, although we are looking at a longer term situation that fits within our core values. For now, renting not only liberates us to give more generously to other ministries, but also channels our energy into planting new churches on the Westside.
We believe the good news about Jesus breaks down walls and unites unlikely people into a spiritual family. So, if you’re looking for a place where most people share your social, racial, or economic profile, you may tire of how much we talk about stretching toward those who aren’t like us.
Most important, we recognize that a church formed by the Gospel of Jesus is full of sinners who are in the process of being redeemed. That means our church is messy. But the knowledge of God’s love ought to also make us humble, patient with each other, constantly forgiving and asking forgiveness, and expecting to see God at work among us to heal and restore our broken lives and broken world.