Rev. Dr. James A. Milner
Rev. Hoyt Jackson
The Chapel of Christian Love Missionary Baptist Church was organized in March of 1976, under the leadership of Reverend J. Allen Milner, Sr. On the organizing evening, five members joined this new undertaking that was small yet had potential for greatness. The original five members were: Ms. Bertha Vance, who is now Bertha Vance-Gibbs, a member in good standing of the church’s Mother’s Board; Mother Janie Baldwin, who is also a member of the Mother’s Board and holds the distinguished title of the church’s most senior member-both in age and membership; Mr. Henry Owens; the late Mrs. Rachel Hood; and the late Ms. Ann Thompson.
That year, the Pastor along with his five members rented the P.J. Woods Center for the Blind as the Chapel’s place of worship. Worship service was held at the P.J. Woods Center for the Blind until December 19, 1977, the Pastor along with 55 new members who joined that year, bought the church site located at 3445 M. L. King Jr. Drive. A special service was held that afternoon in December with the home church of Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church assisting in leading us in praise and thanksgiving for our permanent new home. In October 1992, the church caravanned from M.L. King Jr. Drive to our present location at 875 Cascade Avenue.
1982 was a monumental year for both the Chapel and the members of the greater Atlanta Community. God entrusted us with a new and challenging ministry to those who are less fortunate than most. The birth of the Chapel of Christian Love Feeding Ministry was born on Thanksgiving Day 1982 shortly after the church was burglarized with the person getting away with among other things a can of sardines and crackers put there for the Pastor’s illustration in a sermon. Reverend Milner’s heart was so pricked to know that there are people whose level of deprivation is so low that they are willing to break into a church for a can of sardines and crackers.
It was that year in 1982 that God gave Reverend Milner the vision for the Feeding Ministry that was spearheaded by Reverend Milner, the late Mother Katie Holland, the late Mother Floretta Hill, Mother Mildred Milner and Mother Viola Tyler. The new Feeding Ministry operated out of the church kitchen for preparation and storing of food.
The church began its outreach to the broader community with the radio broadcast of teaching the international Sunday school lesson in 1978 on station WYZE. This effort was initiated by the late Deacon Robert Owens of Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church. The church expanded its diversity in leadership among the Deacons by ordaining its first woman Deacon-Ms. Katie Ross in January 1997 and Ms. Betty Banks in 2000. The Reverend Josephine Smith was the first woman to be ordained in 1983. Our Pastoral staff is comprised of the Senior Pastor, Assistant Pastor and 15 Associate Pastors. The broader community outreach is also evident at Odyssey III.
Odyssey III is one of the major projects of Community Concerns, Inc. Other programs include Odyssey Oasis and Odyssey Villas, as well as scattered site housing provided by the church.
We are especially proud of those persons working with the youth of our church through the various mentoring programs and scholarship funds.
Thank you for your interest in our ministry. I cordially invite you to visit our church. We are excited to have visitors come into the midst. We are a church that place special emphasis on the dictates of the book of Matthew, chapter 25 and verses 31-46. We also try to intentionally live out the true meaning of the name of our church. So do come and experience first-hand the essence of Christian Love. Thank you again and do listen to the sermon currently in this site.
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