Peachtree Presbyterian Church
|Peachtree Presbyterian Church|
|Denomination||Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)|
|Senior pastor(s)||Victor D. Pentz|
Peachtree began as a Sunday school for children in Atlanta founded in 1910. The church itself was chartered on 3 November 1919. The original church was a gray granite building built in 1926 at the corner of Peachtree Road and Mathieson Drive. The congregation grew steadily, and moved to its present location at 3434 Roswell Road in the Buckhead area of Atlanta in May 1960, where the church campus now covers 26 acres (110,000 m2). In September 1999 the church opened a large, modern recreation center which includes two basketball courts. The Gym at Peachtree offers a range of fitness and recreational programs, which the church sees as an integral part of the ministry.
By 1992 the church had the largest Presbyterian congregation in the USA. The senior pastor at the time, Rev. W. Frank Harrington, grew the church from fewer than 3,000 members in 1971 to more than 11,000 at the time of his death in 1999. In 1992, Rev. Harrington was runner-up in the election for moderator of the then-2.9-million member denomination. The Senior Pastor since 2000 has been Dr. Victor D. Pentz. Pentz, who comes from Southern California, has had varied experience before joining Peachtree including a chaplaincy to the crew of three Space Shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral, running an evangelistic beach ministry to Southern California surfers and speaking at conferences around the world.
Pentz and Peachtree are considered conservatives within the theological spectrum of the PC(USA); Pentz and several other leaders of evangelical PC(USA) churches have proposed setting up alternate structures for conservative congregations if a proposed amendment to the denomination's Book of Order passes permitting homosexual ordination.
In 2012, Peachtree initiated an annual antique car show to raise awareness and funds for a life insurance program benefitting members of the Atlanta police department. The program, which began in 2005 following the death of APD Officer Mark Cross, funds the gift of a $100,000 life insurance policy to every officer of the Atlanta police department. The policy covers both on-duty officers, and those working a second job in their capacity as a police officer.
According to the 2012 PC(USA) statistics the Peachtree Congregation has 6,940 members, a net loss of 1,735 members from 2011.
Over three Septembers from 2010-2012, members raised funds to buy the ingredients for more than one million meals for starving children, at 19 cents a meal, which they prepared and packed for delivery to Haiti.
- "About Peachtree". Peachtree Presbyterian Church. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- "Houses of Worship in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia". buckhead.net. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- "Peachtree Presbyterian opens recreation center". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. September 23, 1999. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- "Mission Statement". The Gym at Peachtree. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- "W. F. Harrington, 63, Minister At Atlanta's Peachtree Church". The New York Times. 1999-03-08.
- "Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) elects Fife moderator". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. June 3, 1992. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- "The Rev. Dr. Victor D. Pentz". Day 1. The Alliance for Christian Media. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- "About the Fellowship of Presbyterians".
- "2nd "Cool Cars for Christ in Buckhead" Car Show".
- "Atlanta Police Gift".
- Jon Shirek (9/11/2010). "Atlanta Church Prepares 325,000 Meals for Starving Children". WXIA-TV Atlanta, Pacific and Southern Company. Retrieved 2010-09-17.