Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium

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Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward and "Church" bar

Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium, or simply Church, is a bar on Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward of Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States.[1][2][3] It is owned by Grant Henry, an American former divinity student, artist and businessman best known for his artwork and installations created under the auspice of his alter ego "Sister Louisa".


In 2001, Henry opened an Atlanta gallery on St. Charles Ave. in Atlanta called Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room; Come on in, Precious.[4] The gallery closed after six months. At the time, Henry was bartending at a bar called The Local. He was voted "Best Bartender" in the city for 2006 and 2007 by the readership of Atlanta's alternative publication, Creative Loafing.[5]

In 2010, Henry opened Church. The New York Times described the bar by writing, "Opened in December 2010 by Grant Henry, a former divinity school student, this bar plays with, and spoofs, church culture. Karaoke is performed in choir robes, and walls are decorated with faux-religious pop art."[6]

Hate-Crime Controversy[edit]

In June 2011, The owner of Sister Louisa's Church Grant Henry was quoted in the media claiming the police had said his bar had been targeted by a hate crime, which caused a public outpouring of support and a surge in business at the bar.[7] Henry's statements were in relation to a break in at his establishment, but the Atlanta Police Department assured there was no indication of bias crime in the break in.[8] Later in a blog post, Atlanta humor columnist Hollis Gillespie recalled that Grant Henry had told her he'd known from his surveillance video that the vandalism was caused by a homeless person Henry had once threatened away from his establishment with a baseball bat.[9] Henry faced criticism for possible profiteering from claiming to be the victim of a hate crime.

Murder at Sister Louisa's Church[edit]

In November 2016, a bar patron named Mitchell Norman, Jr., a father of three, was shot and murdered on the front steps of Grant Henry's Church Bar.[10] Another customer was shot and wounded in the attack. Two suspects have been arrested, and the homicide is still under investigation.[11]

Grant Henry (rear center) and his parade float "Child Traffic King"

Child Trafficking Controversy[edit]

In 2009, at the Little Five Points Parade, Grant Henry angered residents of Inman Park, Atlanta, by entering a parade float that consisted of a white-paneled van with the words "Child Traffic King" displayed on each side of the van in large orange lettering.[12] Henry and three others marched alongside the van while wearing what appeared to be trench coats with nothing underneath. Henry wrote on the Sister Louisa's bar site about the incident: "So, we got a white perv van, duct-taped words on the side . . . we dressed pant-less in perv trench coats, with black socks and dress shoes and we passed out candy to the children." [13]


  1. ^ "Discovery: Sister Louisa's Church: The unorthodox Church of Grant Henry", Atlanta magazine, Christiane Lauterbach, 2011-04-01 Archived 2014-08-20 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Church Bar", Frommer's
  3. ^ "Sister Louisa's Church keeps getting famouser and famous", Gwynedd Stuart, Creative Loafing, 2011-12-07
  4. ^ Gillespie, Hollis (2001-08-01). "The search for meaning: It's all in how you look at it". Creative Loafing (Atlanta). Retrieved 2013-04-05.
  5. ^ "Best of Atlanta 2007 - After Dark: Best Bartender". Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  6. ^ "Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping-Pong Emporium". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  7. ^ "Sister Louisa's Church Rises Again After Hate Crime".
  8. ^ "No Indication of Bias Crime at Church Break In".
  9. ^ "I am the Scorpion on the Frog's Back, But Remember, Sometimes the Frog is an Ass and Needs to be Stung". Archived from the original on 2016-09-24.
  10. ^ "Atlanta Man Killed Woman Injured in Shooting Outside Popular Atlanta Bar".
  11. ^ "Police Arrest Suspect in Fatal Edgewood Avenue Shooting".
  12. ^ "But the parade float turned out to be a rape van with the words, "Child Traffic KING" written along the side". Retrieved 2017-08-04.
  13. ^ "Child Traffic King".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°45′16″N 84°22′20″W / 33.7544°N 84.3723°W / 33.7544; -84.3723