A large congregation was on hand as Friendship Baptist Church held its last service today at its current site.
The 152-year-old church agreed last year to sell its Mitchell street facility for $19.5 million to make way for the new Atlanta Falcons stadium.
Change was mentioned repeatedly today by Pastor Emeritus the Rev. William Guy.
“Someone long ago said that the only thing that doesn’t change is change itself,” he said.
While he said there’s nothing wrong with being attached to a place or a building, “The church is more than the building. The church is the people.”
He also mentioned change in the church’s history related to the Falcons, such as when the congregation adjusted to the nearby Georgia Dome and moved up its services to avoid the football crowds.
“This change is different,” he said.
Until the church rebuilds in the Vine City community, Friendship will hold services on the Morehouse College campus, Channel 2 Action News reported.
Nearby Mount Vernon Baptist Church also agreed to sell for $14.5 million for the stadium project. It held its final service in March and the congregation relocated to its temporary home at Carver College on Cascade Road. The site at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Northside drives was cleared in April.
“We realize that the bulldozer will soon do its work as it has for our neighbor Mount Vernon Baptist Church across the street,” Guy said during his sermon.
He acknowledged the sadness that many people in the congregation feel, but said the final gathering at the current location was not a “pity party.”
“We’re here to worship God, to praise him,” he said.