On Sunday, after 66 years serving parishioners on Lawrenceville Highway, Rehoboth Presbyterian Church closed the doors to its sizable campus near Tucker, apparently a victim of changing social mores and a divided congregation.
The church recently voted to allow gay marriages to be performed there, following last year’s Supreme Court decision, and many influential members left, according to a GoFundMe page intended to help rescue Rehoboth.
This challenge was aggravated by the church’s financial difficulties, as it faced $160,000 in repairs, according to the same page.
Former member Gayle White described the church as “the village that raised my children.” She returned to the church for Sunday’s service to see old friends. She said that though there were tears, it was also, a “celebration of the relationships over the years… The passing of the peace lasted forever with everybody hugging and reconnecting.”
White said Rev. A.J. Mealor, who also grew up in the church, was among several pastors participating in the service, and he was choked up briefly as he listed names of those members who had joined “the communion of saints.”
The church was formed by members of Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, who purchased a parcel of land on Lawrenceville Highway in 1950, according to the church’s website. The complex eventually expanded to include six buildings, ball fields and other facilities.