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It was an emotional morning at Atlanta’s oldest African-American church.

After more than 150 years, Friendship Baptist held its final service before moving to make way for the stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.

For a full century…and half of another… these walls have listened and watched. They’ve witnessed church members comforting of those in need.

On this Sunday, there were three times the number of people who typically flock to this historic building – here to see one last baptism, one final sermon before these walls come down.

The legacy stretches back to 1862, in a building that gave birth to Spellman College. The first classes were held in the church basement. Rev. William Guy was pastor here for thirty-seven years.

Some long time church members have struggled with the idea of abandoning history to make room for a new stadium.

The church has already found a temporary home while members negotiate for a permanent place to rebuild. The church bells and stained glass from this historic building will be used for the new Friendship Baptist.


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