“‘I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt…They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’” – Ezekiel 36:33b-36
The Lord has blessed The Parish with an incredible opportunity for the future. If the Lord wills, some time this winter we will open the doors of our new Shiloh location. This historic church building is over 150 years old, making it one of the oldest churches in the metro Atlanta area. We are also working to partner with local ministries to use this property as a place of worship, refuge, and peace.
Continue below to learn more about this church property, view photos of the historic grounds, and learn how you can pray for this transition in the days ahead.
The Shiloh United Methodist sanctuary was built in 1866-67 and dedicated in 1868, making it one of the oldest houses of worship in the Atlanta Metro area. The education wing was added in the 1940s, and the parsonage house was built in the 1960s. Shiloh UMC worshipped in this building for almost 150 years, and in 2013 chose to unite with Midway United Methodist Church. Since that time, the building has been used by No Longer Bound, a local men’s recovery program, to help graduates find a peaceful place to live and transition into their future lives.
The church sits on 3.4 peacefully wooded acres, and is a potential site for future expansion as the Lord wills! The street address is:
4930 Shiloh Road | Cumming, GA 30040
We began searching for a new location in the fall of 2015, and started by searching within one mile of our Alpharetta location. The list started with over 50 potential options, but quickly worked down to only 4 viable properties. In March of 2016, after selecting one property and working with an architect to lay out a future plan, we learned that the zoning restrictions would not allow us to move forward.
In May of 2016 we renewed the search, calling every potential space we could find from exit 8 to exit 12, and calling the church to pray for an answer. We found another potential option in Roswell, but after significant prayer and negotiations we sensed it was not the right location and another church took the lease. Later that month, we found a property in northern Alpharetta, just across the Forsyth County Line. Although the property seemed perfect, the Fire Marshall would not allow us to occupy the space. We contacted engineers and experts to help in the process, but in the end found it was far too expensive to comply with building codes.
Discouraged and frustrated, we decided to stop searching during the month of July, while the church took a “Summer Sabbath.” Instead, we shifted our focus toward staying in our current space for another year, and made plans accordingly. As it turns out, God had other plans…
On July 18, I (Eddie) received a call from a real estate agent my father had reached out to months earlier. He told me about a property that had just come on the market off of exit 12. I called about the property, and we were too late. It was already under contract. Still, I went to view the property in case something were to fall through, and I was totally stunned. The building was one of the most historic houses of worship in Atlanta, yet it was beautifully maintained and carried the sense of a legacy of worship. The classrooms and sanctuary were large enough to use immediately, and the property was large enough to grow in the future. Lastly, the price was so reasonable that we might be able to purchase the entire property and pay less than half each month of what we had anticipated paying in rent.
People who we shared the idea with knew exactly what church it was (the building is an iconic landmark in the area). Several remarked that they had thought or prayed that we might be able to purchase this exact building. God was seemingly up to something, but still the doors were closed.
We said a prayer and put in a tentative offer, and heard nothing for three weeks. Then, suddenly we learned that the original contract had fallen through and the building had become available once again. We contacted a bank and were able to obtain the necessary financing in less than 48 hours, more than a minor miracle! We put in our final offer, and waited to hear the decision. After considering 3 or 4 other offers, more than likely from developers who intended to bulldoze the church and build new homes, the seller selected our offer and we went under contract to purchase the property.
All along the way, the Lord has confirmed this move in ways we couldn’t have dreamed. He has spoken through several people at The Parish, who gave us specific encouraging words that led to this decision. He has spoken through family members and out-of-town guests, through Fire Marshals and engineers. Most powerfully, before this process began the Lord drew us to Ezekiel 36, and the promise that God would “rebuild ruins” in the days to come. Little did we know that he intended to place us in the midst of an historic church, where generations have worshipped His Name through the last two centuries, and that He would fill it once again with laughter and praise, as a new generation calls this church “home.”
What’s next? We are still inspecting the property and getting prepared to close. Please pray with us that there are no major defects or costly repairs, and that the closing goes quickly and smoothly.
When can we move in? Our hope is to have the building renovated and ready for services before the end of the year, so that we can observe the Advent season together in this new place.
How will we pay for it? Thankfully, the Lord has provided us with enough funding to begin the process. Our hope, however, is to raise enough funds to pay for the building in its entirety within the first three years. This would allow us to remain flexible and prepared for whatever God brings next.
Are you (Eddie and Danielle) going to live in that house? No… that’s not going to happen! In fact, we hope to continue partnering with No Longer Bound in the days ahead and allow them to use the house in their recovery program.
What can we do? Pray like crazy. Consider how the Lord might call you to give toward this project. And spread the word…something new is about to begin on Shiloh Road.
We are in the final stages of purchasing this property, so we ask that you join us in speaking this simple prayer over the rest of this process, and over this future home:
Almighty God, we are amazed by Your provision. We pray that You would cover this land with Your peaceful presence, that these halls would once again be filled with prayer and song, that these doors would be open to all, and that You would use this place to restore lives in the love of Jesus. Dear Father, please give us the grace to receive what You desire, the wisdom to discern Your will, and the faith to walk boldly into the unknown. Amen.
- If you have any questions about the Shiloh Road property, please feel free to reach out via our web page.
- To stay updated with all that’s happening at The Parish, text the word “Parish” to 31996.
- If you would like to contribute to this new chapter of our journey, visit our giving page, and please include “Shiloh” in the notes/memo area.