800 Joseph E. Boone Blvd
Atlanta, GA 30314
9:00AM Sunday School
3:00PM Evening Worship
Wednesday Prayer and Study 7:00PM
In the year of our Lord 1931, on a hot, sunny day, the eleventh of August, the Simpson Street Church of Christ was established under a tent on the corner of Newport and Simpson Streets, a place commonly known as the “mud hole.”
White brethren from the West End and Seminole churches (which subsequently came together to become the Druid Hills Church of Christ), were instrumental in establishing this church, Atlanta’s first Black Church of Christ. They summoned Marshall Keeble, the well-known evangelist from Nashville, Tennessee. Bro. Keeble came to Atlanta and was accompanied by song leader, Luke Miller, and John Vaughner, who was also a minister. All of these brothers travelled the west side of Atlanta in search of a place to hold a gospel meeting. They eventually found a site and a tent was erected at the location where the church now stands.
At the end of the month-long meeting, 166 people were baptized, including at least 42 people who obeyed the gospel on the first night of the meeting. After that time, candidates for baptism went to the Butler Street YMCA until a meeting house with a baptismal pool was built.
To support the construction of the church building, some of the white brethren mortgaged their homes and the women of the new church pledged to give money and provide meals to the brothers who worked to erect the building. There were many unemployed brothers at the West End, Seminole, and Simpson Street churches during the difficult years of the Depression. Both black and white men furnished free labor to support the new congregation.
The West End church elders and members labored with the new congregation during its early years. From the congregation, men were appointed to lead the work. Those men were Joe Comer, T.W. Edwards, Alonzo Freeman, T.J. Love, Ras Norwood, John Walker and James Williams.
In the first decade of the Simpson Street church, the ministers were: Luke Miller, Sutton Johnson, O.L. Akers, Russell Moore, A.C. Holt and Alonzo Rose. Men who served the church as deacons during this time were, J.H. Booker and J.C. Collins. The elders were William Kinney, Major Wright, and Homer Green.
In the second decade, during the year of our Lord 1941, there was much excitement in the air at Simpson Street. There was numerical growth, spiritual development, and several changes to the physical structure. Excited about doing the will of the Father, the people had a mind to work, and work they did! The church building was raised from a flat structure to a building with a full basement. A foyer was added and the church had a new prominence in the neighborhood when the brick exterior was completed. Stained glass windows enhanced the new structure. These windows were donated to the church by several families, committees and other groups.
Ministers serving during the second decade were A.C. Holt and Alonzo Rose, who spearheaded a mission work in Bremen, Georgia. Richard Cooper filled the assistant minister post.
In the third decade, during the year of our Lord 1951, Simpson Street was in transition as a new minister continued programs of the past and prepared for new endeavors. Two mission works were started during this decade. The first mission work of the church was located about thirty miles outside of Atlanta, and was begun with personal evangelism and tent meetings. The Newnan Church of Christ was a much appreciated blessing from the Lord.
With the need for expansion, the Simpson Street church purchased a tract of land in the Thomasville community of Atlanta. At this time the area was a small, underdeveloped community with few houses and unpaved, muddy streets. Tent meetings were held on this land, which was established as the home of the second mission work, and became known as the Turner Road Church of Christ (now known as the Bouldercrest Church of Christ). Bretheren donated much of the labor to the construction of a building on this property. 50 volunteer members from the Simpson Street church moved their membership to form the new congregation. This congregation was self-supporting from the beginning with a watchful eye maintained by the leadership of Simpson Street.
Ministers serving during the third decade of Simpson Street were Alonzo Rose and Arthur Perkins, who directed the expansion of the Lord's church and lead the mission work.
In the fourth decade, at the beginning of the year of our Lord 1961, the Simpson Street congregation had been without a permanent minister for quite some time until the vacancy in the pulpit was filled in December. The arrival of a new minister, Andrew J. Hairston, signaled the beginning of spiritual renewal and proved to be a turning point in the history of the fellowship.
During Bro. Hairston's leadership the church worked feverishly to chart its way financially toward new construction at the 800 Simpson Street site. On August 21, 2005 the church held its groundbreaking ceremony - a historic moment of unspeakable joy for this body of Christians.
On Sunday, July 13, 2008, the congregation marched from its original home at 810 Simpson Street (now renamed Joseph E. Boone Blvd.) across Newport Street and entered its architecturally and technologically advanced new home at 800 Joseph E. Boone Blvd.
Surely the most dramatic undertaking for the church in this decade, beyond construction and occupancy of the new edifice, was the one-mind spirit commitment between leadership and membership.
In this last decade, elders who served until their passing were Albert Woods (2004) and Jesse White (2008). Present elders are Tyree Bernard, Gilford Harris, and Foye Lee Hollingsworth. William McNease continued to serve as a deacon until his passing 2004. Present deacons are Willie Hollingsworth, Sr., Kenneth Rucker, Sr., Charlie Simmons, Roosevelt Stripling, Charles Warrior, Sr., and Walter Woods. In December 2011, Simpson Street will honor Dr. Andrew J. Hairston, God's man, for serving as its tirelessly pioneering minister during five of the eight decades of the church's existence.