Holy Cross Episcopal Church at 2005 S. Columbia Place, Decatur, is celebrating its 65th anniversary with a series of events, most of them free, open to the public to showcase what has become one of the most multicultural and multinational congregations in South DeKalb.
Founded June 20, 1954, as a mission of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Decatur, the parish has evolved with the changes in the area, but is still marked by a unique campus with a modern octagonal sanctuary with an altar in the center and a cross that is suspended from the high ceiling above. The sun pouring through the sky light above creates a worship space that can carry an emotional impact. An addition for Christian Education and administrative offices was completed within the last decade. Two years ago, the campus was used for the filming of “Boy Erased“ based on the book of the same name starring Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman.
“Holy Cross has a unique congregation within the Episcopal church in Atlanta,” said the Rev. Dennis Patterson, its pastor. “At any given worship service, you will hear the accents of the American South and New York as well as those of the Caribbean and several African nations. We have counted as many as twenty-one nations in the origins of our parishioners, a diversity that probably accounts for the welcoming nature that our visitors often comment on.” South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, worshipped regularly at Holy Cross several years ago when he lived in Atlanta while teaching at Emory University.
The church has been home to a community food bank which it has operated for more than twenty years in collaboration with the Atlanta Food Community Bank. The most recent ministry, established by the congregation in the fall of 2017, is a mentoring program for primary school aged children.
The following is a schedule of anniversary events for June: Community Bingo at 7:00PM on June 21, 2019 which will be a free event and a Gospel Concert at 7:00 PM on June 22. The weekend will end with a worship service at 9:30 AM on Sunday, June 23. The Right Reverend Phoebe Roaf, Bishop of the Diocese of West Tennessee will be the guest preacher.