With an initial membership of 165 people, the church flourished under the pastoral leadership of Holt and his successors, who eventually raised enough funds to construct a small, white-frame church building on Sixth Street in 1921—the eponymous location for the new Sixth Street Church of God. Throughout the nineteen-year stay at Sixth Street (1921-1940), the thriving congregation shared God’s love with their city by ministering to local needs brought on by the Great Depression and by hosting a Sunday-afternoon radio broadcast from their building.
Once their facilities could no longer accommodate their growing membership, the church constructed a new building on Hemphill Avenue and relocated on September 8, 1940. The congregation subsequently changed their name a second time to the Hemphill Avenue Church of God. In the following years, the church’s ministry-reach expanded through both the increasing popularity of their radio broadcast and the eventual addition of a citywide television program, airing once a month on WSB-TV.
The growth trajectory begun half a century earlier only multiplied under the leadership of Dr. Paul and Carmelita Walker, who assumed the Hemphill pastorate in 1960. Because the Hemphill Avenue location felt increasingly cramped, they accepted an offer to sell the church property to Georgia Tech in 1967 and constructed a new 30,000 square foot church complex at the corner of Mount Paran Road and Northside Parkway—a move that prompted a final name change to Mount Paran Church of God. Once again, the loving and gospel-centered culture of the congregation led to a divine blessing of unprecedented increase, as the church gained 1,100 new members between 1967 and 1974 and eventually reached an average weekly attendance of 11,000 people in the 1980s.
Because their facility expansions could no longer keep up with increasing ministry needs, the Mount Paran Church sought to add an additional location in the Marietta area—a decision that ultimately resulted in the purchase and renovation of an older church property on Allgood Road and the opening of Mount Paran North in August 1987. The pioneering of “one church in two locations” led Mount Paran to open three other locations around the city over the next ten years, all of which became autonomous churches.
In 1997, Dr. Mark and Udella Walker became senior pastors of Mount Paran North after serving as associate pastors for five years and in their twenty-five year tenure, North became an autonomous church (1997) and witnessed new ministerial opportunities in advancing the gospel within the Marietta area and around the world through global missions. In 2011, the congregation once again obeyed the Spirit’s call to reach more local communities by establishing a new campus in Canton, GA, which has since matured into a stand-alone church.
In 2017, Dr. Kirk Walters, who had previously served as Missions and Administrative Pastor at North (2006-2011), and his wife Laura returned to serve as senior pastors of this century-old community. Together, they take their place in a long line of pastors who have diligently, humbly, and faithfully served this ministry and, by the Spirit’s leading, continue the loving and obedient tradition of this church body.
We believe that the greatest years of Mount Paran North’s ministry are yet to come! Join us as we take exciting new steps in helping people live a Christ-centered life.
Learn more about the church, its beliefs, vision, and community connection opportunities through a two-part Sunday morning class.
NorthLife is a great opportunity to discover your purpose and make a difference.
First Sunday of each month at 10:20am in Room 123
Leader David Lewis
“with a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever.”
— Psalm 136:12