The House of Hope Atlanta, located at 4650 Flat Shoals Parkway in Decatur, Ga., is ministering to five generations under the leadership of our senior pastor/teacher Dr. E. Dewey Smith, Jr. The ministry offers hope to those desiring a respite from the trials and tribulations of life and guidance to those earnestly seeking a relationship with Jesus Christ. The church welcomes those in metro Atlanta and beyond to worship God, to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others and to execute the business of the Kingdom with excellence.
The House of Hope Atlanta had its beginnings in a little house that was used as a rest house during the Civil War. Under the leadership of the first pastor, Rev. Sam Stinson, The House of Hope Atlanta was formed by a Sunday school and prayer meeting group. Rev. William Tillman (Father Tillman), pastor of Wheat Street Baptist Church, organized the church in May 1876.
In 1920, the church building was destroyed by fire. Reverend T. T. Gholston led an effort to purchae land for a new building and in 1923, a house of worship was erected at 119 Mason Avenue N.E. in Atlanta, Ga. Eleven years later, in 1934, the church was rebuilt under the leadership of Reverend J. W. Tate. The core of our history lies in the Edgewood Community, for it was there on Mayson Avenue that the church stood for many years. Some of our noted pastors include Rev. T. T. Gholston, Dr. Martin L. King Sr., Dr. Sandy F. Ray, Dr. J. W. Tate and Reverend Hubert Floyd Shepherd.
Reverend H. F. Shepherd was extended the call to pastor the church in October 1957. In December of that same year, Rev. Shepherd married Ivory Collins, and they began almost 50 years of service to the church. The church’s membership flourished in the Edgewood Community so much so that in December 1973 the ministry moved to 2589 Tilson Road in Decatur, Ga. The church continued to grow and in March 1994 a ground-breaking service was held to mark the start of construction on a new building. Two years later, in September 1996, a new 2,200-seat sanctuary and building was dedicated at 2600 Whites Mill East (later renamed H. F. Shepherd Drive) in Decatur, Ga.
On March 26, 2003, Rev. H. F. Shepherd retired as pastor. In November 2003, God sent a Spirit-filled man in the person of Dr. E. Dewey Smith, Jr., and on December 21, 2003, he was installed as the 22nd pastor of the church. Pastor and Mrs. Smith, along with Kamari Elijah and Kylen Isaiah, are a blessing to The House of Hope Atlanta family. Under Dr. Smith’s leadership, the church has grown phenomenally in membership, attendance and finances. Additionally, a myriad of capital improvements and enhancements have been made. By Dr. Smith’s fifth year as pastor, the membership had quadrupled and now surpasses 11,000. In 2009, the ministry purchased and relocated to a new campus. Located on 60 acres of land, the property has more than 300,000 square feet of space, seven buildings and features a 7,000-seat neo-Gothic cathedral. With this acquisition, the church is well-positioned for expansion and Kingdom-building opportunities.