Who We Are
Welcome! Glenn is a deeply rooted and growing congregation of Christians located on Emory University’s campus in the historic Druid Hills neighborhood of Atlanta. We are a multi-generational church with members ranging in age from 2 to 102. Through worship, service, education, and hospitality, we offer ministries that foster a sense of connectedness and belonging for all.
We are a Christian community committed to loving God and loving neighbor with our whole selves - heart, mind, soul, and strength. As Jesus loved those around him, we believe that all persons are of sacred worth and dignity as part of God’s creation. We welcome all persons into the full life and ministry of our congregation, regardless of race, culture, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, family or socioeconomic status, education, politics, physical or mental ability, or faith history.
As a United Methodist congregation, we trace our roots back to John Wesley, an Anglican priest in the Church of England in the 1700s. Societies of "Methodists"– so called because the members followed a daily routine of religious observance and social work – were formed, spreading to Ireland and then to America where it officially became its own denomination in 1784. Today United Methodist membership stands at nearly 11 million people worldwide.
For United Methodists, social consciousness has always gone hand in hand with faith. We believe, as Wesley put it, "that the world is our parish," and that “the gospel of Jesus Christ knows no holiness except social holiness.” We cherish an ecumenical tradition and work together with other Christian denominations as well as other religions.
On January 11, 1920, 57 people met to express their desire to become a Methodist congregation on the new Druid Hills campus of Emory University. The preacher that day was Bishop Warren A. Candler, brother of Asa G. Candler, the founder of the Coca-Cola Company. On February 15, 1920, the Emory University Methodist Church was formally organized.
The chapel in the university’s Candler School of Theology was the congregation’s first home. In 1930, a decision was made to build a beautiful new sanctuary on the campus. As plans unfolded, the members learned that the new building would be a memorial to the Rev. Wilbur Fisk Glenn, an Emory alumnus who for fifty years had been a Methodist minister and a leader of the church in the South.
On October 4, 1931, the congregation held its first service in the new building, Glenn Memorial. A university publication reported, "At last the campus and the community have a real church edifice in which to worship, and for a few years, at least, Emory will have an auditorium large enough to accommodate its graduation exercises, musical concerts, and lectures." More than 80 years later, Glenn and Emory still share this space, which has been the basis of a strong and ever-growing relationship.
The Church School Building was dedicated in 1940 and created a space for administrative offices, Sunday School rooms, and The Little Chapel. In 1963, the Youth Building on the other side of North Decatur Road was consecrated. Now called the Youth and Activities Building, the YAAB made it possible for the youth of Glenn and the surrounding neighborhoods to engage in community and social activities.
In October of 2014, Glenn held a Church Conference to vote on becoming a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network. The vote passed by 87%. It was quite obvious from the turnout of our membership for this important decision, and by the speakers who spoke both in favor and in opposition to the motion, that the life and ministry of Glenn is a central concern and commitment to every person gathered.
Glenn’s journey to reconciliation has been long, but marked with much dialogue, discovery, and in recent years, significant milestones. 2015 has revealed another such milestone: Glenn was awarded the Emory University Office of LGBTQ Life’s Outstanding Ally of the Year Award. At Emory’s 23rd annual Pride Awards on March 3, Glenn was recognized for its creation of an inclusive, respectful and safe climate for the Emory LGBTQ community. What an amazing acknowledgment of Glenn’s efforts to promote equality and understanding and yet another example of Emory and Glenn’s long standing and strong partnership.
Glenn is, has been and will continue to be a place of openness and welcome as we strive to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. May God guide us into the future as we seek to be a community of faith dedicated to loving God and loving neighbor.