Press Release Regarding Open & Affirming Decision

March 19, 2015 by Buddy Ray


Johns Creek Christian Church Announces Official Status as Open and Affirming Congregation

Johns Creek, Ga – March 18, 2015 – Johns Creek Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) announced today its status as an ‘Open and Affirming Congregation,’ where community members will be welcome regardless of race/ethnicity, national origin, age, economic or marital status, physical or mental situation, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Johns Creek Christian Church is the first congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Georgia to make this commitment.

The formal designation was adopted by congregational vote on Sunday, March 15, and passed with 100 percent congregational approval.

“The decision to formally and publicly welcome all is a reflection of who we are as a church family and our congregation’s commitment to serving the community in which we live,” said Rev. Dr. Richard Voelz, Senior Minister, Johns Creek Christian Church. “Through this process, our church is expressing our belief that all persons are entitled to be treated with decency and respect – truly equals – because we are all made by God and loved by God. We want to extend the message that no one needs to be afraid of judgment or exclusion from our church because of who they are. This decision extends a covenant to our community; we pledge to be a safe place for all people. As we often say, ‘No matter where you are and no matter where you have been on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here.’”

Sue Knight, facilitator of the church’s Inclusive Church Team, said, “We have prayed, studied God's Word and prepared for this official Open and Affirming status. It was very rewarding to have a unanimous vote that clearly affirms that Johns Creek Christian Church seeks to share God's love by reaching out to those who have known the pain of exclusion or discrimination in society and the church. We affirm the faith, baptism and spiritual gifts of all Christians regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. When we say all are welcome, all really does mean ALL.”

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About Johns Creek Christian Church

Johns Creek Christian Church is a unique community of faith that is also a part of a larger communion around the world known as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). We envision Johns Creek Christian Church as a Christ-centered community of faith that seeks to engage the larger community. We embrace diversity and inclusiveness by reaching out in love to all we meet. Our Ministry teams such as Community Outreach, Children & Youth and Worship seek to serve our mission of "leading all people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ," and our preschool serves families throughout Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Suwanee and Duluth.  For additional information, call 770-418-1101 or visit