About The Grove

Mission

To provide refuge and services to improve the well-being of all those in and connected with this church and the surrounding community. To be distinguished by our words and our deeds as “the church with helping hands”.

Vision

We will utilize all our resources to provide a Christ-centered setting where people in this community can be redeemed to a personal relationship with Christ, reconciled to God and his people, restored to wholeness, to well being, and revived for a full life involved in service to others. In this church you can be redeemed, reconciled, restored, and revived.

Our History

The Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church is unique because of its origin in the Deep South, the state of Georgia. The Deep South, where racism was the norm and being black meant you were second-class to the privileged white class. Piney Grove is further distinguished by being situated in the heart of the old Fourth Ward Community, a black community cultivated by its surroundings.

1914 | FOUNDED BY REV. N. J. JENKINS

The church was organized and founded in a three-room house at 101 Bell Street in northeast Atlanta. A small band of worshipers first met on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. Its distinct, initial location was nestled alongside great historical churches such as Wheat Street Baptist Church, Big Bethel A.M.E, and Ebenezer Baptist Church. Piney Grove catered to the underprivileged and blue-collar working class - establishing itself as a church that met the needs of a distressed area.

1916 | RESIGNATION OF REV. N. J. JENKINS

Just two years into his pastorate, Rev. N. J. Jenkins resigned as the first pastor of Piney Grove due to his failing health. However, Rev. Jenkins’ legacy was firmly planted and established the church as an organized agent of change that entered the decade of the “Roaring Twenties,” committed to doing God's will. Rev. J. D. Sims is appointed the new pastor. In 1916, Rev. J. D. Sims became the second pastor of Piney Grove. As the newly appointed pastor, Rev. Sims continued the role of a vital leader both in the church and within the community.

1917 | THE GREAT FIRE OF ATLANTA

In 1917, three years after its founding, the Fourth Ward community suffered one of the worst devastations the city had ever seen, the Great Fire of Atlanta. Thousands of Fourth Ward residents’ homes and personal property were destroyed, including some members of this newly formed church. Early on, Piney Grove had a strong sense of community outreach as it joined other churches and communities in helping to aid those dislocated by the fire.

1939 | MOVED FROM 101 BELL STREET TO 101 BOULEVARD

In 1939 the church moved from 101 Bell Street to 101 Boulevard. This move provided a larger facility, more stability among the congregation, and better resources with which to aid the membership and the surrounding community. Rev. Sims served faithfully from 1916-1941.

1941 | REV. A. R. BARNETTE APPOINTED PASTOR

Barnette is known for sustaining the church during a critical period in American history. He stabilized the church's well-being and tradition during the aftermath of the Great Depression, the impact of World War II, and the impending Civil Rights Movement. He helped define Piney Grove as a church capable of standing during challenging economic times, war, and social change.

1956 | REV. FRANK JONES IS NAMED 4TH CHURCH PASTOR

In 1956, Piney Grove called its fourth pastor, the Rev. Frank Jones. Rev. Jones’ tenure as Pastor was the longest tenure of any of the pastors of Piney Grove.

The legacy of Rev. Frank Jones is embedded in his insight to change the name of “Piney Grove Church” to its’ current name, The Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church. The purpose of the name change was to envision the church as greater in all aspects of ministry and community services.

1971 | CHURCH MOVES TO CURRENT LOCATION

Rev. Frank Jones was noted in his pastorate as the pastor who, in 1971, took a noble risk by moving the church from the comfort and refuge of 101 Boulevard, in an established black community, to an all-white suburban area at 1879 Glenwood Avenue.

Rev. Jones’ leadership and decision to make this great migration was met with great resistance, vast opposition, and more importantly, faint questions. However, Rev. Frank Jones moved forward, sensing that if the church was going to be known as “greater” in the community and in its future history, it had to take a risk and leave the comfort and safe pasture of 101 Boulevard to cross over to the unfamiliar grounds of 1879 Glenwood Avenue. His godly vision and direction came to fruition. The Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church Family continues to reap the many benefits of this gallant move and its visionary pastor.

1989 | REV. FRANK JONES PASSES AWAY

Rev. Frank Jones died in September 1989, after 33 years of pastoring The Greater Piney Grove church. Rev. Frank Jones was a profound and dedicated community leader, preacher, teacher, and administrator. He was a pastor that was dearly loved by the congregants as well as the surrounding communities. He was one who was indeed ahead of his time, yet his pastorate dictates that he knew clearly the promising future of The Greater Piney Grove Church.

1990 | REV. DR. WILLIAM E. FLIPPIN,,SR. NAMED SENIOR PASTOR

The death of Rev. Frank Jones and the call of Rev. William Flippin can be compared to the death of Moses and the call of Joshua. The legacy of great leaders continues as Rev. Flippin maintains a focus on community involvement, outreach growth, and holistic rejuvenation.

1996 | FAMILY LIFE CENTER BUILT

In the fall of 1996, Dr. Flippin and the church built a 25,000 square feet multipurpose Family Life Center. The facility houses a gymnasium, child development center, bookstore, library, conference room, and classrooms that better serve the church and the adjacent community.

Also, in 1996, through Dr. Flippin’s leadership, the church purchased over 52 acres of land for a new church edifice and for ministry expansion. The church deemed these 52 acres of land as the “Promised Land.”

2012 | 1500-SEAT WORSHIP CENTER

August, 2012, the breaking of ground on a new state-of-the-art, 1500-seat Worship Center.

2014 | NEW WORSHIP CENTER

August, 2014, Dr. Flippin and The Grove congregation marched into a newly erected Worship Center.

2015 | COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER COMPLETED

October 2015, the Community Resource Center, located on the terrace level of the Worship Center, was completed. Through this Resource Center The Grove serves the community in various outreach capacities.

2021 | CHURCH COMPLETED

October 2021, the church completed and dedicated the Grove‘s Gardens at East Lake Senior Living Community, located on The Grove Campus.