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First Redeemer marks anniversary Sunday
Church known for focus on community
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Forsyth County News

If you go

First Redeemer will offer a contemporary service at 9:15 a.m. Sunday and a traditional service at 10:30 a.m. Visit for more.

One of Forsyth County’s largest churches will celebrate its 15th anniversary Sunday.

Richard Lee, founding pastor of First Redeemer Church on Hwy. 141 in south Forsyth, said the church began at a smaller location about two miles from its current site.

“We started in a warehouse on Alpharetta Road on Sept. 29, 1996,” Lee said.

He added that the church began with 87 members and one worship service at 8:30 a.m. Sundays.

“Now our membership is more than 4,300,” Lee said. “The Lord’s been good to us.”

First Redeemer’s worship schedule now includes traditional and contemporary services, as well as Bible studies and numerous activities for members and guests.

The church, a member of the Southern Baptist Convention, also offers a large number of community outreach ministries.

“We are a very community-oriented church,” Lee said. “We feel one of our greatest ministries is working in the community.”

Those outreach ministries include sports opportunities for youth and adults. Lee said the sports program began when First Redeemer moved to its current location in 2000.

Other outreaches include children’s ministries, a conservatory of music and There’s Hope for the Hungry, which provides food to needy families in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

“We fed 79,000 families last year,” Lee said.

The church also sponsors Whispering Hope, a pro-life pregnancy clinic that helps women facing unplanned pregnancies.

In addition, First Redeemer has sponsored pastors at several churches around the world.

Lee said the 18th church will open in December in India. Other sites include Moldova and Central America.

“There are three purposes to these churches,” Lee said. “They serve as worship centers and orphanages and schools during the week.”

First Redeemer also produces “There’s Hope America,” a television program featuring Lee that airs at 7:30 a.m. weekdays on WATL Channel 36.

Lee invited anyone interested in learning more about First Redeemer to attend today’s worship services.

“We’ll be talking about the history of the church thus far,” he said.

“We’re a very busy church mainly because we’ve got a great membership. They’re very focused on helping our community.”