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New church will debut Jan. 10
North Forsyth UMC fills a need
church pastor jd
David Cooms, pastor of the new church, looks at the piano donated to the new congregation - photo by Jim Dean
At a glance

North Forsyth United Methodist Church is in the Crossroads Shopping Center at 6150 Ga. 400, just south of the Dawson County line. The first service is set for 10:45 a.m. Jan. 10. Contact: (770) 880-1946.
In the market for a new church?

Try the Crossroads Shopping Center on Jan 10. That’s when the North Forsyth United Methodist Church will open its doors.

It’s been years of planning and preparation, but Pastor David Cooms couldn’t be more excited to start reaching out to the county’s north end.

“I felt called by God to reach out into the community,” Cooms said. “We found this shopping center that had this open space and rented part of it, and it’s been a big journey since then.

“We’ve done it entirely on contributions and gifts.”

As many as 30 area churches, and numerous civic groups, have helped Cooms reach this point, donating services, money and even a piano, which he said would be key for the planned music ministry.  

Cooms previously was at Macedonia UMC in Alpharetta, where he started a new service. But he said they had difficulty reaching people who weren’t churchgoers.

“So I began to talk with the district superintendent,” Cooms said. “He felt that north Forsyth really was under-serviced, and so he asked me if I wanted to start a new church in that area.

“I prayed about it, thought about it and said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

Ed Tomlinson, the Atlanta-Roswell District superintendent, said he and Cooms worked together to get the new church approved by the bishop.

There is no shortage of Methodist churches in the area. But Tomlinson, citing the churches’ variety and north Forsyth’s growth, said there was definitely a need.

“There are more United Methodist churches in north Georgia than there are Bank of Americas and SunTrusts combined,” he said. “We’ve got churches that have 10 or 12 members all the way up to almost 10,000 members.

“We have a wide variety of churches. And if you want something, we’ve got it in one shape, form or another.”

The North Forsyth UMC will focus more on the traditional worship service, he said.

Cooms has high hopes for the new church, which will offer one Sunday service and a nursery when it opens. He hopes to grow it over time to two services, Sunday school, evening classes and various ministries.

For now, however, recruiting a congregation is Coom’s top goal.

Tomlinson said the whole district is going to help with that process.

“For the first nine months of the life of the church, they’ll be sending people to north Forsyth ... to worship with them,” he said. “So any Sunday you go out there, you’re going to be with a group of Methodists who are being supported by 54 churches.”

The company is welcome, though Cooms said he is not looking to pull membership from other churches. In fact, he’s focusing on families that don’t go to church at all.

“I looked into what seemed to be missing in that area, what it seemed to need and want, and the effort is to provide that for the Christians in that area that weren’t attending church at this time,” he said. “This is very much an outreach.

“I feel very much called by God to reach out to people who aren’t currently part of a church, who really aren’t getting the opportunity to worship God in the community.”