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Our History

In 1964 the North Georgia Conference purchased a seven-acre tract of land, from Mr. Howard Hogan.  John Brinsfield, a pre-seminary student at Emory University was selected to provide leadership in ascertaining the viability of starting a Methodist Church in this community.  For that reason, twelve people met in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Neal Hainlin.

The first worship service was held at the Community Clubhouse on June 14, 1964.  A cross-raising was held on Saturday, August 29, 1964, and on Sunday, August 30th, the Reverend Joseph L. Black, Superintendent of the Atlanta Southwest District, formally organized the Cliftondale Methodist Church.  

Rev. Richard Cathy was the first appointed full-time pastor to serve Cliftondale in 1965.  In 1966, a mental building (our current fellowship hall) was constructed for our 77 members; its first service was held on June 5, 1966. In April 1968, the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren. The church became formally known as Cliftondale United Methodist Church.

In the summer of June 13, 1971, the Charge Conference approved plans to build the current sanctuary and classroom building.  The first service was held on April 9, 1972.  Neal Hainlin made the cross and pulpit, lectern, and communion table for the original building.  The altar was also constructed by other church members.

On June 27, 2004, the Red Oak United Methodist Church located on Roosevelt Highway merged with the Cliftondale United Methodist Church.  Reverend Karen Lyons was appointed pastor of the merged congregations.  Reverend Lyons was the first African American female pastor of the Church, who served for over eight years.  She would be joined by Rev. Dr. Walter L. Kimbrough, who retired as Pastor in Residence. 

Cliftondale Church would be served by three other Pastors:  Reverend Dr. Carol Helton (2013-15); Reverend Dr. Kevin Murriel (2015-17); Reverend Gigi Warren (2017-18).

Reverend Dr. Walter L. Kimbrough returned as Senior Pastor in 2018.  The congregation continued to grow under his leadership.  

Like many congregations around the world, 2020 proved to be an unexpected challenge for Cliftondale. As it would mark the beginning of a world pandemic, and the world became shut in by the Covid-19 virus. Under the leadership of Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, our physical doors were closed.  Cliftondale established its first virtual worship under the leadership of Reverend Dr. Walter Kimbrough through webinars in April to reach the congregation. In June of that year,  Reverend Kimbrough retired from full-time pastoring.

Reverend Dr. Theophilus J. Stanford was appointed lead Pastor in July.  As "live to stream" and a newfound vehicle of social media became the new normal, we reopened our doors in the Spring of 2022; with an outdoor service. Since that time, we have gone back to in-person services every Sunday at 10:00 am.

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