Historic Tobie Grant church up for sale
County employee pens book on fatherhood
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FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2014 • VOL. 17, NO. 4 •
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
See Church on page 15ASee Manuel on page 15A
by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comIn Scottdale, ravelers Rest Baptist Church’s members and community are mov-ing. Te church, located at 554 George Howell Way, is on the only privately-owned land in the 55-acre obie Grant Manor public hous-ing complex. Week by week, more and more homes are boarded up as residents move out to make way or the demolition o the Hous-ing Authority development.Constructed in the 1960s on land, much o which was donated to the county, obie Grant Manor will soon be razed and re-placed with $34 million in new construction, including 452 new housing units, 180 senior apartment units, 200 multiamily units, and 72 town homes. Construction is expected to begin late this summer.“I think it’s going to be a tremendous move or this community,” said Rev.
, senior pastor o ravelers Rest Baptist Church, also known as Te Church. “I think it’s really going to uplif this commu-nity and the neighborhood. It’s progress.”But progress has a price and Johnson said his church would not be able to survive in the construction zone—“the unpleas-ant aesthetics o the boarded up homes, o abandoned cars, o the trash—some people are angry that they have to move and there’s been vandalism,” Johnson said.“We realized that our members and our congregation do not want to ride through all o that on Sunday morning to come to wor-ship,” Johnson said. “Tat aﬀects us. It tre-mendously aﬀects us.”
Prime real estate
Te church is already “experiencing a de-cline in our revenue [and] our weekly atten-dance because many o our members have been relocated or displaced,” Johnson said.Tat’s why the 5,948-square-oot building and its 0.62-acre property are on the market or a ﬁrm $900,000.“Scottdale is prime real estate,” Johnson said. “It is centrally located. You can get to anywhere you want to get to in 15 minutes. You can get to the airport. You can get to downtown Atlanta. You can go north. You can go south. You can get to Stone Moun-tain.”Te $900,000 price tag would allow rav-elers Rest Baptist’s growing, thriving minis-
by Carla Parkercarla@dekalbchamp.com
s a child of a single mother,
understands the importance of a child hav-ing a father in its life.A father of two boys himself, Manuel makes sure that he is apart of every aspect of his sons’ lives. However, he realizes that many children, specifically Black children, are not as fortunate as his sons
are. Manuel, who is the executive director of the Porter Sanford Performing Arts and Community Center, saw firsthand as a second grade teacher with the Atlanta Public School System that there were a large number of students without a father.“I realized that there were so many kids in our classroom that were from single parent homes,” Manuel said. “The father was not only missing, but some were in jail or [the students] just didn’t know who their fathers were. And you had all these boys in the classroom and they didn’t have any father figures.”Manuel said he knows there is a perception in society that most Black men are absentee fathers that abandon their families, do not pay child sup-port or are abusive to their families. Therefore, he decided to write a book that celebrates Black fathers.“I’m positive and a lot of the men I hang around or know are fathers that are committed,” Manuel said. “I wanted to do a book that would celebrate the positivity of fatherhood, and who is
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The 75-year-old Travelers Rest Baptist Church in Scottdale is up for sale.Pastor Barrett Johnson said the church will not be able to survive the demolition of the Tobie Grant public housing complex that sur-rounds the church.The complex will be replaced with new senior and single family apartments and townhomes. Photos by Andrew CauthenDavid Manuel, the executive director of the Porter Sanford Performing Arts and Community Center, has authored two books,
I Am a Father: Celebrating African American Fathers
I Am a Mother: Celebrating Mothers.