Along the Journey – Heritage

Dr. Ryland Knight, long-time pastor of Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, believed that another Baptist church was needed on the north side of Atlanta. Serving until January 31 in 1945, he had shared his vision with leaders of the church. After Dr. Monroe Swilley was called as pastor, the vision was revisited. In 1947, land was purchased. In March 1954, an organizational meeting was held and 74 people voted to form what would become Wieuca Road Baptist Church.

Of the 317 charter members who held the first service at R.L. Hope Elementary School on Piedmont Road, four remain active at Wieuca – Don Timmerman, Adele Cleveland, Frank Stovall, and Jan Andrews. In July 1955, the church called her first pastor, J.T. Ford who led the congregation until 1963. He was recognized for his leadership and service by being named Pastor Emeritus.

More of Wieuca’s story can be found on our website, This weekend we celebrate Heritage Sunday on our 59th birthday. Through the years, Wieuca has occupied a strategic place in the heart of Buckhead. God is not finished with this congregation. The challenges we now face cannot be overcome by human effort and ingenuity alone. Today, we know we must rely even more on the leadership and blessing of the Holy Spirit as we move into our future. I ask you to give a gift to your church this weekend: dedicate yourself to prayer that we will joyfully serve and faithfully follow our God as devoted disciples of Christ.

When you come Sunday:

  • Be “prayed-up” – ask God to bless our day together.
  • Participate in Bible Study at 9:30. There are Covenant Groups for everyone.
  • Be your gracious and welcoming selves to those you meet.
  • Join in the worship service with expectant hearts, Bibles in hand
  • Stay for the lunch to follow. Tickets are $5.
  • Bring your memories – a scrapbook, a directory, brochure, or other reminders of Wieuca’s history that we could put on display for others to see. We’ll have tables in the Peachtree Room. Please mark your personal items.

Kim and I are thankful to be a part of Wieuca’s present and future. We are grateful for the past. We look forward to the celebration this Sunday!


Mark Wilbanks, Pastor

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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