ALPHARETTA, Ga. — When Rev. Thomas Hammond served as interim pastor for 13 different churches from 1998 to 2012, he knew First Baptist Church Alpharetta was home.
When the church’s previous pastor moved to Asheville, N.C. to continue ministering there, Hammond jumped on the opportunity.
“There were a lot of relationships that were established, friendships that have continued on throughout the years,” said Hammond. “When the other pastor left they asked if I’d be interested in praying about coming here and I said I’d be very interested because of the love I have for the community in the years I’ve spent here, and the love I have for this church.”
Originally from Augusta, Ga., Hammond grew up in the church because his father was a pastor for 32 years.
At age 51, Hammond has been a pastor for 23 years. He was involved with the North American Mission Board for 13 years, and knew Alpharetta was where he wanted to be.
“I love Alpharetta. I’m very familiar with the culture here and the people, and the way of life,” said Hammond. “The church here is amazing and it’s a fabulous place.”
The congregation made Hammond feel welcome, a big reason he decided to pastor.
“It’s a very warm, loving congregation,” said Hammond. “It’s very receptive and wanting of new people, all people, from all over the world. The whole world’s come to Alpharetta, and that’s what we want our church to reflect, not only Alpharetta but the world.”
Another goal Hammond has as pastor is to help himself and his church become more like Christ.
“I would like our church to impact Alpharetta and North Atlanta, but not limit it to that. I also want impact the world with the gospel of Christ and the love of God,” said Hammond. “Be people who are loving, who are willing and wanting to minister to the people and their needs, and to make sure we are committed to live a life that is an example to others.”
Hammond stresses the importance of impacting your community for the greater good.
“We want to be a church that has a reputation for reaching out and helping the community,” said Hammond. “It’s going to be fun.”
As far as how he enjoys FBCA so far — Hammond loves it.
“If I wasn’t a pastor here and I lived here, I’d come to this church,” said Hammond. “That’s how wonderful it is.”
This was published in the July 12 issue of the Revue & News.