Atlanta, GA: Atlanta Tamil Church (ATC) celebrated its 15th anniversary this year. The church was born in the humble apartment of Palmer Paramadhas and Susie Palmer in the summer of 2000. The couple had just migrated to Atlanta from the middle east. Both successful professionals in the fields of engineering and medicine respectively, the Palmers found a big vacuum in the Tamil Christian community in Atlanta. They set out to create an environment for Tamils to worship God in their native tongue.
“Even though most Tamils who live in the US have spoken knowledge of English, worship in one’s mother-tongue brings about a liberty to the spirit,” said a press release sent by ATC to NRI Pulse. A home away from home, over the years the church has seen the community of believers grow in spiritual stature and numbers.
Often Tamil parents are looking for safe environments where their children can get in touch with their roots. The church is a wonderful environment to share this rich heritage of worshipping God in a personal manner that gets even more special when it is in one’s own language.
From humble beginnings in June 2000, ATC has come a long way. The church was initially hosted by the Korean Community Presbyterian Church and moved with them to Duluth GA. After much prayer and searching,Atlanta Tamil Church was able to acquire its present property in Norcross GA. Ever since it moved to the new location; the Church’s ministries have started to expand. Their Sunday school ministries have grown in leaps and bounds. And now, the church is gearing the next generation with youth services and camps. The youth are also involved in the church’s outreach programs, one of which has been to serve a community for the elderly in the neighborhood. The ATC campus also hosts the Tamil School and a Nepali Church.
Over the years as ATC grew, many servants of God from India and around the world have been instrumental in nurturing it, like Mohan C. Lazarus, Sam Jebakumar, Gershon, Alwin Thomas, Paul Dhinakaran to name a few. For this year’s festivities, the special message was delivered by Rev. Ebenezer Andrew George, Senior Pastor and Superintendent of Full Gospel Church in Bangalore,India. In addition there were other dignitaries like Pastor Ebenezer Jeyaraj from Madurai and Pastor T.K. James from Tirupur. The most heart warming treat was Aunty Wilma, who was visiting ATC on the way to her home stateIowafor her 70th class reunion. She worked in Chittoor,India as a missionary for 11 years and astonished the entire church with her fluency in Tamil. “It was a sweet reminder that the privilege the Tamil church has in worshipping God was because of the sweat and sacrifice a few Christians had willingly made to bring the Gospel to our family homes,” said the release.
The past 15 years for Atlanta Tamil Church was a testament for God’s grace. The future is a promise to expect greater things to come.