Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church
Grace Upon Grace: Holy Innocents at 150
Atlanta, Georgia

The birth of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church was, to say the least, difficult. Atlanta was trying to rebuild itself in the wake of the Civil War and the city was in ruins. From this dismal scene emerged Mary Ellen “Nellie” Peters, an Episcopalian seeking to do charity work for orphans and the poor, who were “utterly destitute,” as one document noted. By 1872, she had established a Sunday School mission named Chapel of the Holy Innocents.

Grace Upon Grace—Holy Innocents at 150 shows it was not always easy. But the growth of the church continued its march, buying land and erecting new buildings. And as those edifices aged and were outgrown, even more space was sought, which is how Holy Innocents ending up with land in Sandy Springs in 1955.

It’s difficult to reconcile the inspiring, soaring home of Holy Innocents today with its early beginnings. But the work of the church is as apparent as ever. Its efforts are alive in fields as diverse as Civil Rights, hospice support, homelessness, the city’s food bank, poverty, missions in other countries, and its well-tended Annual Giving Fund, not to mention the everyday—but impressive—daily ministry and operations.

Additionally, the church operates the highly acclaimed Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, an institution that itself had a difficult birth and now ranks as one of the premier—and largest—Episcopal schools in America.

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  • Bookhouse helped Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church celebrate our 150th anniversary in style. Their skill, talent, and grace in crafting our history is apparent on every page. The congregation could not be happier with the results. The whole team was helpful at every step of the process. They made a large and daunting project easy and accessible. Thank God for the work and ministry they do!

    The Rev. Dr. Bill Murray
    The Rev. Dr. Bill Murray Rector
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