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Church History

A Small Beginning:

In the fall of 1957, a group of 50 Presbyterians, many from the First Presbyterian Church of Marietta, began meeting in the East Marietta Community House on Lower Roswell Road for worship. This led to the organization of John Knox Presbyterian Church. Shortly thereafter, construction started on our first building on six and one half acres at our present site at 505 Powers Ferry Road.

The First Services:

Initial services in the new facility in March of 1958 were attended by a large gathering, both in Sunday School and Worship. In a special service on May 25, 1958, John Knox Presbyterian Church was formally organized by a Commission of the Cherokee Presbytery. There were 199 charter members.


Crowded facilities and a desire for an expanded program led to the construction of the Fellowship Hall, which was later used as a temporary Sanctuary in 1963. Later that year, a concentrated Sanctuary building effort was begun. The Atlanta-based architectural firm of Toombs, Amisano and Wells was selected, with Tom Venulet as the primary designer. The firm was instructed by the Planning Committee to make the design dignified, simple and contemporary, with the inside activity determining outside appearance.

The New Sanctuary:

Church Picture

The new Sanctuary was finished and dedicated at a service in October 1967. In this unique building, seating is on both sides and in front of the pulpit area, with accomodations for 500 people, including the choir, which is elevated in a balcony at the rear of the center section. More details about the award-winning design for the Sanctuary may be found here.

Later Expansion:

Ground-breaking for the Christian Education Building, complete with nine classrooms, was held in July of 1979. Construction was finished before Easter of 1980; the new building greatly enhanced the Sunday School program for John Knox, as well as allowing an expanded weekday preschool program. Later expansions of the facilities included a newly renovated Fellowship Hall, dedicated in 1990, and a refurbishing of the Sanctuary, re-dedicated in May of 1998.

John Knox Today:

John Knox is a growing and vibrant church with more than 200 members. With new members joining, from a growing population base in booming East Cobb County, coupled with a new Music Director, a new Preschool Director, and even a newly refurbished sanctuary, John Knox Presbyterian Church is looking toward the future with optimism and excitement. With the limitless boundaries that the future holds, John Knox's presence and outreach in Cobb County will continue to expand and prosper in its efforts to serve the community and the world through God's gift of Jesus Christ.

Church Building:

The current sanctuary was erected in 1967. The building, designed by Joseph Amisano (for Toombs, Amisano and Wells, Architects), won the 1967 AIA Award, the only church in the nation to receive the award that year. The 1993 edition of The AIA Guide to the Architecture of Atlanta states that the sanctuary "respects the residential scale of this northern portion of Powers Ferry Road." As described in the guide, the building rests "on a low square base of rough-hewn stone in random ashlar, (with) the sanctuary...topped by a high roof covered in wood shingles and crowned by a square tower sheathed in the same material. The all-wood roof structure, left exposed inside the church, allows light to filter in from the notched openings of the tower." Interestingly, the guide further states that "Amisano's design for a central bell tower was never implemented."

The sanctuary interior was enhanced in April and May of 1998; the stone walls, previously left to the elements, were treated with an anti-moisture sealant; the pews were sent to North Carolina to be treated and repainted; the ceiling was repainted; and new carpeting and pew cushions were installed. The re-dedication of the sanctuary was held May 31, 1998. The ceremony coincided with the John Knox's 40th Anniversary and was attended by 350 current members, former members and visitors.