While driving on Peachtree Parkway, you may have noticed a large brick church with a tall steeple. Or, when sitting in traffic, you may have enjoyed a hymn played by the church bells. This is Christ the King Lutheran Church, which has been a pillar in the community since 1981. From construction of a new building on Spalding Road in what was then Norcross, to the expansion into the current location, a former Jumbo Sports, on Peachtree Parkway in the new Peachtree Corners. Christ the King (CtK), like many organizations, has changed over time to meet the needs of a growing community.
In 2016, Leland Armbright was called to Christ the King as Senior Pastor, and Josh Linman was recently installed as Associate Pastor. The commitment to the community and to the church is high with these new pastors and the congregants of Christ the King. Christ the King has a diverse congregation with all ages, races, and types of people. They embrace all people and are quick to say, and mean, that “all are welcome.”
Pastor Leland is the son of an Army officer, so he has lived all over the United States and parts of Europe. He graduated from a Metro D.C. high school and attended the University of Virginia. An employee of Fairfax County Virginia for six years, Pastor Leland worked in the tax office as a billing officer as well as in building code services. He attended Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, which is the largest seminary in the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). Pastor Leland was ordained in 2005 and was a pastor in northwest Minnesota and Phoenix, Arizona before being called to Georgia.
“I am excited to be part of this community as we retune our focus to ‘encourage one another to grow in a life-shaping relationship with Jesus.’ Two thousand seventeen is a tumultuous time in our nation, and in our world as differing points of view vie for prominence and it seems people have less and less ability to live with one another. In a world where criticism seems to be the way we communicate, the message of hope, healing, and love embodied in Jesus the Christ compels us to care for the least, the lost, and the lonely. As we look at the needs within our community and around the world and ask how we can best care for our neighbor, we are called to be a people who actually slow down and notice our neighbors, walk alongside of them, and offer hope and healing. All people are welcome here, and I invite everyone to be part of building hope and inspiring life within our community.”
Pastor Leland has been President of a Habitat for Humanity affiliate and has worked on a minimum of one project each year for the past 20 years. Mission is very important to Pastor Leland, and he has served in Nigeria where more than 20 percent of the population is below the poverty line. In addition, he has done mission work throughout the United States, Hungary, and Guatemala. He is married to Aleshia, and they have three daughters and another child due in October.
Pastor Josh Linman is the son of a Lutheran pastor. He attended Florida State University where he received a degree in Media Production. After graduation, he got a job working in production at a local church. While on a mission trip in Burundi, Africa, he says that he started thinking differently. He couldn’t reconcile the difference in the wealth in the suburb of Kansas City where he was living with the poverty he was seeing in Burundi. He wanted to fit the two versions of Christianity together to include serving the poor and marginalized. “Faith should have an impact on everyday life, it’s not only good news for when we die or just on Sundays,” says Pastor Josh. This was a turning point in his life. He attended seminary in Minnesota and focused on equipping people to serve and mentor others. Early in his career, a lot of people invested in him. They saw something in him that he did not see in himself. He wants to do that for others, which is why he is so involved in Youth and Family Ministry.
“My hope for the future of CtK is that we can actually live into our mission to ‘encourage one another to grow in a life-shaping relationship with Jesus.’ There are so many voices spreading anxiety and worry and discouragement in our world today, I want to be part of a community that takes a different approach. I want to be part of a community that offers encouragement and support…a community that challenges each other to dream big…a community that invites people in and says, ‘you belong here’.
Jesus offered real love and real community and real purpose for the group of misfits that became his followers, but what Jesus offered those misfits shaped their lives so completely they were never the same. What if the same thing could happen today? What if love and community and purpose could so totally shape our lives that our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and even complete strangers, could tell the difference.” Pastor Josh and Laura, his wife, moved to Georgia in May.
Growing Up, In, and Out
Christ the King is building on the past and growing into the future with the new energy and focus that these new pastors bring to the community. They are dedicated to growing:
- Up with God through worship and devotional experiences. Traditional worship is offered at 8:45 a.m. and contemporary at 11 a.m.
- In through Community by connecting with faith formation groups for all ages including Sunday School classes and small group settings.
- And, Out for the World through acts of service and witness. Currently there are ongoing partnerships with the Norcross Co-op, Habitat for Humanity, Kids Hope, and Foster Children Clothing Closet just to name few. In February, Christ the King will be a packing site for Feed Our Starving Children where 100,000 meals will be packed and shipped to help those less fortunate.
There is a lot to be excited about and activities to be involved in at Christ the King where “led by God’s Spirit, we encourage one another to grow in a life-shaping relationship with Jesus.” Everyone’s welcome!
Christ the King Lutheran Church
5575 Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092