Published Thursday, August 1, 2013
ATLANTA–The Gambian Christian Organization is marking its 20th anniversary this year, as it continues to serve its members in Atlanta and people in the West African country.
The community’s spiritual home is Atlanta’s Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, on Briarcliff Road. One of the community’s biggest celebrations is approaching with the feast of Our Lady of the Assumption, on Thursday, Aug. 15. The Gambian community is marking the day on Saturday, Aug. 17, with Mass at 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend.
Despite being a Catholic holiday, the festival unites all Gambians in the majority Muslim country. The occasion is a weekend-long celebration marked by a conference, worship, Mass and festivities. Father Guyma Noel is the organization’s chaplain.
More than 50 members belong to the organization. They meet monthly and come together to pray, celebrate and socialize, usually at a member’s house. They encourage each other to be more Christ-like and volunteer to serve the organization.
Choir members build connections to the community through song. The choir sings praise to God in the five languages found in the Gambia, in addition to traditional Latin and English hymns. The choir has been asked to sing at Masses, chorale performances and festivals. It shared the stage at the Pan-African Festival in Macon, along with a convocation for new students at Berea College, Berea, Ky.; the Multicultural Explosion at the Total Grace Church, Atlanta; the Expo African cultural event at the Georgia World Congress Center; and for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
The organization organizes opportunities for its members to serve the less fortunate. Members partnered with the Knights of St. Peter and St. Paul, a Catholic organization in the Gambia, and sent clothing and school supplies to the students in need. The group’s members also volunteer at the Atlanta Community Food Bank to help feed families.
The Gambian Christian Organization is open to all Gambian Christians. For more information visit gco-atlanta.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The contact telephone numbers are: 404-454-9964, 678-207-9742, 404-974-8438, and the mailing address is P.O.Box 1915, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.