Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Lively Revival Prepared Lithonia Church For Christmas

By KYSA DANIELS-Special To The Bulletin | Published January 19, 2006

Published: January 19, 2006

LITHONIA—Parishioners at Christ Our Hope Church ushered in the Christmas season with a high-spirited revival led by Father Giles Conwill, a professor of history at Morehouse College, Atlanta.

Father Conwill, widely known for his instructive and lively sermons, taught and preached before a full church each night of the three-day revival held during the third week of Advent, Dec. 12-14.

“Let’s renew ourselves and revive our spirit in God,” said Father Guyma Noel, pastor of Christ Our Hope, encouraging members to attend.

Day one of the revival began with veneration of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a bit of light-heartedness. Father Conwill used as his revival theme “Walking with Jesus.” The first stop was Cana in Galilee, where Jesus performed his first miracle. Father Conwill described it as a small obscure town, somewhat like a largely unknown place of Louisville, Ky., that he and a world-famous boxer call home.

“You either grew up being a fighter like Muhammad Ali, or a runner like me,” Father Conwill joked, referring to the community’s reputation as being a bit “rough.”

Yet the priest’s message mainly focused on the importance of Jesus being invited to the wedding feast at Cana, where he turned water into wine. Likewise, Father Conwill encouraged parishioners to “invite” Jesus into their lives.

“Jesus was involved in the human community,” he said. “Jesus (went) to where the action was.”

Colenda Arvelo-Jefferson attended the revival at the invitation of her boss, a Christ Our Hope parishioner.

“Father Conwill made you feel like you were on the journey with Jesus,” Arvelo-Jefferson said, as she reflected on the priest’s sermons concerning Jesus healing the blind man in Jericho and performing the last supper in Jerusalem.

“I was especially revived when he talked about the importance of the body and blood of Christ,” she said.

Arvelo-Jefferson and others say the revival renewed and changed them spiritually.

“This renewal in this advent is God’s calling you to change,” Father Conwill said. Jesus “changed water into wine—surely he can change you.”


Christ our Hope Church is located at 1786 Wellborn Road in Lithonia. For information on Mass schedules and other church activities, call (770) 482-5017.