ALPHARETTA — On Monday night Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle was sworn into office to begin his second term by none other than Thomas Hammond, pastor of First Baptist Church in Alpharetta and Georgia Baptist Convention president.
Hammond and First Baptist Church have been diligently working to build meaningful relationships with the businesses, schools, and governmental leaders in their area of Fulton County. Alpharetta, with an estimated population of 65,000, is growing rapidly and First Baptist is making significant inroads into almost every fabric of life in city.
In the September 17, 2015 print issue of The Christian Index an article titled “First Alpharetta, growing a church through selflessness” was printed, citing the three-part emphasis Hammond launched upon becoming pastor of the church in 2014. The emphasis included praying, serving, and telling.
Last year Hammond stated, “We want every facet of our community to be touched by our church and every thread of our church to be woven into the fabric of our city. Our purpose is to influence and bless and serve the people of Alpharetta.”
At that time Mayor Belle Isle commented, “Under the leadership of Pastor Hammond, the First Baptist Church of Alpharetta has been an amazing partner to the city. They have prayed for our first responders, fed them, and even offered babysitting services so they can spend more time with their spouses. FBCA loves Alpharetta and Alpharetta loves FBCA.”
Concerning his privilege of swearing in Mayor Belle Isle, Hammond remarked, “It was both an honor and humbling experience to hold the Word of God in my hand, have Mayor Belle Isle place his hand on the Bible, and swear him in as their city’s mayor.
“We want every facet of our community to be touched by our church and every thread of our church to be woven into the fabric of our city. Our purpose is to influence and bless and serve the people of Alpharetta.”
“We are a blessed city for many reasons, one of which is the visionary leadership of our Mayor Belle Isle. My participation in the ceremony is simply a reflection of the city’s receptivity of our church’s ministry. Our stated purpose from the beginning of our work in Alpharetta is to bless the city. I have stated publicly, ‘Our church is here to help,’ and the city has opened their doors to us in a multiplicity of ways.”
When asked to evaluate the impact of his participation in the swearing-in ceremony, Hammond responded, “I hope Baptists across the state will see the importance of impacting cities and municipalities wherever they are located. I believe government officials and school administrators will be far more receptive to our churches if they actually see us eager and prepared to serve them and their constituents.”
Hammond added, “I told Mayor Belle Isle from the beginning that from a biblical standpoint he was Nehemiah with the responsibility of building the wall (city) and I was Ezra with the responsibility of building the temple (church) and that the combination of the two working together could be a benefit to everyone.”