Buckhead Church provides a home for Atlanta college students



If home is where the heart is, it beats in the living room. It’s the place where one can kick their feet up on the coffee table and leave the troubles of the world at the door.

Every Monday, Buckhead Church offers that haven to hundreds of Atlanta college students at their college ministry, The Living Room.

As part of Buckhead Church, The Living Room may operate at a much larger level currently, but the movement had humble beginnings. Twelve years ago, founder Brad Horton was just a man with an idea, and a passion for guiding college students. The Baylor University graduate envisioned a place where college kids from every kind of background could gather with one another and form a community.

“We want students from all walks of life to feel welcome and accepted at TLR,” Brad Horton, founder said. “Whether they have had good, bad or any church experiences in the past or whether they know what they believe about Jesus yet- The Living Room is an environment where students are invited to come as they are.”

At first, that community was a nomadic band of students, meeting in Georgia Tech’s student center for almost two years. Then, in 2007, The Living Room relocated to the Bilmore Hotel. Finally, in January of 2009, Buckhead Church adopted The Living Room as their resident college ministry.

Dozens of students have taken up that invitation, whether they attend the Monday night services or are a part of the hundreds who participate in The Living Room’s affiliate small groups.

Buckhead Church purposely aims to be a place where any and everyone can feel welcomed, regardless of denomination or beliefs. The Living Room itself was founded on the same groundwork and has a similar mission, which is to be a haven for the hurt and a shelter for the lost.

“Our mission is important because college is a season for many in which they are trying to figure out what they believe about themselves and the world around them,” Horton said. “I want college students to know God loves them and that a growing relationship with Jesus can bring healing and purpose to their lives.”

_mg_6415Georgia State and The Living Room: A budding relationship

The Living Room may have been initially affiliated with Georgia Tech, but they are no stranger to Georgia State, according to Horton.

They have made their presence widely known on Georgia State’s Atlanta  campus, whether it be by the telephone poles swathed in their signature black fliers or the Georgia State students advertising the ministry.

The ministry is looking to plant strong roots at Georgia State, and is looking to adopt more Panthers into their family. Some Georgia State students have even taken up the mantle to be campus ambassadors. Among them, is senior India Kelly, who fell in love with The Living Room and loves to spread the word about it.

“I think The Living Room stands for a cool and unique place for college students to connect and come closer to Christ, and [a chance] to meet new people all over Atlanta,” Kelly said. “Atlanta is a cool and unique place, so The Living Room has to be too.”

Just as The Living Room has shown up for Georgia State, and in turn, Georgia State has reciprocated.

The two full size, commercial charter busses parked outside of the Commons have become a Monday night staple. The mysterious, simple fliers offering free dinner and fellowship have piqued several students’ interests. And each week, the busses have grown until they have found themselves at full capacity on many occasions, with more and more students curious about the growing phenomenon.

“I love attending The Living Room each week,” transfer sophomore Elizabeth Amosu said. “When I first got here, I didn’t even know what it was but I just decided to go one day, and I’ve been going ever since.”

_mg_6429The Living Room is anything but typical

No two Monday nights at The Living Room are the same.

Down to the meals, The Living Room aims to provide a different experience to attendees every week. The dinners differ from lasagna to fajitas, and the topics range from escaping one’s own personal demons to self-love. New speakers and musicians grace the stage each week, and every genre from Christian indie to rap have been featured.

On Nov. 7, singer Paul Taylor Swift took to the stage, crooning to the crowd that “it’s OK you can come and rest.” Young pastor Miles Fidell hailed from Auburn Community Church, and had the audience hollering with laughter as he described his teenage “Malibu’s Most Wanted” stage. His message, entitled “Give & Take,” mentioned everything from the Ruff Ryderz to Jesus, but ultimately ended on a note of empowerment for students, urging them to “give up the victim [mentality], and take up victory.”

As dozens of college students filed out, of all different creeds, colors, and backgrounds, it was clear that The Living Room has lived up to its name.

For hundreds of students around Atlanta, they’ve found a home.  


  • Throughout the week, small groups meet up to give students a chance to connect on a more intimate level
  • Small groups are conducted by semester
  • Fall registration is currently closed, but spring registrations opens soon.
  • Contact Groups Director Beth Romanoski for further questions

The Church:

Located at the intersection of Tower Place Drive and Lenox Road.

3336 Peachtree Road NE.

Services only last an hour and the times are

9 a.m. , 11 a.m. , 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.