Churches Across Atlanta

    If there’s one time a week that Atlanta is indisputably Southern, it’s Sunday morning. According to Gallup, 48 percent of Georgians consider themselves “very religious,” meaning faith plays an important role in their daily lives and that they attend services almost weekly. On Sundays now in Atlanta, every retail business except Chick-fil-A seems to be open and you can even buy a six-pack at the liquor store. But you’ll also find cops directing traffic as hundreds of families pour into the churches along Peachtree Street or Boulevard. Children play tag across church lawns, the little girls staining their frilly skirts, the boys’ shirttails spilling out of khaki pants. At Big Bethel A.M.E., matriarchs don colorful suits and regal hats to take their accustomed places along the wooden pews. Afterward, all over town, congregants go out to lunch and notice who’s dressed up for the Sabbath. Although diverse Atlanta is quite content to let Nashville claim the title of “Buckle of the Bible Belt,” the pious path still cuts a broad swath through our city. Here we take a peek at the many different ways Atlantans observe this weekly ritual; from our November 2012 issue.