ATHENS, Ga. — The historic Hill First Baptist Church in Athens has a new leader making a notable change to the church's 156-year run.
Rev. Allison Henderson-Brooks is the church's first woman senior pastor. She's from Augusta and has been preaching since the age of 12. Henderson-Brooks also teaches theology at Emory University.
She said assuming the role at the church is the "honor of her life" and is excited to build on the church's rich history.
"We want to be the community's church. It is my goal to be the church in the community," Henderson-Brooks added.
Hill First Baptist Church was founded by emancipated enslaved persons in 1867. It's located just a few blocks from the downtown area near Reese Street Historic District.
Henderson-Brooks said that as the church's new senior pastor, it's her goal to empower and meet the needs of the surrounding community.
"In the let's say the 50s, 60s, 70s-- the communities took care of the church. Coming out of COVID, it is imperative for the church to take care of that community so that there might be reciprocity and we might understand what is going on in the community," she said.
Henderson-Brooks added that her new position represents a shift in the church.