CUMMING, Ga. — Directly behind First Baptist Church in Cumming sits a home with a large front porch. There’s minimal signage out front, other than some designating it as Building C and a sign board which reads FBC Collegiate.

Inside the home, which was built in the 70s, you’ll find a variety of different areas – places to relax and places to work. Free Wi-Fi internet is available throughout the home which is known simply as “the Porch.”

“It's a co-work space and lounge for college students and young adults,” Kenedi Griffis, a college intern at First Baptist Church said. “Co-work space because you can come and work on homework or projects, but lounge because we also have things like a pool table and ping pong table and Netflix.”

Behind the home there’s an outdoor chapel, a sand volleyball court, a second ping pong table, and a pit area for “gaga ball,” which Griffis says is similar to dodgeball.

First Baptist Church owns the land, and staff members say the goal of the home is to give young adults a comfortable place to hangout.

“There are several local colleges within four or five miles of here, so if you have a class at 8 and not another class until 2, there's not a whole lot of options where you can come and have a nice place to relax and do work and get things accomplished,” Scott Carpenter, the church’s high school minister, said. “So we wanted to open it up for our community, just as a place where people can come and work and play and relax.”

In April, the church started placing flyers in local coffee shops, encouraging people to stop by. Traffic through the shared workspace continues to increase, but, for the most part, the Porch remains a secret.

“Not a whole lot of people know about it, but the ones who do love to come and hang out, get out of the house,” Carpenter said.

Griffis says she regularly stocks the kitchen with things like snacks and drinks, and a janitorial staff from the church keeps everything clean. Small groups from the church meet at the the Porch on a weekly basis, and they’re starting to use the space for special events.

“We just had an event on Saturday night called Songs at the Porch where we had local artists come in and perform,” Griffis said.

Carpenter says future plans for the Porch include new outdoor furniture and the potential for extended weekend hours.

The Porch is located at 1597 Sawnee Drive in Cumming. It’s currently open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with extended hours till about 10 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.

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