About Downtown Ministries
Downtown Ministries is a non-profit organization that engages youth and their families in inner-city Athens through sports programs, after-school programs, Downtown Academy, and other community projects. Our programs and activities promote personal and spiritual renewal as well as community restoration. Through these avenues, we build a sphere of influence through which to share the transforming power of the Christian gospel.
Downtown Ministries is an organization that builds consistent relationships with youth and their families in inner-city Athens through programs that demonstrate Christ-centered hope and encouragement.
Who We Serve
Downtown Ministries began as a mission geared toward helping and shaping the inner-city youth of Athens. We offer programs for children ages 4 to 12, but our volunteers often remain involved with our youth on a long-term basis. While we primarily recruit children from the downtown area, we accept youth from across the community.
Downtown Ministries was created in 2003 as a program of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in downtown Athens. The congregation wanted to reach out to children and families in Athens’ inner-city neighborhoods and launched the Downtown Falcons football teams as a means of the mission.
One team grew to two in 2004 and to four the following year. Additionally, basketball teams and cheerleading squads were also established to meet the ever-expanding demand for programs in the community. In 2007, Downtown Ministries became an independent non-profit organization.
Downtown Ministries expanded its reach beyond the playing field with Downtown Life, launching an after-school program as well as Cub Scouts. While Downtown Ministries does not host the Cub Scouts any more, we have continued to grow our After-School Program. Currently, After-School serves the children who attend Downtown Academy.
Our most recent major expansion has been Downtown Academy, a private, Christ-centered school which opened in August 2013. The school began its first year with kindergarten and first grade – with a maximum of 15 children in each class – and plans on adding a grade per year through grade five.
Today, Downtown Ministries is supported by several churches in Athens, as well as individuals and businesses in the community. Additionally, volunteers from more than a dozen churches and University of Georgia student organizations lead a growing number of Downtown Ministries programs.
God has showered Downtown Ministries with blessings to make for exponential growth during its first 10 years. And Downtown Ministries is just getting started. But while the ministry has grown, the mission remains the same.
Downtown Ministries will continue to communicate and demonstrate the transforming power of the Christian gospel to youth and their families in inner-city Athens by developing a consistent and authentic presence in their lives and communities.
- The Bible, contained in the Old and New Testaments is the Word of God, without error, and the supreme authority in all areas of life.
- The God of the Bible is the only true and living God. There are no others. God exists as a Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
- All people are created in the image of God and as a result are worthy of dignity and respect. At creation, the first man and woman were without sin, in perfect relationship with God. However, the first man and woman were separated from a right relationship with God by their disobedience, which is known as sin. All people are now born sinful, and no one is acceptable to God alone. Because all men and women are sinful, all deserve the penalty for sin, which is death.
- Because of man’s disobedience, a mediator is needed to restore the relationship between God and his people. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is that very mediator, making it possible for his people to know God and to renew their relationship with him.
- Jesus Christ, although God, became a man and lived a life of perfect obedience. Through his death, Christ received the punishment we deserved and granted to us his own righteousness. As a result, by faith, our sins are forgiven and our relationship with God is restored.
- Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, appeared to his disciples, and ascended into heaven. He lives and reigns over the world today and shall return to judge everyone at the final judgment. Through his resurrection, all believers have assurance of eternal life with him.
- Through the teaching and preaching of God’s Word, the Holy Spirit calls people to a renewed relationship with their heavenly father. He does this by enabling them to recognize their need for forgiveness because of their sinful ways, to be sorrowful, to repent and to trust in Christ as their Savior. Salvation is possible by God’s gift alone, and not by any effort on our part to please God.
- Those who enter into a relationship with God become his children, are given the gift of the Holy Spirit and receive as their inheritance of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. As children of God, our primary purpose in this life is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
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