The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Launches Faith-Based Collaborative

New initiative aimed at strengthening outreach to residents through the Faith Community

The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABLP) announces a new initiative aimed at strengthening outreach and engagement in the 45 neighborhoods connected by the Atlanta BeltLine corridor and beyond. The Atlanta BeltLine Faith-Based Collaborative, co-chaired by Rev. Portia Wills-Lee and John Berry, will soon begin connecting with houses of worship and faith-based institutions across Atlanta.

The Faith-Based Collaborative has two main goals: First, to open an even clearer line of communication between the churches, mosques, synagogues and other faith-oriented organizations about the Atlanta BeltLine vision and its implementation. Secondly, this initiative will help inform the community-building and social impact work of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership.

Rev. Portia Wills Lee and John Berry
Rev. Portia Wills Lee and John Berry

“The founding co-chairs, Reverend Portia Wills-Lee and Mr. John Berry are a perfect fit for this initiative”, stated Chuck Meadows, executive director of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership.   “Their standing in the community, their broad involvement in civic affairs and their support of the Atlanta BeltLine make them uniquely qualified for this work”.

Rev. Portia Wills Lee is Senior Pastor and Founder of Trinity Tabernacle Baptist Church, Vice President for the Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta, and a member of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Board of Directors. She also serves on the staff of the Interdenominational Theological Center. John Berry is the CEO and Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia, a large-scale, statewide charitable human services organization. Berry is also the chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber Non-Profit CEO Roundtable.

The pair will work together to build an inclusive platform for dialogue and involvement for faith-based organizations around the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine corridor, with an eye toward opportunities for enhanced coordination and cooperation. The work of the Faith-Based Collaborative will begin in the Westside Trail Corridor, where the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership has already begun working with civic leaders, neighborhood associations and non-profit partners on a plan to recruit additional support and investment.

“Our houses of worship are important community pillars,” said Rev. Wills Lee. “It is important that they be engaged and consulted in a project as large and transformative as this. We have a golden opportunity to improve the lives of our residents in meaningful ways.”

“We must be sure we are inclusive in our approach to urban revitalization,” added John Berry. “Finding ways to work closely with faith-based organizations is key to realizing the Atlanta BeltLine vision”.

While recruitment efforts will focus in areas closest to the Atlanta BeltLine, membership will be open to all faith-based organizations with an interest in supporting the efforts of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership as it works to empower the residents of the 45 Atlanta BeltLine neighborhoods.


About the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership:

The Atlanta BeltLine is a sustainable redevelopment project that is among the largest, most wide-ranging urban revitalization programs currently underway in the United States. The project is creating a 22-mile loop of public parks, multi-use trails and transit along a set of historic railroad corridors.

 The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership raises funds to enable the Atlanta BeltLine project, works to engage the users of the corridor’s trails and parks through programming and outreach, and strives to empower the residents of the 45 Atlanta BeltLine neighborhoods through targeted partnerships that build community.

Chuck Meadows | Executive Director | Atlanta BeltLine Partnership | (404) 446 – 4406

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