February 2014 

Friends for Clarkston, Georgia,


Time magazine has called Clarkston, Georgia the most diverse square mile in America.  People speak 60 languages--a different language for every 100 square feet.


Last month, Reach Out led a Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry Forum in Clarkston.


Clarkston, Georgia--Past Connections


My heart for Clarkston goes back to the 1980s. Carol (my first wife, before her death) and I helped start Christ Community Church in Clarkston, and I led the church as pastor for eight years. Our very vibrant

Bill & Kitti Murray 

storefront church had an average age of twenty-three. 120 kids comprised our youth group, 80% of whom came from divorced homes. Many people encountered Christ, got baptized, grew as disciples, and became strong leaders. People never got bored at Christ Community!


Bill and Kitti Murray and Diane Leonetti served on our church staff, along with others. Bill and Kitti led our discipleship ministry and Diane handled administration.


Clarkston, Georgia--Recent Reconnections


When Carol and I moved to Atlanta in the 70s, I met Bill Murray at Dykes High School. I led a group of guys, including Bill. Through the years our friendship has grown. We experienced ministry together at Christ Community Church. Later Bill and Kitti moved away from Clarkston, but recently moved back.


When Bill and Kitti returned, I also reconnected with Diane Leonetti. While others left Clarkston in the 1980's, Diane and her husband stayed. Now a city councilwoman, she and Amina Osman bring Christ to Clarkston every day. They have encouraged our efforts to connect youth leaders in Clarkston.

Enjoy this fascinating PBS documentary on
Diane, Amina, and Clarkston  

Fast forward to 2013 and 2014.  Months before our Clarkston Forum, Bill Murray sensed God's leading to gather youth leaders in Clarkston from diverse backgrounds and cultures into a fellowship for reaching and discipling teenagers.  When Bill tossed out the idea to me, I jumped on it. For several months Bill and I met with a few youth leaders to discuss Clarkston's unique needs. They liked Reach Out's Jesus-focused approach. So we set a

date for the Forum in January.

Clarkston Forum Participants


Clarkston, Georgia--Currently Connected


Complex describes Clarkston! The massive influx of refugees that represent over 40

countries creates difficulties in all directions--housing, food, transportation, jobs, language, education, and kids getting sucked into secular American name a few.


At the Jesus-Focused Forum, youth leaders came together to take our first step to lessen these complexities for teenagers--learning to lead them to follow Jesus. Our delightful day brought together 18 diverse leaders,

Tamang & Mangal
Bhutan Bible & JFYM Notebook

including Bhutanese, Sudanese, Somalian, African American, and Caucasian. 


One vivid picture captured the day: Tamang and Mangal from Bhutan, northwest of India, spoke only broken English, and Bill Murray painstakingly coached them through the Forum notebook--each session, all day. Bill's patient investment to equip those leaders to disciple their teenagers depicts what it will take to make a significant difference over time in Clarkston, Georgia.

Your prayers and gifts will help Reach Out take our next steps to make a difference in Clarkston, Georgia!

Jesus is Lord,


Barry                                   Donate Now 

PO Box 870141, Stone Mountain, GA 30087