It began the size of a mustard seed, grew in favor and stature and multiplied in a small town in Cobb County, Georgia.

The English School of First Baptist Church of Marietta was formed in 1971. It was a ministry consisting of five teachers and fifteen students, which grew over the years.

The English School is 48 years old. It holds classes on Tuesday nights at 6:30 pm and Thursday mornings at 9:30 am.

“Our English Program is the largest and oldest English School in the country,” director of the English School of FBC Marietta, Melba Lehman told Atlanta Christian Voice. “Many of our students are not Christians. We have Buddhists and Catholics. We take everybody.”

“Many of our students are not Christians. We have Buddhists and Catholics. We take everybody,” director of the English School of FBC Marietta, Melba Lehman told Atlanta Christian Voice.

The English School teaches students from 25 nationalities, such as Japanese, Bolivian, Haitian, Italian and many others nationalities. It follows the Cobb County School System calendar for breaks and bad weather.

Some English School volunteers are university students from Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Clayton State University and Emory University. Others include four hospitality volunteers, who prepare the breakfast meal for English School students.

Panera Bread donates its bread to the English School so that students can eat it as a part of the breakfast meal that is served by the hospitality volunteers.

“We have a total of 60 volunteers,” Lehman told Atlanta Christian Voice. “Not all of our volunteers are church members.”

The English School has six levels, including a class that teaches English School students how to transition into becoming citizens of the United States.

The English School teaches students the material that they need to know in order to do well on the citizenship exam.

“We help to prepare them really well,” Lehman told Atlanta Christian Voice.

Before the English School begins classes, Pastoral Leaders of FBC Marietta, Dr. Bill Ross and Rev. Philip Vestal, come into the classroom and read a devotional to the students. This encourages English School students to think and incorporate practical information into the lessons prepared before the class begins.

“[The English School] has students tell them specific things that they need help with and they tell them things they need to know,” Lehman told Atlanta Christian Voice.

Lehman is inspired by English School students as she touches their lives through the Holy Spirit of God.

Lehman is inspired by English School students as she touches their lives through the Holy Spirit of God.

“I keep a record of how many live I touch,” Lehman told Atlanta Christian Voice. “We have had over 150 people, who have come to register—–that’s over 300 lives we get to touch during the year.”

Lehman gives credit to FBC Marietta for their support of the English School.

“You have to have volunteers to work with you,” Lehman told Atlanta Christian Voice. “You have to have your church helping you right behind you. We could not have done it without the support of the church.”

To find out more about the English School of FBC Marietta, visit http://www.mariettafbc.org/.

FBC Marietta English School teacher leading daily activities with children.
A mother and child at a daily activity led by the English School of FBC Marietta.

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