A local church is hosting a special service to help unite the community following a year that has been marked with protests that have escalated into riots, looting and violence following the deaths of Black individuals at the hands of mostly white police officers.

Buckhead Baptist Church will host the Reconciliation Nehemiah 9 service Aug. 30 at 11 a.m., and attendees can participate in person or online.

The service will include speeches from the Rev. William Givens, the church’s pastor; Alveda King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece and head of Alveda King Ministries; Gov. Brian Kemp and Thomas Hammond, executive director of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

“In light of all the things that have gone on in our community, specifically with the (COVID-19) pandemic worldwide and then coming here, and then the racial tensions that began to happen here, we began to ask ourselves, as leadership, what we could do to be part of the solution? So, that’s when we came up with the idea of the Reconciliation Nehemiah 9 service,” Givens said. “Our purpose is to unite the body and bring people together under the banner of peace and in hopes of providing a place of healing and reconciliation.”

Buckhead Baptist, located at 4100 Roswell Road in Atlanta, normally seats 450. But for this service, with social distancing in effect due to the outbreak, attendance will be limited to 150 individuals. Givens said the church will follow all CDC-recommended guidelines while hosting the in-person service.

“We’ll have masks for anyone, plus hand sanitizers at all entrances,” he said.

For those who can’t attend the service in person or don’t want to out of fear of contracting the coronavirus, it will be streamed live online at www.buckheadbaptist.org and www.facebook.com/buckheadbaptist. For more information, call 404-255-5112, email info@buckheadbaptist.org or visit www.buckheadbaptist.org.

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