Pastors LaBryant and Phineka Friend are the Lead Pastors of Belong Church ATL. Throughout the years, they have both served in various ministry capacities individually and collectively. It is their foremost desire to express the love of Christ in all of their endeavors and to see people thrive in their predestined potential. They are the proud parents of 4 lovely daughters and have shared in marital bliss since 2008.
“It was clear that this wasn’t the end of their work in ministry, but only a new beginning that would emerge as Belong Church ATL.”And now, the story continues with you...
Belong Church originally began as the All Nations Worship Assembly of Atlanta in July 2016. What began as the first plant and extension of the All Nations Collective quickly turned into a fast growing church in the city of Atlanta. Between 2016-2020, the church made an anomalous impact through worship, the Word, and service to the community. In November 2020, Pastor LaBryant + Phineka Friend made one of the hardest leadership decisions by heeding God’s instructions to separate from the All Nations Collective. In doing so, it was clear that this wasn’t the end of their work in ministry, but only a new beginning that would emerge as Belong Church ATL.
Understanding the need to pause and process rather than getting straight to the work of [re] launching a new church, Pastors opted for a 2 month forum (Healing Conversations) facilitated by mental health professionals and pastors that would be an intricate aid in helping partners and leaders healthily transition. By February 2021, we began a series of soft launch services—attracting an audience of viewers that were mostly abroad.
The simplicity of the name Belong comes from Pastor LaBryant’s tenure at Oral Roberts University. There, for the first time in his life he felt and sensed that he finally found a place where he belonged. What he saw was a sea of students - all from different backgrounds, experiences, cultural expressions, and demographics - looking towards the same Christ and cross. Unbeknownst to him, that vision would become the catalyst for Belong Church 15 years later. Ephesians 2: 16-22 (The Message Version) makes the backdrop of Belong Church extremely clear.
Today, we have over 1,000 partners—locally and globally. Our continued commitment is to build a community of believers that will be diverse in nature yet singular in heart. We exist to be a bridge for people to experience and belong to Christ in community.