The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church has opened a Hispanic center in Canton to provide services to north metro's Hispanic community and beyond. The Mi Familia Center will provide english classes, computer courses, after school programs for children, religious services, and other forms of assistance.
The coordinator of the center, Rev. Dr. Aquiles Martinez, professor of religion at Reinhardt College, hopes that the new center will "offer Christian hospitality to all of God's children by providing them with essential services so they will feel welcome, experience God's love, and be contributing members of their community." Rev. Dr. Ed Tomlinson, superintendent of the UMC's Roswell district, was also present for the opening dedication. Tomlinson thanked Martinez for his leadership and stated that the center was "a place of our dreams in the Atlanta Roswell District."
The center will offer essential services to the large and growing Hispanic community in metro Atlanta. Georgia has one of the fastest growing Hispanic populations in the country. In 2003, it was estimated that about 8% of metro population was Hispanic and the percentage has continued to climb in recent years. Four area counties, Gwinnett, Cobb, Fulton, and Clayton, account for about half of the state's Hispanic population.
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