John Chambliss’s introduction to FCS began long before he became a board member. In the early 90’s, when Bob Lupton and FCS Ministries were working in Grant Park, John’s mom purchased an FCS house. “Growing up I saw the work of FCS up close and how they engaged in the neighborhood,” says John. “It made me supportive of their work and also encouraged me to think about how I might give back to my community.”
When John was approached to join the FCS board 15 years later, he was passionate about the mission. He also hoped to offer his background in and extensive network of professionals in real estate investing and banking to support FCS’ housing work. John immediately jumped right in!
John’s main focus has indeed been the affordable housing work FCS is doing in South Atlanta. As FCS renovates abandoned properties, tears down dilapidated properties for new construction, and owns rental home in the community, John has been working behind the scenes. He’s helped FCS find and acquire vacant homes, which is no easy task in a neighborhood with so many abandoned properties. He’s also dug in and helped decipher some of the tax codes surrounding these homes.
We are grateful for the ways John is constantly bringing other people and organizations into our work. His excitement for affordable housing is contagious, and he routinely engages his relationships with builders, developers, attorneys, and architects from his work in housing and finance to strengthen FCS’ housing program. Many of those partners have also caught his enthusiasm and come alongside to support FCS.
But John’s involvement with FCS doesn’t stop there. When asked what’s something he most enjoys, he points to our partnership with Emory’s Goizueta Business School’s Start:Me program, a small business accelerator. John has brought his expertise in analyzing costs and creating strategic growth strategies to the program, serving as a mentor. In this role, John is supporting neighborhood entrepreneurs and contributing to FCS’ mission to create sustainable businesses in the community!
Knowing that positive changes - even if they aren’t seen immediately - are taking place in South Atlanta keeps John coming back. He connects to with the mission to FCS and the goal of supporting justice in the neighborhood. “The concept of gentrification with justice is important to me, “ says John. “It makes a major difference in how a neighborhood navigates change.” We at FCS are so grateful for the nine years John has served on our board!