Katie Delp grew up with a powerful example of neighborhood involvement. “My parents were always really good neighbors,” she says. “I simply can’t imagine living in a place where people don’t know those next door. I’m grateful for the life-long friendships my parents modeled with our neighbors. Neighboring has always been very natural and life-giving to me.”
She was also involved in different mission projects as a youth and college student. For her, there was always a deep connection between proximity to the “least of these” and a growing, vibrant Christian faith.
It makes sense then that Delp jumped into community work right after college. She received her degree in Business Management from Texas Tech University. Then, Delp participated in Mission Year, a year-long urban ministry program.
“Quickly into the year,” Delp says, “I felt God’s leading into a lifestyle of intentional neighborhood and community development. At the same time, FCS was beginning work in South Atlanta. I moved into the community and started working with FCS.”
Not long after, her future husband Jeff moved into the same neighborhood. “Jeff and I met through friends the first day he moved to Atlanta. We dated, got married, and had a couple of kids all within a few miles of South Atlanta. We like to keep it local!”
And the Delps are truly an Atlanta family. They love living in the city and enjoying all Atlanta has to offer. They like to bike downtown, try out new restaurants, or hit up local festivals. Delp and her son enjoy running 5Ks together as well. “I’m starting to claim that I actually like to run,” she jokes.
Delp is an avid reader. “My motto is to never leave the house without a book.” Her favorite is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. She says, “It’s a beautiful novel about family, faith, and the ways our religion can’t transcend culture, but our faith can.”
In March 2014, Delp stepped into leadership as FCS Executive Director. She is passionate about neighboring, faith, and community development. FCS’ philosophy of ministry supports responsible charity. Delp has seen how this approach plays out on the ground.
“The Marketplace, our local thrift store, was having a special “Back-to-School” sale. A woman new to the neighborhood was in the store, filling her basket. ‘How much can we get?’ she asked another shopper.
The neighbor replied, ‘This isn’t a giveaway. These items are for sale.’”
Delp then watched as the woman returned the items from her basket and chose other school supplies. “She made choices. She proved she had the income to make purchases and that we make different decisions when there is an exchange. Using the gift of economy is one of the most dignifying forms of charity.”