The UCC and the Villa International Experience

by Barbara Baylor

  • “Welcoming the Stranger”
  • “Peacemaking and Global Understanding”
  • “Building A Safe Community”
  • “Compassionate Healing Through the Work of Its Guests”

These are the founding principles of Villa International Atlanta, Inc., an ecumenical ministry of hospitality that offers affordable, safe, comfortable and convenient short-term housing to international healthcare professionals who come to study and conduct research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and its hospitals.

Villa International Atlanta, Inc. was founded in 1967 in response to a housing need and was built with funds from the Women of the Church, Presbyterian Church (US), now part of Presbyterian Women of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  Villa International has seven partner denominations that are represented on its Board of Directors to help oversee the work of Villa: the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Georgia; the Episcopal Church in the United States, Diocese of Atlanta; the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Southeastern Synod; the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Synod of the South Atlantic and its sixteen presbyteries in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina; the Roman Catholic Church, Archdiocese of Atlanta; the United Church of Christ, Southeast Conference and GA/SA Association; United Methodist Church, North Georgia Conference.

The United Church of Christ, Southeast Conference is represented by Barbara Baylor, member at First Congregational United Church of Christ, Rev. Dwight Andrews, Pastor and by Helen Fredrick, member at Central Congregational, Rev. Lacey Brown, Pastor.

Villa International Atlanta operates with the help of many hands and counts on churches, civic clubs, foundations and individuals for donations that help keep the room rates low enough so that people from even the world’s poorest countries can join us. Because of the United Church of Christ’s strong roots in Justice and Community issues, we hope that your church will join us in supporting Villa.

Here are some of the ways you, your church, or your foundation can help Villa right now:

  • make a donation
  • schedule a visit to see Villa’s ministry with your own eyes
  • bring Villa to the attention of your church’s mission committee
  • host meetings for your church groups in our library or conference room
  • volunteer either as an individual or as a group
  • contribute financially (we are a 501(c)3 organization)
  • join us for a community dinner
  • invite someone to speak to your church or organization

View Villa’s Wish List

For more information, please contact Barbara Baylor – or Helen Fredrick –
Camille Gaffron, Executive Director, Villa International –
For more information about Villa –