Who We Are
Our mission is to create healthy places in the city where families flourish and God’s shalom is present.
Who we are:
FCS (focus community strategies) is a collective of visionaries and social entrepreneurs, transforming distressed urban neighborhoods through Christian community development.
We are a diverse people of faith, pursuing justice, mercy and humility, loving God and neighbor.
Our Core Values:
Community is a deeply imbedded value of FCS. Nearly four decades has demonstrated that the most transformative urban ministry is community-based. Thus, FCS focuses on a single neglected neighborhood for an extended period of time until health returns. Though not all FCS programs are exclusively single-community focused, all share the same commitment to community development.
We practice equality, believing that every voice matters and that all people are made in the image of God.
We practice friendship with a guiding adage, “Never do for others what they can do for themselves.”
Learn more about our Code for Helpers.
We practice local living, believing that poor and privildeged need each other, doing life together, raising families together.
FCS celebrates over 30 years of learning in the heart of Atlanta, reweaving the fabric of urban community by building upon neighborhood strength and by attracting “strategic neighbors” to move in. With an emphasis on neighborhood leadership and a commitment to mixed-income housing development, our strategy yields both social and spiritual vitality as well as economic viability. Ultimately, we’re devoted to give ourselves away for the sake of the whole. We’re rolling up our sleeves to participate in regenerating life around us, working ourselves out of work, creating avenues for distressed neighborhoods to become self-sustainable. And, in the process, God is changing us.
Since 1976, Focused Community Strategies (FCS) has grown to become a multi-faceted community development organization, experimenting with “gentrification with justice” and strategic “re-neighboring,” concepts that place a framework around urban development in order to foster communities that are real, sustainable, even restorative.
A word from Bob Lupton
The call that I first felt while serving in the armed forces in Vietnam eventually caused me to leave a budding business career and pursue a ministry with delinquent urban youth. It did not take long to figure out that if this work was to have lasting effect on troubled young lives, we would have to become involved with their families. Family Consultation Service (original name) was formed for that purpose. In time, however, it became apparent that our effectiveness would be limited unless we could find ways to change the environment that impacted so negatively upon them every time they stepped out of their door. Thus, FCS Urban Ministries emerged into a Christian community development organization.
FCS has blossomed over the years into a rather holistic ministry with a broad range of services including an array of youth programs, support for families and seniors, housing, economic development, church planting and educational programs. None of these is particularly unique in itself; however, when focused on a single neighborhood with the aim of community transformation, the effects can be dramatic. When invited to partner with a neglected neighborhood, FCS takes the lead in developing a comprehensive revitalization plan, mobilizes needed expertise and resources to implement the plan, and recruits “strategic neighbors” to help re-neighbor the community with strong, committed new neighbor-leaders. The goal is to re-create a stable, mixed-income community that is safe, socially and spiritually healthy, and economically viable.
Bob Lupton, Founder and President
Bob Lupton has invested almost 40 years of his life in inner-city Atlanta. In response to a call that he first felt while serving in Vietnam, he left a budding business career to work with delinquent urban youth. Bob and his wife Peggy and their two sons sold their suburban home and moved into the inner-city where they have lived and served as neighbors among those in need. Their life’s work has been the rebuilding of urban neighborhoods where families can flourish and children can grow into healthy adults.
Bob is a Christian community developer, an entrepreneur who brings together communities of resource with communities of need. Through FCS Urban Ministries – a non-profit organization which he founded – he has developed two mixed income subdivisions, organized a multi-racial congregation, started a number of businesses, created housing for hundreds of families and initiated a wide range of human services in his community. He is the author of the books Theirs in the Kingdom, Return Flight, Renewing the City, Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life and the widely circulated “Urban Perspectives”, monthly reflections on the Gospel and the poor. Bob has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Georgia. He serves as speaker, strategist, and inspirer with those throughout the nation who seek to establish God’s Shalom in the city.
To Receive Bob’s monthly newsletter, click here
Leroy Barber, CEO
Leroy Barber has dedicated more than 20 years to eradicating poverty, confronting homelessness, restoring local neighborhoods, healing racism and living what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called “the beloved community.”
Leroy starts projects that shape society. In 1990, burdened by the plight of Philadelphia’s homeless, he founded Restoration Ministries, to serve homeless families and children living on the streets. In 1997, he joined FCS Urban Ministries serving as the founding Director of Atlanta Youth Academies, a private elementary school, to provide quality Christian education for low-income families in the inner city.
He is currently the President of Mission Year, a national urban initiative introducing 18-29 year olds to missional and communal living in city centers for one year of their lives. Rev. Barber is the Teaching Pastor of a church plant, Community Life Church.
Leroy is married to Donna and together they live in South Atlanta with their children: Jessica, Joshua, Joel, Asha and Jonathan.
To Receive Leroy’s month newsletter, click here
Katie Delp, COO
Katie Delp hails from deep in the heart of Texas. After graduating with a business degree from Texas Tech University, she spent a year committed to service and loving her neighbor with Mission Year. This experience brought her to Atlanta, GA, where she chose to stay to work in the community and eventually with FCS Urban Ministries. Her business training and neighborhood involvement have given her the skills and the heart for her commitment to superb, professional support of ministries. She has served at FCS since 2001. She is also wife to Jeff, the mother of two delightful kids, Sam and Maya and resides in South Atlanta.
FCS Board of Directors
- Howell Adams, Jr.
- Georgia Trane (Retired)
- Jack Alexander
- Geronimo Fund
- David Allman
- Regent Partners, Inc.
- Leroy Barber, CEO
- FCS Urban Ministries
- Frank Bishop
- FCS Treasurer
- Neilson Brown
- Cornerstone Investment Partners, LLC
- Ike Cobb
- McCalla, Raymer, LLC
- Florida Ellis
- Robert W. Fowler, Secretary
- Fowler Designs
- Jaimie Hardin, Moving in the Spirit Chairperson
- Hardin and Associates Consulting, Inc.
- Bob Lupton, President
- FCS Urban Ministries
- Billy Mitchell, Charis Chairperson
- Carter and Associates
- Jim Morgens
- LS Realty, LLC
- John Smithgall
- Southfund Partners
- Ben Teague, Chair
- Walton Communities, LLC
- Beltline Bike Shop
- CF Youth Development Group
- Charis Community Housing
- Common Focus
- Community Chaplaincy
- Community Grounds Cafe
- FCS Community Economic Development
- Georgia Avenue Community Ministry
- Green My Hood
- Metro Merge
- Mission Year
- Moving in the Spirit
- Refugee Beads
- South Atlanta Bike Shop
- South Atlanta Marketplace
- Southwest Atlanta Neighboring
- Youth Universe