Ariel Bowen United Methodist Church began as a Sunday school class in an Atlanta Georgia Pittsburgh Community private home. In 1882, with the help of the Freedman’s Aid society, and the president of Clark College, Dr. Wilbur P. Thirkield, two bush covered lots were purchased at the intersection of Arthur and Gate City Streets. The lots were cleared and a Bush Arbor was constructed, under which a Methodist Church was organized. It was the Gate City Methodist Episcopal Church. The Rev. H. M. White was the first pastor.
In 1890, a church edifice and a parsonage were constructed on the two lots. In 1904, the church was renamed, in memory of Mrs. Ariel Serena Hodge Bowen. Mrs. Ariel Bowen was a very active member of this church, and the Atlanta Community. She was an educator, musician, writer and social reformer.
The present facility was constructed in 1939 under the leadership of Rev. J. H. Bridges. The mortgage burning was celebrated in 1944, with Bishop L. H. King presiding. Ground breaking for the Education Unit was held on March 31, 1985 and the building was dedicated in honor of Mrs. Eleanor McCoy on June 4, 1995.
Ariel Bowen has had a rich history of serving the Pittsburgh Community for over 139 years. This was reflected in the church receiving the prestigious Phoenix Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a religious organization, from Mayor Kasim Reed, mayor of Atlanta, Georgia.
Ariel Bowen Memorial United Methodist Church envisions allowing the spirit of the Lord to move in our hearts, to rebuild our spiritual and physical temples through Christian practices that will invite others to Christian fellowship.