Community meeting

Pilgrim Ministries responds to Teloga community meeting

AllOnGeorgia reached out to Andrew Pilgrim, Executive Director of Pilgrim Ministries to get his reaction to the community meeting held on Saturday. Pilgrim released the following statement along with three statements he planned to read at the meeting but did not get a chance.

“The voices of some Teloga residents and their concerns have been received. They have valid concerns that I wish we had the opportunity to address in a calm and orderly manner. We prayerfully seek the Lord’s will in this situation as we move forward with the preliminary fieldwork that we have told residents that we will do the following: survey, study of environmental soil samples, water requirements and sewerage on property for the new campus. After receiving the information on the above points and a time of prayer, we will make a decision on how to proceed.

The following comments from the Habersham County Sheriff, the Town of Clarkesville Police Chief and a real estate agent located 300 feet from one of our ministry houses were to be read to the public at the meeting as benchmark, but we did not have the opportunity. The department has been operating in the current jurisdiction of these referrals for 15 years. The Habersham County Sheriff and Clarkesville Police Chief said all concerned residents of Teloga are more than welcome to call the Sheriff’s Office or the Clarkesville Police Department and would be happy to speak with them pilgrim ministries.
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Dear Sheriff Mark Schrader – I’ll try to keep it short for the sake of brevity. Andy Pilgrim and Pilgrim Ministries have been an incredible asset to our community. Mr. Pilgrim is a man of impeccable character and has always shown true integrity in everything he does here in Clarkesville. All his attributes shine emphatically with regard to the efforts associated with the whole organization of his ministry. Our community is rich in beauty and has been recognized nationally as a sought-after retreat area. Pilgrim Ministries has only enriched and enhanced this reputation. I cannot even begin to count the many volunteer services offered to our citizens by this organization. Pilgrim Ministries currently has three homes in our jurisdiction, and I fully assert that the organization has never been a burden on our law enforcement services, nor on the citizens of this community. The Town of Clarkesville is so blessed to have Mr. Pilgrim and Pilgrim Ministries among our citizens.

Thank you sincerely,
Brad barrett
Chief of Police
Clarkesville Police Department
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We haven’t had any real problems with the men from Pilgrims Ministries. There were concerns from the neighbors when it opened and again when it acquired more houses but no problems. He called us to bring in some drug addicted dogs when he thought he was in trouble. And it quickly fixes any issues that arise. He runs a tight ship and my wife and I even sponsored a young man to do his program. No one wants “rehabilitation” in their community, but there is a great need for someone to lend a hand to those who ask for it. I can say that they are doing a good job in our community.

Joey terrell
Habersham County Sheriff
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My name is Dale Holmes and I own a real estate company in Clarkesville Georgia. Our Headwaters Realty office is located on the corner of Washington Street and Spring Street, approximately 300 feet from one of the homes owned by Pilgrim Ministries. I drive regularly through the neighborhoods of Clarkesville where Pilgrim Ministries accommodates participants in their rehabilitation programs.

The purpose of my email is to serve as a positive reference for Pilgrim Ministries and to be a point of contact for concerned residents of the Town of Teloga and Chattooga County. I want you to know that I have no business or financial relationship with Pilgrim Ministries and that I am not expecting any compensation for my email.

Residents of Clarkesville were initially concerned about the presence of program residents in their residential neighborhoods. Residents had expressed fears about the possibility of increased crime rates, the presence of non-owners constantly walking the streets and negative effects on property values.

None of these fears turned out to be true.

The gentlemen of the program have always been friendly and polite when you pass by their accommodation.

The crime rate in the town of Clarkesville is extremely low and does not appear to have increased in the neighborhoods where residents of the program are housed.

Because I work in the local real estate industry every day, I can confirm that property values ​​have never gone down in the neighborhoods where Pilgrim Ministries operates. On the contrary, property values ​​have continued to accelerate in Clarkesville as our town goes through a kind of gentrification of old bought and renovated homes. In my opinion, any home put on the market in Clarkesville, including homes neighboring Pilgrim Ministries, would likely receive multiple offers to buy within 72 hours of listing.

It is my observation that Andy Pilgrim is running a “tight ship” with his rehabilitation program and can be trusted to keep his commitments to the community if he plans to build a facility in your area.

Please feel free to call or email me if you would like to discuss the contents of this email or if you have any further questions about Pilgrim Ministries in Clarkesville. My contact details are below:

Dale Holmes – Owner / Broker
Real estate agency
112, rue du Printemps
P.O. Box 908
Clarkesville, Georgia 30523
Cell: 706-499-0367
[email protected]


Casie Bryant is the NW Georgia Regional Director for AllOnGeorgia.