The Peachtree Corners Baha'i community, who elected its first nine-member governing council known as the Local Spiritual Assembly in April, became incorporated as a non-profit on July 10, 2013.
After Peachtree Corners officially became a city in 2012, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States designated a new Baha’i community, since Baha’i localities follow geopolitical boundaries. Peachtree Corners’ first-ever Local Spiritual Assembly, which was elected in April, included Golnar Charepoo, Nasr Khadem, Nazanin Khadem, Garsha Motahar, Andrea Perkins, Eric Perkins, Faez Soltanian, Al Viller and Allison Viller. They met shortly afterward and elected Nasr Khadem as chairperson for the coming year, and recently Niloufar Soltanian replaced Allison Viller, who is currently on sabbatical.
Spiritual Assemblies minister to the needs of the community. They support community members who organize classes for the spiritual education of children, adult study circles, devotional programs, Holy Day observances and service projects. Through these activities, the Assembly exercises its responsibility to diffuse the Word of God, mobilize the energies of believers, and foster an environment that is spiritually edifying. They also conduct Baha'i marriages, pray for members of the community and provide spiritual counseling on matters brought to the Assembly.
The Founder of the Baha'i Faith, Baha'u'llah (1817-1892), whose name means “The Glory of God,” established the principle of independent investigation of truth and taught that in an age of universal education, there was no longer a need for a special class of clergy. Instead, He provided a framework for administering the affairs of the Faith through elected councils at the local, regional, national and international levels. All Baha'i elections occur through secret ballot, without candidacies, nominations or campaigning. There are approximately 11,000 local Baha'i Spiritual Assemblies around the world, elected each year in April from among the adult believers in every locality where at least nine Baha'is reside.
The Baha'i Faith, founded in Persia in 1844, is the youngest of the world's independent, monotheistic religions and is one of the fastest-growing, with approximately 170,000 members in the United States and more than five million worldwide. Baha'is view the world's major religions as part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. Major Baha'i tenets include the oneness of humanity, equality of men and women, eradication of prejudice, harmony of science and religion, universal education and world peace. To learn more about the Baha'i Faith in America, visit www.bahai.us.