Joyce Abernathy, a native Georgian, has lived in south Forsyth County since 1982. She and Larry, her husband of nearly 40 years, are natives of Roswell and Alpharetta. She credits Larry, their children, Andy and Kristen, and her grandchildren as the true inspirations in her life.
A small business owner since 1991, Joyce ran Abernathy Facility Services for 23 years, providing commercial contract cleaning services and facility management to businesses in Metro Atlanta.
She has been a member of the North Fulton Rotary Club for many years, serving on the board as well as President, 2008-2010. During her term as club President, a member served on a mission trip in Africa with Heart for Africa. After learning more about this organization and its mission in Swaziland, Africa, Joyce felt called to serve there as well.
She and her daughter traveled to Swaziland in 2010 and again in 2011 serving with Heart for Africa by working and planting a garden for a church in the community. She encountered wonderful people during this amazing life changing event.
Upon returning, Joyce asked God for her next mission to be at home.
Little did she know what God had in store!
In July of 2012, Joyce began taking a back road (Mullinax) to work every day. An odd choice for her, a creature of habit. But one day, she saw a For Sale sign at a vacant building that was once a daycare. One day she felt an incredible urge to stop at the building. With no idea why, she stopped and began praying, asking God what she was doing here and what was He saying? Joyce recalls “An ever so gentle voice spoke to my heart, saying ‘Joyce, you’ve been busy for 20 years working for yourself, now it’s time for you to get busy for me. Build a school where children can come learn about me, plant the seed, and I’ll do the rest.’” Resistant because she was so busy running the family business, Joyce finally remembered and realized she had asked for her next mission to be at home.
For the next nine months Joyce and her husband, along with many contractors, were busy. They worked diligently to create a Christ-centered, warm and loving school for all God’s children. Despite many challenges along the way, God provided solutions.
God’s mission could not fail, and it didn’t!
Seven Branches Academy opened its doors on July 1st, 2013!
Now Joyce says, “God has truly blessed us with wonderful staff, parents and children. I can honestly say that I love every minute I spend with your child. I know that God is pleased when they say their prayers or sing Jesus loves me.
I am thankful that he chose me, an unworthy, but willing vessel to follow his plan. I am truly busy for God and still enjoying it!”
Virtues we inspire: love, sharing, respect, morality, responsibility, faith and patience.
Thank you for allowing us to love, care, educate and be part of your child’s life.