Are you connected but looking for community?

By Lead Pastor Michael Powell of  Southpoint Fellowship in Downtown Locust Grove


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Growing up, I didn’t have the internet on my phone. In fact, I didn’t have a phone in my pocket at all. Our family had a phone hanging on the wall in our living room that had amazing new technology called “touch tone”, which replaced the rotary. You can tell I’m dating myself, but I was born in 1984, not the 50’s! It’s been a relatively short time since all the information in the world can be accessed in seconds, no matter where you are in the world. We are more connected now than we ever have been in human history. When I was in elementary school, we wrote to pen pals in other states, and they sent us letters about their lives. Today, everything from major world events to makeup tutorials are streamed live and accessible with a few clicks. We’re connected to literally billions of people on every continent via social media, yet new platforms are popping up every day to fill a void left by the last. According to a recent study published in Fortune magazine, over half of Americans feel lonely most of the time, with the younger generations claiming the largest percentages. For all of our connectedness, we still need more community.
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My brother recently asked me, “if you don’t post it, did it really happen?” Maybe your existence can only be verified by your followers. Or maybe you’re a little more like me (you know, older and wiser), constantly perusing pictures and videos while judging their authenticity. Whether you live for likes or prefer to watch from a distance, one thing is certain- for all of our connectedness, neither is real community.


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Our culture thrives on differences- age, income, skin color, voting patterns, and even sports teams. Just observe your feed or any trending topic. But the one need that we all have in common must be anchored and answered by our similarities, not our differences. Our neighborhoods, schools, churches, and families operate best when people from every walk of life are committed to each other in a real, tangible way- with time and conversation.

I’m not opposed to social media (in fact, I’d love to be friends!), but I would encourage you to move beyond simply being connected and learn to better engage your community- that’s how our society will thrive for the good of everyone.

Ways to engage:

Walk across the street and plan a neighborhood cookout with some folks you live beside. 

Check out the Locust Grove city events schedule or like them on Facebook.

Come to Southpoint on a Sunday (right behind French Market)- we start at 10:30 AM and would love to meet you and your family!

Find more info at

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My Why

By Abbye Clevenger of Broken Vessel Pottery

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Broken Vessel Pottery, the name given to my business nearly 6 years ago. I say it was given to me because at just the right time these words came to life on the page after a long season of seeking direction. I knew I wanted to make pottery after graduating but I needed a deeper “why” behind it all. Simply making pottery out of a love for the craft never really did it for me but sharing a message or a story through my work fired me up! My senior show was a take on inner beauty and that theme gave me a reason to produce heaps of functional ware. So I continued to ask the question “what is my why” and the answer came.


Psalm 31:12 was the verse.

I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel..

 Sitting on the floor beside my bed, I opened my Bible after a long week of revelation to the words broken vessel. This particular week in October 2013 was my introduction to End It Movement, the church was on a mission to expose the sex-trafficking industry here in Atlanta and around the world. I hadn’t known of this degree of evil, it was crushing to my naive and protected spirit. With a heavy heart I sat down to read Psalm 31 and found the words that would shape my future work. If I understood the emotion behind the phrases forgotten as a dead man and broken vessel, how much more would a person with deeper wounds?

I often miss my younger self that believed and followed her conviction without doubt or fear. On the floor that day I wept tears of understanding and joy that this was the path laid out for me, this was my why; to use my gifts as a potter to show others their redeemable qualities in the hands of their creator. I wanted to be a visual of Isaih 64:8 to the broken.

Yet you, Lord, are our Father; We are the clay, you are the Potter; we are all the work of your hand.


Broken Vessel pottery was born in that moment but life isn’t so straight forward is it? This has been a journey, even as I write I recount all the detours I have taken along the way as fear crept in but this is the beauty in life, we all end up right where we need to be with more wisdom and a fresh perspective.

Six years later, tucked away in the heart of Locust Grove, in the little pottery shack on Jackson street  my why is still the same. Waiting and anticipating new opportunities to love and encourage the broken like me though my gifts as a potter. We are not forgotten, we are not forsaken, we are all redeemable in His hands.

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 But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.

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You can follow along and join this journey @bvpottery on social media or at If you would like more information on hosting a party, private lessons or where to purchase bvpottery wares please email

– Abbye

Broken Vessel Pottery

Dive into Summer with Yoga.

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By Stephanie Epps

Yoga means yoke; to unite the mind, body, and spirit as one. Yoga is a lifelong journey of self-care, self-love, and growth. It allows practitioners to cultivate something new. This 5000+ year old practice is for all ages and abilities. The practice is accessible from seated meditation, to chair yoga, and to standing intense power yoga. At Indigo Soul Yoga we support and encourage all practitioner’s growth on and off the mat. It is an honor to be able to “blog” about yoga during the month of June.


In December 2014, the United Nations designated the 21st of June as International Yoga Day. We will have a special community event at 6PM on the 21st consisting of 108 sun salutations. Sun salutations are a series of yoga postures performed in a single, graceful flow. Each posture is coordinated with the breath. Inhale as you extend/open/stretch, and exhale as you fold or contract. In addition to June 21st being designated International Yoga Day, it is also the summer solstice. Summer solstice in the US is the longest day of the year; it marks the first day of summer and the moment when the sun reaches its highest point. Attending the 108 sun salutation event can ignite your yoga practice this summer.


The physical yoga postures support the body while helping focus the mind, spirit, and emotions. Yoga has been incorporated in many fields including for military personnel, healthcare providers, educators, and first responders. Research has found that breathing techniques and meditation have been integral in helping manage stress and response in high stress fields and as a tool for those battling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

At Indigo Soul Yoga we offer Pilates, power yoga, hatha yoga, yin (deep stretching) yoga, restorative yoga, meditation, sound healing, and workshops. Indigo Soul has partnered with the Locust Grove Main Street to offer free yoga in the park throughout the summer. Yoga in the park will be held at 9:30AM at the Locust Grove City Park on June 8th and June 22nd. Additional classes will be announced over the next several months.


For the summer, adults and children ages 5 and above are welcome to attend our Family Yoga class on Tuesday mornings at 9:30AM. We are also having a Girls Empowered Yoga Camp for ages 8-16 from 8AM-Noon on June 12-14, 2019. These specialty classes are designed to build confidence and connection while empowering children and adults with tools that can be incorporated into every-day life.

At ISY we believe in Power & Rest. Power is the physical practice of poses such as those found in sun salutations; Rest is the relaxation and restoration of the mind, body, and spirit through meditation, breathing, and stillness.

We invite you to drop in for class. New Indigo Soul Yoga students are welcome to receive one month of unlimited yoga classes for $40.00. This introductory pass allows practitioners to attend a variety of classes with different teachers that can help start and grow your practice. Indigo Soul Yoga is located in the heart of downtown Locust Grove at 3835 Hwy 42. You can pass by the studio to say hello, give us a call at 470-332-9409, or check out our website at We look forward to seeing you soon.

Indigo soul yoga 3835 hwy 42 Locust grove, ga 30248

A Locust Grove Home Filled with History

By Aleigha J

Photos by Kayleigh J

“You don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.” — Marianne Morfoot.


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The stained glass in this lovely home is what drew Marianne Morfoot and her late husband to purchase the historic structure nestled near the train tracks.  And once the spoon with the pattern name Marianne was found in the backyard after they purchased the home it only proved it was their destiny.

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Marianne and her husband had been looking for an older home for quite some time and when they peered through the windows of the 19th century home they immediately knew it was what they had been looking for.

As a retired teacher from Clayton County and previously heavily involved with Historic Jonesboro, where she spent many hours as a tour guide for the Gone with the Wind Tour, Marianne moved to Locust Grove in the 80’s along with her husband to take on her biggest historical involvement yet.

The stunning structure she took part in restoring, was built around 1893 by cotton farmer, Andrew Combs.  He and his wife, Georgia Brown Combs, and daughter Carrie Lee resided in the home surrounded by many acres of cotton.  Though it wasn’t until the 1900’s when the roof was raised and a second story was added to house students from Locust Grove Institute, which is now known as Locust Grove City Hall.  However, once the Boll Weevil and the Great Depression hit the successful cotton farmer had no choice but to sell part of his land, later leaving his daughter Carrie Lee with only three acres.

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Many years later, after the home had been out of the family and in the possession of a different couple, Marianne and Tom Morfoot purchased the home in November of 1982, later moving in, in February of 1983.  Before they could occupy the home, it was in desperate need of repair.  According to Marianne, when they purchased the home there was a hole in the ceiling upstairs with only a trash can sitting underneath.

Although a roof repair wasn’t the only thing the home needed, as the Morfoots had much work upon them.  To get the home where it is today, they had to have the unvented gas heaters in front of the 10 working fireplaces removed, along with heat and air conditioning added, the cresting missing on the exterior replaced, the woodwork throughout the house stripped of all the paint, the hardwood floors refinished, and more.

Marianne mentioned, they spent hours upon hours stripping paint off the beautiful heart of pine, they even used dental picks to remove paint from the creases.  And as for the hardwood floors, they were painted over as well except for the places where rugs once remained which created quite a challenge.

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But even though the house has been quite the upkeep throughout the years and has required serval repairs and replacements in recent years, such as the spindle and railing replacements brought in from the old Watterson-Morrow House, Marianne couldn’t imagine living someplace else.  After all, where else could one find the view of both the city and farm, as well as a home filled with history.














April is Child Abuse Prevention Month; Let’s Paint Henry Blue!

By Lakell Maxwell, Paint Henry Blue Committee Chair

Spring is a time of beautiful weather in the day time and cool fall weather in the evening Georgia style.  It also marks the beginning of more time spent with family and friends as we gather for concerts, festivals and cookouts.  As we celebrate the happiness that the season brings we can’t forget about what is important to the everyday happiness of children. That every child deserves love and security instead of abuse and neglect.  What a wonderful world it would truly be if this issue no longer existed in the lives of our children. The abuse and neglect must stop.  We are obligated as a community to do our part to stop it.  It starts with us.  It starts with painting the town blue.

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The Paint Henry Blue Campaign is held in the month of April in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Several local agencies join forces to host this event with pinwheels and bows all over the community. We kick off the month with a Pinwheel Virgil in one of the four cities.  This year the host city is Locust Grove.  This is where the discussion begins and continues throughout the month.  This year’s theme is “If you see something say something.”  Why did we chose this theme you ask? Because as much as we need to talk about awareness for the children sometimes we forget the parents of the children need some awareness as well.

During the kickoff event each year we have agencies such as A Friend’s House, Connecting Henry, Prevent Child Abuse Henry County and the District Attorney’s office (just to name a few) set up tables full of information that is free to the public to take with them as well as an opportunity to ask the questions from the community leaders about what they have to offer that supports child abuse awareness.  For 2019’s kick off,  local school groups such as the Henry County High School’s ROTC Color Guard and well as and The Unity Grove singing group joined us for the event. It was a great time for the community to come out and support spreading awareness about child abuse prevention.

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Also, during the kickoff event, we had speakers share different ways on how the community as a whole can take a more active role in paying more attention to the things you may feel in your heart “just aren’t right”.  As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse myself I wish someone saw my behavioral changes and questioned it.  I wish someone would’ve saw the sadness behind my smile and asked me if I was ok.  It’s never too late to gain awareness.

So, throughout the month of April we invite you to join us by wearing your blues every Friday as well as continuing the discussion with your family and friends.  Make sure to post your pictures with the hashtag #painthenryblue of Facebook and Instagram to show your support.

Here is your call to action: If you see something say something.

To order T-shirts or Pinwheels contact Robin Jones at

Lovin’ Oven Pizzeria in Downtown Locust Grove, offering fresh pizza daily (and healthy options too!)

From April Byrd, owner of Lovin’ Oven Pizzeria

Greetings from Lovin’ Oven!  Located directly across from the train depot in historic downtown Locust Grove, GA , we offer New-York Style pizza, calzones, pastas, sandwiches, and salads.  Open since 2015, Lovin’ Oven is a family owned and operated business that strives to serve fresh, quality food and offer exemplary customer service.

In today’s low-carb, no-carb society, selling pizza can become quite the challenge!  We are certainly not ones to shy away from a challenge though, so we began to explore ways to make pizza an option for our customers who are embracing this type of lifestyle.   We began to sell our pizza bowl a couple of years ago and have just recently begun to carry a cauliflower crust pizza.  We also offer a gluten free pizza crust, which is another great option for customers with dietary restrictions.  The cauliflower and gluten free crusts are not made in house, so although they are gluten free items, our kitchen is not gluten free. In addition to these items we have great salads that are made with only the freshest ingredients.

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For our customers who don’t worry about those kinds of things, we have a fantastic selection of items on our menu!  Our pizza dough and marinara sauce are made in-house daily.  If you happen to be walking by, you won’t be able to resist the smell of the fresh bacon, sausage or beef that’s cooking!  At the Lovin’ Oven you get to choose what you want and how you want it!

Hungry?  Choose from one of our 14” or 16” pizzas.  Not so hungry?  Then a slice is what you might be looking for, or you may prefer one of our delicious calzones with its creamy ricotta and oh so gooey cheese filling!   Any of these will be prepared to your liking when you place your order.  We have 17 specialty pizzas, or you may choose to build your own.

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Everyone knows that any good pizza deserves a good cold beer!  We have 14 beers on tap and quite a nice selection in either cans or bottles.  Whether you like a traditional domestic beer or an IPA, you’ll find something that suits your taste buds. Our covered patio is the perfect spot to enjoy a sunny afternoon or warm spring evening while watching the trains go by.

Oh wait, did someone say dessert?  You haven’t lived until you’ve tried a slice of our apple pie pizza!  This one’s certainly not for those who are watching calories, but it’s so worth the splurge!  If you’re looking for something different, then a bowl of spumoni ice cream or an old-fashioned root beer float may be more what you’re looking for!

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For those who like trivia, we have that for you too!  Every Wednesday night at 7:00, we pair up with Outspoken Entertainment to bring you a mind-challenging evening of fun.  Each team competes for a spot in a quarterly tournament held by Outspoken Entertainment and a chance to win $6,000.  First, second and third place winners each week receive a gift certificate good for free pizza upon their next visit.

If you’ve been looking for a fun, family-friendly atmosphere with good food, good times, and a good cold beer, then you just might have found your new dining spot!














Treat your Valentine to something special in Historic Downtown Locust Grove

From French Market and Tavern

Love is in the air, and FMT is getting ready for an evening to remember! We will have an amazing 4 course meal menu and signature drinks too! The cost is $52.95 per person, however we will be running an ‘Early love bird special’, if you make your reservation between the hours of 3:00pm and 4:30pm the cost is $42.95 per person. Please call 770-914-9312 to make your reservation today.

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Paint and Sip is back and it is now on the last Thursday of every month instead of Tuesday. The cost is $40 per person and includes your painting plus 3 glasses of wine. Tickets available for purchase online or in the restaurant.

Our 2019 event calendar is filling up fast! Call 770-403-9567 and speak with our event coordinator, Meghan Montgomery, to secure the date for your special event!

Don’t forget- we’re open at 7:00 AM  Tuesday through Sunday for coffee. Be sure to ask about our daily specials!


Locust Grove designated as a R.U.R.A.L (Revitalizing Underdeveloped Rural Areas Legislation) Zone!

Have you heard? Downtown Locust Grove is now eligible for new tax credit incentives through the Rural Zone Program! Locust Grove is one of nine Georgia communities to receive designation beginning in 2019.

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R.U.R.A.L (Revitalizing Underdeveloped Rural Area Legislation) zones assist with new job creation and private investment within the historic commercial cores of Georgia’s small towns. The program includes three tax credit incentives : Job Creation Tax Credit, Property Investment Credit, and  Rehabilitation Tax Credit (for historic AND non-historic properties!). Each new full-time-equivalent job created within the district will be eligible for a $2000 State income tax credit for 5 years, as well as 25% of the property purchase price and 30% of eligible rehabilitation costs. This designation lasts for five years, but credits can be carried for up to 10 years after project completion

Rural Zone designation was developed in 2017 by the Georgia General Assembly, Department of Community Affairs, and Georgia Department of Economic Development as a new tool for economic development in Georgia’s rural downtowns. Required criteria for designation include a population of less than 15,000, a concentrated core of historic commercial structures, and demonstrated blight and disinvestment downtown. The City of Locust Grove joins eight other Georgia communities: Avondale Estates, Greensboro, Hartwell, Hogansville, Jessup, Monticello, Sylvester, and Waycross in the most recent round of designations.

“It is our sincere hope that designation as a Rural Zone will help support economic development in our historic commercial core and serve as a valuable new tool for transforming our historic downtown into the thriving district envisioned in the City’s 2016 LCI Study” said Locust Grove Mayor Robert Price. “By further incentivizing investment, historic rehabilitation, and job creation in the heart of our small community, we aim to make the City of Locust Grove an even more inviting place to work, live, and visit”.

Tim Young, Locust Grove City Manager stated: “We are happy that we were designated after the hard work our Staff put into the nomination process. The outcome of all of these efforts will be a more vibrant downtown that emphasizes our unique historical and cultural heritage in our already busy developing city.”

With this new tool for Downtown Development, look forward to new businesses and investment in our downtown over the coming 5 years!

For more information about Locust Grove’s Rural Zone, or to check your eligibility for tax credits, please contact Anna Ogg at or call 770-692-2320.

Additional information can also be found on DCA’s website HERE!


Holiday French Toast Casserole

By Nicole Silva, owner of Crumbles Bakery

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! There is no better time to start a new family tradition.  One of my families most treasured traditions is having French toast casserole on Christmas Morning.  Of course the bakery owner’s tradition would revolve around food, and I’m sharing it with you in hopes that you will steal it and take it on as a tradition of your own.

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The first time I tried this recipe it was at a Mocha Mom brunch.  One of the moms brought a French Toast Casserole and I thought it was the best breakfast dish I had ever eaten.  An added bonus was that all the kids loved it, and I am always on the search for recipes that all the picky eaters in my family can enjoy.  When she told me she prepared most of it the night before, I was sold. I set out on a mission to make my own thinking it would be perfect when we had family in town, or on special mornings when we all wanted to be together.  Since I love family traditions, the Christmas Morning French Toast Casserole tradition was born.

This recipe is prepared the night before Christmas while Santa is busy putting presents under the tree.  I prepare it, then pop it in the oven on Christmas morning as soon as the kids wake us up to go downstairs to open presents.  By the time they are finished opening presents, breakfast is ready to be served.  We get a perfect homemade breakfast without having to spend much time in the kitchen on Christmas day.

The bacon in the recipe is totally optional. If you aren’t a bacon eater (and I’m not judging, okay maybe I am a little). Then just leave it out.  It is amazing with or without.

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And if you really want to try it, but don’t have time to make it, I just might offer some pre-made casseroles for pickup at the bakery…lol

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1lb bacon (optional but why not, its bacon)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 loaf of bread (about 20 slices or less if thicker bread is used)
1 1/4 – cup brown sugar
1.5 – tsp cinnamon
1/2 – tsp nutmeg
5 – eggs
3/4 cup milk
½ cup 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional but I recommend it)

Start by cooking the bacon.  I like to cook my bacon on a cooling rack that is inside a larger pan in the oven for 30 min at 350.  For this recipe I cook it about 20 min until just cooked but not quite crispy.  It can also be cooked on the stove-top.  No matter what method you use to cook the bacon, cook until just done as it will be cooked again the next day.
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While the bacon is cooling, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl (brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg). In another bowl mix the eggs, milk, cream, paste and extract together. Melt the butter in the microwave and pour it in a 9x 13. Cut each piece of bread into strips.  Layer bottom of pan with a third the bread pieces.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the brown sugar mix over the bread. Layer the second third of bread and top with 1/3 of brown sugar mix. Add the last layer of bread and pour the egg mixture over the bread slices. Make sure you cover all the pieces of bread. Chop the bacon and add about ½ cup of chopped cooked bacon (or more if you are a bacon lover) to the top of the bread.  Sprinkle remaining brown sugar on top. Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and bake (still covered in foil) in a preheated oven at 350 for 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake 15 more minutes until brown and set. Take out and enjoy with powdered sugar or syrup (my family likes both).


Southern Gastroenterology Specialists; Providing compassionate care to South Atlanta since 1984

By Douglas Lowe II, MD

Southern Gastroenterology Specialists (SGS) was established in 1984 with the mission of providing excellent subspecialty care in Gastroenterology and Hepatology for the Atlanta community.  SGS is committed to providing high quality healthcare including general gastroenterology, hepatology, biliary care, and cancer prevention.   Our practice has seven board certified gastroenterologists and one nurse practitioner dedicated to providing evidence based and compassionate healthcare.

SGS 2SGS Staff Dressed in Blue for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month on March 2, 2018

            SGS offers two conveniently located endoscopy centers as well as offices throughout the South Atlanta metropolitan area.  Our endoscopy centers are certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Hearth Care, Inc. (AAAHC).  In our endoscopy centers, our board certified gastroenterologists perform colonoscopy and esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD).  Capsule endoscopy is performed in the Locust Grove Office and the Riverdale Office.

Our practice reports performance data pertaining to procedures performed in our endoscopy centers to a national repository. The GI Quality Improvement Consortium (GIQuIC), which benchmarks our data compared with other endoscopy centers throughout the country.  We continuously strive to exceed nationally  established quality benchmarks for endoscopic safety and quality.  For colonoscopy, the quality indicators include the cecal intubation rate, adenoma detection rate, and the cecal withdrawal time.  The most recent cecal intubation rate for endoscopists in our centers was 99.5%.  The adenoma section rate for endoscopists in our centers was 51% for men and 39% for women which exceeds the current national standard of 30% in men and 20% in women.  The cecal withdrawal time by endoscopists in our centers consistently exceeds the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy standard of 6 minutes indicating higher quality;

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            In the hospital, we perform Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube (PEG) placement.   Our gastroenterologists maintain active medical staff privileges including providing consultative gastroenterology services and performing procedures at Piedmont Henry Medical Center.   Our objective is to provide high quality and evidence based medical care, foster high patient satisfaction, and ensure access to new technology while identifying opportunities for expense reduction.

We would be delighted and honored to be your gastrointestinal care provider.  Our Locust Grove Office and Locust Grove Endo Center are located at 4865 Bill Gardner Parkway, Locust Grove, GA 30248.  Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office by phone at  770-692-0100 or email at   Please visit our practice website for more information at or  Please visit our practice on facebook at

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