Text by Stephanie Breedlove/
Photos courtesy of Gussie Breedlove
One of the unsung heroes of the Atlanta community is Missionary Gussie Breedlove. This story explores her life and impact on poverty-stricken communities throughout Atlanta.
Missionary Gussie Breedlove, born in Bainbridge, GA July 4th, 1949, was the daughter of a farmer. From a young age her parents instilled in her core values of hard work, kindness, and compassion for others. These values inspired her to fight for the impoverished and become an advocate for the less fortunate. She has fed thousands and touched the lives of many more.
Growing up on a farm in South Georgia was both rewarding and challenging for Breedlove. She recalls getting up early in the morning to pick cotton with her mother. Being one of five children, everyone had to pull their own weight. Breedlove said, “Hard work pays off.” Breedlove often helped her grandmother, who was a missionary and midwife. Her father was a sharecropper who took on numerous jobs to make ends meet. Growing up in the era of segregation taught Breedlove firsthand the evils of racial injustices. She set out into the world to inspire others and stand up for what is right.
In 1985 Breedlove moved to Atlanta, GA, and eventually opened her restaurant, The Atlanta Cafeteria, in the English Avenue community.
It was during this time in her life when Breedlove followed her mother’s and grandmother’s calling to missionary work. She would then go on to feed and clothe hundreds of people in the English Avenue community.
Breedlove was also an accomplished entrepreneur and landowner, neither of which were common during that time. Wanting to do more, she formed the nonprofit ministry, Community Outreach, Inc., where she taught the gospel and gainfully employed many young people.
Community Outreach focused on feeding the homeless, providing jobs to the jobless, and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Leveraging her restaurant platform, she provided hot meals to the homeless and shared a kind word for all those in need. Breedlove spoke often at other community organizations and churches in the Atlanta area. “A woman should be able to stand on her own two feet. Being involved in her community is one way to do that,” she said.
Providing holiday turkeys at Thanksgiving and toy drives at Christmas for impoverished children were two of the many things Breedlove was able to do for her community. Her most cherished accomplishment has been leading hundreds of souls to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Thirty-eight years later, Breedlove is still inspiring other young women, feeding the homeless, and providing compassion to all those who meet her. In 2020 she published her memoirs, “The Chosen Book of Truth Explosion” on Amazon.
Student Biography: Stephanie Breedlove is a senior at Kennesaw State University. She is pursuing a bachelor’s in psychology and graduating in the summer of 2021. Breedlove is working to become a nurse practitioner.
Women’s Leadership through Virtual Exchange: Youth Sharing Digital Stories (WLVE) is a project engaging 100 undergraduate and graduate students from Hassan II University Casablanca with 100 undergraduate students from Kennesaw State University in a unique cross-cultural virtual exchange experience focused on better understanding women’s leadership through research, analysis, and digital storytelling. This virtual classroom-based project will collect biographical stories of successful women leaders in both countries written by the students and publish them online on Bokeh Focus.