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Church History

Historical Sketch of Emmanuel Baptist Church

Emmanuel (God With Us) Baptist Church was formed in a rented house on Excelsior Street in 1914.  In 1916 we were formally organized.  Three ministers were instrumental in giving Emmanuel its name - Professor J. W. Paisley, Rev. R. L. Files and Rev. Pink Joyce.

Rev. J. R. Summers was Emmanuel's first pastor.  Other Pastors of Emmanuel have included Rev. Eli W. Walker, Rev. David Clark, Rev. A. S. Slater, Rev. James Parker, Rev. E. S. Duke, Rev. Eddie J. Gallman, Rev. J. D. Monroe, Rev. I. C. McClure, Rev. S. W. Mack, and our present pastor, Rev. Dr. John Mendez.

Emmanuel was built in 1922 at 619 Smith Street.  We resided in that building until 1967.  Our next location was 500 East 16th Street until the building was destroyed by fire on March 26, 1972. We worshipped at Gilmore's Funeral Home for a short period of time and then for 2 years at North Hill Community Center.

On June 23, 1974 our first worship service was held at 1075 Shalimar Drive.  Under the pastorate of the late Rev. Dr. Sir Walker Mack, Sr., Many renovations were made to the sanctuary and choir rooms.  A new Fellowship Hall was later added.  In preparation for the day we would outgrow our current church Rev. Mack established a building fund.  On November 27, 1982, God called Rev. Mack home after 33 years as pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Rev. John Mendez assumed his duties as pastor on Sunday, December 4, 1983.  Under his administration, both the church and the budget continued to grow.  In accordance with God's will Rev. Mendez has led us to become an all-tithing church, relying on the faith and commitment of its members to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the up building of his kingdom.   As membership increased it soon became evident that more space was needed.

On Sunday, April 8, 2001 our first worship service was held in our new multi-million dollar sanctuary.  The new sanctuary accommodates 1,100 people with state-of-the-art equipment.  On that day and all days we praise God for his wondrous works and thank him for all his blessings.


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