A dream was realized in the summer of the year 1989, when a visionary leader, and evangelist, Pastor G. Earl Knight spread the words of the Lord through Evangelistic meetings held at the North Bronx Seventh-day Adventist Church. To shelter and protect these precious, newly baptized souls, they grouped them together, and Sabbath after Sabbath they gathered for worship, and fellowship upstairs the North Bronx SDA Church. The membership grew spiritually and numerically and in 1990, this group of new believers was formed into a full-fledged church named Emmanuel Pastor Ivan Plummer became the first Pastor and Elder Collin Thomas became the First Elder.
Emmanuel outgrew its accommodations at North Bronx and in 1992 she then relocated to a rented building at 228th Street and Bronxwood Avenue. One of the highlights at this location was a Week of Revival with Dr. Don Kelly as the speaker. This meeting also added members to the fold. With a mission of evangelism in mind, Emmanuel grew, oh how she sang “Triumphantly the Church Will Rise.” The stay at his location was not for long, so shortly thereafter Emmanuel moved to a building at Adee Avenue.
Emmanuel is always on the move, both physically and spiritually. On September 16, 2000 we made a final move to our current which we happily call home.
Not only do we celebrate spiritually but we celebrate socially. We celebrate birthdays, baby showers, wedding showers, banquets fit for a king and queen, Thanksgiving dinners for our seniors and annual graduation exercises from Pre-K to PhD. Some of the babies born in Emmanuel have graduated college, and have returned to serve.
As small as we are, we pride ourselves in saying, at least six couples found their life’s partners right here
Based on reflection and examination, as some would say, Emmanuel has covered her bases:
- She has ordained a female Elder and four female Deacons. Since we are boasting for the right reason, we can say that three of our pastors were ordained during their tenure with us: Pastor Rohann Wellington, Pastor Desta Zabolotney and Pastor Neil Turner.
- As Emmanuel continues to grow, it also sought ways to groom her youths. Our current First Elder Michael Green founded The Pathfinder and Adventurer clubs which he has now reprised the role of Director of Pathfinder while his wife Sister Green serves as our Adventurer Club Director. These clubs were designed to morally and spiritually shape the youth of the church and the community. In addition, Summer Vacation Bible Experiences are held and extended to the community from which our membership also grew.
- While these clubs thrive, the Community Service Department is actively engaged in social support and food distribution to the members and the community.
- Emmanuel has been blessed with three choirs: The Sanctuary Choir, The Youth Choir and the Children’s Choir. The Sanctuary choir was robed in 1999 and still boasts one of the most beautiful choir robes. The community, family and friends look forward each year for our Christmas Cantata.
Emmanuel: God with us, one big happy family is on a journey. She was not promised a safe ride, but is anticipating a safe landing. She has been through rough tides and has had to jump many hurdles, but can now testify of the goodness of God. The path has not always been easy. Her faith has been tested and confidence shaken. But, through it all, Emmanuel knew that God would never leave nor forsake, and she would overcome.
Emmanuel is a mission-cognizant church with more mission fields to cover, more human needs to serve, and more souls to be garnered for the Kingdom. Let us be reminded that – Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose, God leads His dear children along.
-Prepared by our Church's Historian Marcia Hylton