From Our House to His House
A Brief History of Emmanuel Church International
Psalm 127:1 says “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: …”
This passage is primarily directed toward the family, but it applies to the church as well. Throughout the New Testament we see that God uses the family to illustrate how He deals with the church. Just as the family is the symbol of the church, a strong family directly benefits the church.
Kathleen Norris, the contemporary poet/essayist said, “Home ought to be our clearinghouse, the place from which we go forth lessoned and disciplined, and ready for life.” It all starts in the house, as it did in our pastor’s house, years ago with a mission to “Equip People to Make A Difference.”
Prior to the launching of Emmanuel Church International, our founding corporation, Emmanuel Ministries International, Inc., was created in Chattanooga, TN. Our current pastor was its President and CEO, and still serves in that capacity today. But this was only the starting point. Our pastor and his family later moved to the Baltimore area.
In September 1998, our pastor and his family along with a few friends began worshiping in the basement of his home. The church soon outgrew the pastor’s house.
On October 18, 1998 the first public service was held at Deer Park Middle Magnet School in Randallstown, Maryland. The church was named Emmanuel Ministries International Fellowship. After approximately four years of worshipping in the school, the ministry purchased a 5.97-acre site in the Gwynn Oak, MD area. The ministry formed a partnership with a local developer and Portrait Emmanuel, LLC, was formed. This faith-based and private industry collaboration birthed what is now Valerie Manor and our current church location. The name of the church was changed to its current name, Emmanuel Church International.
In 2005 the ministry broke ground for its new building which was grand opened in 2008. The building in which we now worship is Phase I, our multi-purpose center. Phase II which is already in the planning stages, calls for the development of an expanded multi-purpose and family life center, with additional classroom space for many of the ministry’s outreach programs. The county planning commission has already approved the project. Phase III will consist of a Worship Center which will be built on donated land adjacent to the multi-purpose and family life center.
The ministry has a presence in Liberia West Africa, through the establishment of Emmanuel Church International in Buchanan Liberia under the leadership of Pastor Sylvester Barclay.
Our church launched the first phase of its education program called Emmanuel Early Childhood Learning Center which is state licensed and certified to teach children 3—5 years old.
Our pastor humbly recognizes that all glory belongs to God, as the vision is not his, but the Lords. Hence, “The Vision Is Always Greater Than the Man”.