In The Year Of 1954, The Late Rev. Lewis H. Simmons Had A Vision To Build A Church. It Had Already Been Pre-Destined, Ordained, Confirmed, And Arranged By God That Rev. Simmons Would Travel To The Country Of Hamilton, Bermuda To Run A Soul-Saving Revival, And It Would There He Would Be Commissioned By God To Go Back Home, And Build A Church, And Call It “Emanuel” Because “I Will Be With You”.
And So – With Only A Few Followers – Of God, Not Of Man – The Church Was Established As A Chartered And Incorporated Organization On October 7, 1954. This Very Same Spot Of Ground Was Purchased And The Ground-Breaking Ceremony Was Held On Thanksgiving Day Of That Year. The Pastor Of Our Founder, The Late Rev. Dr. Paul G. Daniels, Delivered The Sermon, And His Subject Was Most Befitting – “Upon This Rock, I Will Build My Church.”
The Vision Was To Be More Than Just A Worshipping Edifice. It Was To Be…
A Haven For Those In Need
An Institution Of Learning
A Home For The Lost
A Healing Station For The Sick
A Saving Post For The Sinner
A Revival Depot For The Weak, And,
A U-Turn Point For The Backslider.
Through His Ministry, The Church’s Fellowship Hall, known then as “The Institute”, served the community as a Kindergarten (taught by Mother Sarah Simmons), and Rev. Simmons taught classes in Music, Typewriting and Printing, Woodworking, Electronics, and Adult Reading. Dr. Simmons also coordinated Voter Registration Preparation for blacks through the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), under the directorship of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.
…And Here We Are, Built On The Rock Of Our Salvation, Still Standing On Christ, The Solid Rock.
In The Fifty-Seven Years Of Our Existence, We Have Been Blessed With The Leadership Of Only Five Men. Our Founder, Rev. Lewis H. Simmons, Served From 1954 Until His Death In March Of 1971. Rev. R. B. Gillins Served As Pastor From Late 1971 Until His Health Began To Limit Him In The Early 1980’s. Rev. Heyward Cordes, Jr. Served As Rev. Gillins’ Assistant, And On Into The Pastorate From That Time Until 1990. Rev. Robert A. Vandross Served As Pastor From 1991 Until February 2001. Rev. Eugene Murray Was Installed As Pastor In June Of 2001 And Served Until August 2007. Our Present Pastor, Rev. John T. Miller Came To Us, Ready To Work And Carry On God’s Plan.
Our Founder, The Rev. Dr. Lewis Howard Simmons, Was The Youngest Child Of The Late Mr. And Mrs. William And Rebecca Richardson Simmons, Born March 4, 1909 In
His Family Was Affiliated With The
While On Tour With The Jenkins Orphanage Band In The City And State Of
However, Rev. Dr. Willis Brown, Pastor Of
He Met And Married Sarah Viola Gregory, And To Their
He Was Called To Pastor What Is Now Known As The