"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." - Rom.10:17
Emmanuel Baptist Church (EBC) was planted by Rev. Hugh Black, a missionary of the Mission Board of the Worldwide New Testament Baptist Mission, North Carolina USA.
Hugh Black was converted on January 1, 1977 and subsequently called by God to preach the gospel.
He prepared himself by attending Tabernacle Baptist College (USA) where he graduated with a
Bachelor's Degree in Theology. Afterward, God placed a burden on his heart for missions and
eventually he was led by God to start a church in Jamaica, the land of his birth.
When Rev. Hugh Black arrived in Jamaica in May 1985, he held meetings with a few pastors in our Association (the Association of Independent Baptist Churches (AIBCJ) in Jamaica),and shared his vision and burden to plant a church in Jamaica. These pastors supported his decision and also prayed with him for God’s wisdom, blessings and direction in his life.
(Photo of Hugh Black: 2010)
In August 1985, Emmanuel Baptist Church held its first meeting at the residence of Rev. Hugh Black at 1 Meadow Close, Kingston.
He, with his family and friends totalled 10 persons.
From then, we held regular meetings for Bible Study in his home on Wednesday nights.
In the space of one month (September 1985), the church was blessed with seven conversions and the group quickly outgrew the living room at
the Pastor’s residence.
One day, while Rev. Hugh Black drove by 2 Olivier Road, he had an overwhelming idea that this premises would be an ideal location for a church. At that time, the property
had a tenant named Mr. Camara Nkrumah - a Muslim, who was the Principal of Shortwood Community College located on the same premises.
After Rev. Black approached Mr. Nkrumah, he obtained his permission to hold church services in one of the classrooms at a cost of JA$1,200 per month.
In November 1985, Emmanuel Baptist Church had the joy of holding its first Wednesday night service at this new location.
The meeting had 26 persons in attendance and we praised and thanked God for blessing us.
EBC continued having Wednesday night services in the classroom and then had its first Baptismal Service on January 12,
1986 at the Havenhill Independent Baptist Church on 28 Mannings Hill Road.
January 12, 1986
Nine months after holding our first meeting,
Emmanuel Baptist Church held its first Morning Service on May 11, 1986 (Mother's Day) with 110 persons in attendance.
This is the classroom rented in 1985 which has been renovated to be our current Sanctuary
In November 1986, Emmanuel Baptist Church began holding all meetings under its tent.
God continued to bless our church and on October 10, 1986, we received a monetary love gift which was used to purchase a tent in the United States. The Government of Jamaica granted us duty free status for the clearance of the tent and all the members praised and thanked God wholeheartedly for His provision.
Members of Havenhill Baptist Church helped us to pitch the tent and we dedicated it to the Lord. An arrangement was then made with Mr. Encruma to use our tent for his school and thus, our church was released from the obligation to pay rent.
In January 1988, Mr. Nkrumah, the Principal of Shortwood Community College was evicted from the premises. However, the Roman Catholic Jesuits who owned the property, allowed our church to remain on the property until September 30th, as we had nowhere else to go. This arrangement was soon changed since on September 12, 1988, Jamaica experienced one of its worst hurricanes named Gilbert. In view of the devastation caused by Hurricane Gilbert, the question of our removal from 2 Olivier Road was placed on the "back burner" until further notice.
Emmanuel Baptist Church was formally organized on March 19th, 1989; and later incorporated under the Companies Act as a Limited Company on the eleventh day of August 1998 in Jamaica.
March 19, 1989
In March 1989, Emmanuel Baptist Church appointed its first deacons: Harold Granston, Rev. Garnet Samuels and the late Donald King.
Our occupancy of the property continued until April 1989 at which time the land was sold by the Roman Catholics to West Indies Trust Company Limited for JA$9.6 million;
but God in his faithfulness, provided another property on Waterloo Road for Emmanuel Baptist Church to pitch its tent. This property was owned by Mr. James Crearer, one of
our members, who allowed us to use it rent-free.
During our time at Waterloo Road, the West Indies Trust Company Limited made plans to build luxurious townhouses for resale on the property at 2 Olivier Road. They took the property title to the Supreme Court, which removed all restrictive covenants thereby and permitted the construction of townhouses. There remains no restrictive covenants on the property.
God provided again for our church and His blessings continued to be evident when the West Indies Trust Company Limited asked EBC to return to the property
at 2 Olivier Road on a lease agreement of J$500 per month.
Emmanuel Baptist Church now had usage of the entire seven acres including the use of the seven buildings for the glory of God.
The tent was removed from Waterloo Road and Emmanuel Baptist Church returned and took up tenancy at 2 Olivier Road where the teaching and preaching of God’s Word continued with conversions and edification and strengthening of believers.
The auditorium was enlarged in September 1993, and the Pastor’s office renovated.
Emmanuel Baptist Church sent out her first Pastor on July 15, 1994. He is deacon Rev. Garnet Samuels who was commissioned to Newtown Baptist Church in Clarendon after his ordination on August 30, 1994.
(Photo: Rev. Alwyn Williams in moving van)
On 3rd September 1995, Rev. Hugh Black preached his final message as pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church.
He served for ten years after planting our church and resigned from his office and pastoral duties in July 1995. Rev. Hugh Black now resides in the United States.
September 3, 1995
His message was taken from Romans 8:28 - "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose".
In August 1995, Rev. Dr. Eral A. Lewis was voted as the new Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church.
He took office on November 1, 1995, and served with his wife Merle.
Rev. Lewis previously served as pastor of Hillview Baptist Church in Montego Bay for 28 years.
November 1, 1995 - April 24, 2005
During 1996, EBC expressed interest to West Indies Trust Company Limited concerning the acquisition of the property at 2 Olivier Road. After submitting our written
request to their board, we were advised that even though they had no interest in selling the property, Emmanuel Baptist Church would be given first preference should
they decide to sell.
This has been one of the greatest challenges to the faith and sacrifice of the members of Emmanuel Baptist Church. This vision was pursued vigorously and bathed in consistent prayer because the membership felt that God was going to bless His work by giving us our own land.
On February 11, 2000, a Sales Agreement was signed for JA$70,000,000 (US$1,794,872) for the purchase of the property valued at that time for JA$95,000,000 (US$2,435,879). The church deposited JA$31,000,000 with an eleventh hour miraculous US dollar loan of US$1,000,000 (JA$44,000,000) from Capital & Credit Merchant Bank. To God be the glory, He will finish the great work He started.
On September 10, 2000, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Eral Lewis, the Emmanuel
Christian Academy (ECA) was established as a ministry of Emmanuel Baptist Church.
Emmanuel Christian Academy is a Kindergarten and Preparatory school which offers an education coupled with Christian values, teachings and truths by their utilization of the A Beka curriculum.
September 10, 2000
Located on our premises at 2 Olivier Road; the primary objective and purpose of Emmanuel Christian Academy are to train students to know God and the Christian way of life, and to give students the highest standard of education.
In April 2005, after nearly 10 years as pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Eral Lewis’ leadership ended. During the absence of a pastor (for approximately one year), Rev. William A. Edwards provided spiritual guidance, organized the church's office, and performed pastoral duties.
April 2005 - May 2006
Rev. William Edwards is a retired Baptist pastor and a faithful member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church.
On 21 May 2006, the members of the Emmanuel Baptist Church voted to have Rev. Thomas Jack (T. J.) Kimmel to be their third pastor.
He and his wife Christa were missionaries from the First Baptist Church, Indiana U.S.A.
During his tenor, Rev. Kimmel revived the church's Visitation & Soul Winning Ministry and was instrumental in the acquisition and installation of our baptismal pool.
On February 4, 2007, after approximately eight months in the pastorate, Rev. T. J. Kimmel resigned as pastor of the Emmanuel Baptist Church.
May 21, 2006 - February 4, 2007
The Kimmels also shared their vision for the complete utilization of the church's property and for the construction of a church auditorium.
Under the pastorate of Rev. T. J. Kimmel, Emmanuel Baptist Church installed its baptismal pool inside the Sancturary.
September 28, 2006
On 1 July, 2008, Rev. Hector Joseph Falconer (Pastor Dave) was called to be the fourth pastor of the Emmanuel Baptist Church.
He and his wife Nadine previously served at MacField Baptist Church in Westmoreland.
Rev. H. Joseph Falconer continued the Lord’s work here at EBC for three and a half years, where he enhanced and strengthened the various ministries, the Foundation & Baptismal classes, as well as our church fellowship.
On January 12, 2012, Rev. H. J. Falconer resigned as pastor of the Emmanuel Baptist Church.
July 1, 2008 - January 12, 2012
On 11 January 2010, under the pastorate of Rev. H. Falconer, Emmanuel Baptist Church (with over 100 members)
became owners of 2 Olivier Road. To God be the glory!
January 11, 2010
Effective January 13, 2012, Deacon Michael Bernard became the Interim Leader of the Emmanuel Baptist Church.
As Chairman of the Deacon Board, Michael Bernard assumed pastoral duties: providing spiritual leadership, pastoral care, administrative oversight, and
organizational direction to the congregation.
On 5th May, 2013, Deacon Michael Moore Bernard was voted to be the fifth pastor of the Emmanuel Baptist Church; both he and his wife Olive are continuing the Lord's work at 2 Olivier Road.
May 5, 2013 - present
On Sunday, 23rd August 2015, under the leadership of Pastor Michael Bernard,
we broke ground for the construction of our new EBC Sanctuary.
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