Independent Baptist Church
Emmanuel Baptist Church began when certain of the congregation of Pelletier Baptist Church could not agree with the policy or doctrine of the Southern Baptist Convention. Early in 1967 a few men, Cap Wagner, Otis Godwin, Charles Fitzpatrick, Nathan Young, Arnold Futrell and Ronald Waters met at Cap Waggoner's home and the concept of Emmanuel Baptist Church was born. Russell Bell was called as the first Pastor who at the time was the Pastor of Pelletier Baptist Church who also did not agree with the SBC Doctrine.
The first service was held in Nathan Young's front yard with about seven families attending. An old house at the end of Bell Street was rented and renovated to hold services. This house is still therre today. Much work had to be done to the house. A wall was removed to enlarge an area big enough to hold the services. The nursery was in the kitchen behind the pulpit. Sunday School classes were held on the porch, which had to be covered with plastic to keep the weather out. There was only one bathroom for the whole congregation. There were approximately 30 in attendance the first Sunday. In just a short time, Earl Young learned to play the guitar and played for the congregation.
Property for the building we are in today was purchased from Carl Ball. It was land locked and needed a right-of-way for entry from Bell Street. The owner of the lot that we needed did not want to sell because they were afraid we would start a cemetery behind them making their property decrease in value. We prayed and the Lord answered our prayers and she sold the lot at a very good price.
The new building was financed through a bond program. The men from the church went door to door selling bonds. Most members bought what they thought they could afford but most of this was done by financing through First Citizens Bank on a monthly basis. The church had to make a weekly deposit of a certain amount to pay for the bonds as they became payable.
The men worked evenings digging the foundation for the building. The low space at the back of the church is where the dirt came from to build up the foundation for the floor. When the trusses came, they would not hold together. The men had to cut plywood for each joint and nail them on for reinforcement.
The first service in the new building was a revival meeting with Preacher Ernie Robinson. The carpet had not been installed yet and there was cement dust still on the floor. Pews for the new building came from a church in Goldsboro. A farm truck from a man in Pollocksville was borrowed to haul them. The men worked all night making several trips.
Bro Russell Bell was the Pastor until around 1970.
Pastor Ken Hall was the Pastor from 1970-1973. The Parsonage in part was donated to the church by Brother Ken Hall. He and his wife had purchased it first and gave all their equity. The church took over the remaining payments.
Pastor George Sexton was the Pastor from 1973-1977
Steve Wakefield was voted in as Pastor in August of 1977- Present Time
God has greatly used all these men to build a great work!
Many changes and improvements have taken place since the first service in 1967.
In 1982 a 40X60 fellowship Hall was built
In 1996 an Educational building was added
In 1999 The Sanctuary was enlarged and immediately afterwards a Multi-Purpose building and more classrooms were built. The old fellowship hall was converted to a nursery.
Since this construction, there have been other improvements to the facilities.
God has indeed assembled a unique church!