The word 'church' in the New Testament literally means 'called out ones'. In light of this, it's important to note that the church consists of people, not buildings; it's an organism, not an organization. On July 24, 1927, God 'called out' a group of twelve people to meet regularly at the residence of Mr. T. Challinor under the leadership of Rev. John Dodds. They resolved to call themselves Chatham Regular Baptist Church.
By March of 1928, the membership had grown to 48. Later that year Rev. W.N. Charlton accepted a call to pastor this group and began service in the Hall over Fitzgerald Shoe Store (formerly Walkwell) on King St. in Chatham. When the church was recognized and received into the Fellowship of the Regular Baptist Churches of Ontario and Quebec in October of 1929 they had a total membership of 53. It would not be until July 6 of 1949 that the name would be changed to Emmanuel Baptist Church. The church would relocate several times before the current property was secured.
By the mid 1950s a bus ministry had begun. This fueled and accelerated growth in both Sunday School and Sunday service attendance. On April 9, 1958 part of the current property was purchased to erect a new church building and a Christian education building. The ground breaking for this new facility was held in July 1960 the church dedicated and moved into the new building on Oct. 13, 1963.This construction was completed almost entirely by a volunteer work force. In 1979 more property was purchased for expansion.
Construction of our new auditorium began in October of 1995 and was ready for services on July 14, 1996. Over the next several years, renovations were completed to the former auditorium and Sunday School Department to convert it into a Christian Education Wing complete with classrooms and a gymnasium.
We believe that is takes different churches to reach different people, so on February 2, 2014, Emmanuel commissioned Pastor Marc Soto and several families to begin Forward City Church in the downtown core of our city. This would be a new work that would seek to further reach our community with the love of Jesus.
In late 2014 and 2015 a major renovation project was completed in the older building. This included a new kitchen, new flooring and a fresh coat of paint throughout, and a reconfiguration of space to create a children’s ministry hub.
Three things are eternal, God, His word and people. People were created to exist forever. They will exist either eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is Heaven. Heaven and Hell are places of eternal existence. God has existed in relationship with Himself for all eternity. He exists as one substance in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Although each member of the Trinity serves different functions, they each possess equal power and authority. Everything was created by him and through Him. (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 12:29; Jn. 1:1-4; 1 Timothy 2:5-6)
The Bible is God's Word to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it was inspired by God, the Bible is truth without any mixture of error and is completely relevant to our daily lives.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
Individuals are created in the image of God and are the supreme object of His creation. We were created to have fellowship with God but became separated in that relationship through sinful disobedience. As a result, we cannot attain a right relationship with God through our own effort. Everyone is uniquely created, possesses dignity, is worthy of respect and Christian love, and has a God-purposed for their life.
(Genesis 1-3; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, 32).
Jesus Christ is completely human but, at the same time, completely God. He is the only plan for bringing people who are far from God back into a right relationship with God. He lived a perfect life, so that He could be a substitution for us in satisfying God's demands for perfection.
The Church is not a building but a people. It is a group of Christ followers unified through faith in Christ. It is committed to the teachings of Christ and obeying all of His commands, and it seeks to bring the Gospel to the world.
Christian baptism is a public declaration of the believers' salvation in Christ, identifying with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection symbolized by immersion in water. The Lord's Supper is the united remembrance celebrated by believers of Christs' death until He comes and should be preceded by a careful self-examination.
(Acts 2:41; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 11:20-29).
We believe that Jesus will return to earth in the future and that this has vital bearing on the personal life, service, and mission of followers of Jesus. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The lost will be raised to judgment and experience eternal wrath in hell. The saved will be raised to eternal joy in the new heaven and new earth in the manifested presence of God.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:31-46).
Drawing nearer to Jesus, we passionately pursue those far from him to become his church. This is summarized in the great commission of Jesus as ‘make disciples’.
To accomplish missions and engage our community we will seek to do the following.
God has given us a book that teaches us about Himself, His actions, and how He relates to us. We believe that three things are eternal, God, His Word and people. A big part of what we do is to help people understand God and His Word so that they may know Him, follow Him and tell others about Him. At every stage of our journey we will create an intentional approach to growing disciples.
As we understand more and more who God is and what he has done for us we want to show our gratitude and love by using what he has given us for His glory. This isn’t just about music, but everything we have been given can be used to worship.
As we live, work, and play in our local community we will model what it means to be a church for the city not just a church in the city.
We PRAY because God is our only hope for anything.
(Js. 4:2;Rom. 11:34-36)
We WORSHIP because God deserves our every breath.
We proclaim our faith because EVANGELISM is not optional.
(Mt. 28:18-20; Rom. 1:8, 1 Pet. 3:15)
We embrace COMMUNITY because the way of Jesus should not be lived alone.
(Eph. 4:1-3; Rom. 1:11-12)
We SERVE because we are blessed to be a blessing.
(Lk. 22:26; Eph. 1:3; Phil 2:3-8)
We DISCIPLE one another because God’s Word needs to be followed, modeled and taught.
(Lk. 6:40; 2 Tim 2:2)
Jon accepted the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ at around 9 years old. He was raised in a Christian home, attending church with his family in Edmonton, AB, until his early 20s. While working on his undergraduate degree in Edmonton, Jon had the privilege of being part of a couple church plants, as well as an interim pastor position at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Three Hills, AB. In 2018, Jon started his Masters of Divinity at Heritage College and Seminary in Cambridge, which was an incredible and formative time. He took an assistant pastor role at Fellowship Bible Church in New Hamburg, ON, in 2019, which was made possible by the support of SCA International. In 2022 Jon accepted a call to be the lead pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Chatham, ON.
Jon is married to Christie, and they have 2 children, Charlotte and Henry. Jon and his family love to go on adventures together (hiking, biking, beach days, and more). He enjoys woodworking, reading, exercising, and connecting with people over a good cup of coffee.
Taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8
To experience the grace and mercy of the Lord is the most amazing miracle possible. Born into a home that did not live in that grace and to receive it at the age of 18 was incredible. God is so good! We now want everyone to experience that goodness.
Deb and I have been blessed to have served God in some very special places on the planet such as Argentina, Texas and 3 Canadian provinces. We have two children Eric ,who with his wife Gisela serve God with Wycliffe in South East Asia, and our daughter Erin, along with her dog Dallas, live with us in Chatham.
We are blessed to call Chatham our home and desire to be instruments in God’s hand for his glory! Our call is to encourage others to experience the love of God for themselves!
Sarah Sluys started attending Emmanuel in 2007. Sarah spent 5 years teaching Kindergarten and Grade 1. In 2013, Sarah came on staff as the Children’s Ministry Director at Emmanuel. Her heart is to help children know, love, and share God everyday.
Sarah and her husband J.P., have two children Hope and Reuben.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a wonderful church family at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Chatham that valued children’s ministry and set me on a path to a rich relationship with my Heavenly Father. As a mom to 4 boys I know how important the partnership between parents and children’s ministry is to raising the next generation of believers. I’m so thankful that through this partnership with SCA International I have the opportunity to work as a Children’s Ministry Assistant at the same church I grew up in and continue the legacy of quality children’s ministry that teaches kids who God is and the love he has for them.
Dave has been attending Emmanuel from a young age where he’s participated in a variety of ministries from Sunday School, Mid-week programs, Jr to Sr High and Worship teams. Dave has been participating as a leader in Youth and Worship for 15+ years and in 2017 became the Director of Youth and Worship. His passion is seeing youth grow in their relationship with God, each other, and the staff as well as worship corporately as a church family.
Dave is married to his High School sweetheart, Brandy and they have three children, Gabby, Jacob and Felix.
Brenda Laird has been working at Emmanuel since 1986. Though her job title has changed from Church Secretary to Executive Assistant, her main role is to serve the church family and pastoral staff in the area of administration and information. Her passion for people has always been her motivation for working in the church office.
Brenda is married to her high school sweetheart, Phil and they have two married children. She is enjoying her role as Nana to her six grandchildren.
Abby began attending Emmanuel remotely during the pandemic in 2020. She grew up in the Chatham-Kent area where she attended Chatham Christian High School and then moved on to attend Redeemer University in Ancaster. Abby graduated from Redeemer in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in Clinical Psychology and Applied Social Sciences.
Abby’s main role at Emmanuel is to assist with administrative tasks and projects in ongoing ministries. In her spare time, Abby enjoys playing and coaching volleyball and is passionate about helping athletes integrate their faith into sport.
Dan Miller has been working at Emmanuel as our Custodian and Maintenance personnel since 2004. Dan and his wife, Sue, love sailing and motorcycling in the warm months. We are thankful for Dan’s dedication to keeping the church clean and maintained!
You probably have some questions about what you and your family can expect on a typical Sunday at Emmanuel.
We hope this Q&A page answers those questions for you.
If not, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Each week at Emmanuel you'll find a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with contemporary worship music led by a talented band and vocal team. You'll hear teaching from the Bible with practical application to your daily life.
We have entrances to our parking lot off of both McNaughton Ave. and Sheldon Ave. Because our main parking lot is behind our facility, most people enter through our main doors at the back of our building. We have people in our parking lot to assist you with parking when you arrive.
The majority of our facility is wheelchair accessible. More than half of our facility is located on the ground level including our auditorium. Our auditorium is fully wheelchair accessible and provides several locations for wheelchair accessible seating. We also have a power-assisted entrance that is easily accessible from designated parking spaces. This entrance provides easy access to our elevator, which services all three floors of our Children and Youth Ministry Areas.
Next Service: Sunday 10:00 a.m.